The top two teams in division two of the Braintree Table Tennis League came head to head and after a tight battle emerged with five points each.
Black Notley C have been the surprise package of the division this season thanks largely to the signing of Glen Laing, a first division Colchester League player.
He has won all his sets so far and held his side together again against the club’s B team.
He was stretched to four games by Sean Clift but won his other two sets in straight games.
Gary Jackson joined in with wins over Clift and Dave Parker but his defeat by Gordon Fairchild and a doubles win for Clift and Parker at 13-11in the fifth game were instrumental in ensuring the draw.
Nomads are now only one point behind Notley B after a 9-1 win over Felsted RBL B, and Rayne E followed them in fourth place after their win by the same score over Hedingham Lions.
Felsted A also had a 9-1 win, in their case over Notley D, and move to within a point of fifth-placed Liberal C, who beat Rayne F 7-3.
It was a strong Rayne F side, Paul Mitchell, Ted Sims and Dave Moles, but three wins from Jon Fieldsend and two each from Garry Fryatt and Gareth Davies were enough for Liberal.
In division one, Liberal A called on Peter Hayden for the first time this season and he duly obliged with his three singles against the club’s B team.
But it was Fryatt who made his mark. Given a rare first division outing, he overcame both Robin Armstrong and Frank Neill to help the A team to a 9-1 victory.
Champions Netts A were held to a draw for the second time this season, this time by Rayne D.
They needed Paul Davison’s three singles and a share in the doubles to stave off defeat.
Rayne B are the unlikely leaders at this early stage. They beat their own C team 9-1, with three wins each from Ryan Pitt and Dean Andrews.
With Felsted C’s room unavailable, they had to sit the week out while Rayne G moved to the head of division three after their 10-0 win over Notley G.
Like Rayne G, Notley E have now won five in a row, their latest an 8-2 victory over their own H team.
The surprise result of the week in this division was Notley I’s 7-3 win over their own F team.
The F team only had two players but wins for Matt Brooks over both Mike Smith and Vernon King and for Jamie Brooks over Smith were not what the F team would have had in mind.
Shirley Carroll has returned to Rayne’s ranks after a few seasons’ absence and joined Tim Townsend in winning three singles in Rayne H’s 8-2 win over Netts D.