For the second time in a few weeks, two teams with 100 per cent win records came face to face in division three of the Braintree Table Tennis League.
Unlike last time, when Felsted RBL C saw off Rayne G, this time neither team held on to their record.
There were a number of tight sets but in the end Black Notley E and Felsted C could not be separated.
There was a first taste of defeat for Notley’s Hannah Pitt – not in the singles, all of which she won comfortably as usual, but in the doubles, where she and Jill Canning were beaten 11-9, 3-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9 by Arthur Geen and Matthew Laws.
Laws’ win over reserve Mike Smith was even closer – 14-12 in the fifth – but Notley countered with their own five-game victories.
Canning’s win over Geen came at 11-7 in the fifth and over Laws at 11-8 in the fifth.
Mike Pitt’s win over Canning was effectively the one that brought Felsted the draw.
The five points dropped meant that Rayne G, who beat Netts D 7-3, are now level on points with Notley E, with Felsted, who have a match in hand, three points further down.
Three wins from Tim Gowers and Charles Wilkinson led Rayne to their win.
It was a good evening for Matt Brooks when Notley I faced Notley G. His three singles, plus the doubles with son Jamie, helped the I team to a 6-4 win.
The game of nip and tuck between Notley’s B and C teams continued at the top of division two.
The B team’s 10-0 win over Hedingham Lions brought them level with the C team, who beat Liberal C 7-3.
Tim Huxtable had probably his best evening of the season in taking his three singles for the C team.
Ken Lewis made his third appearance of the season for Nomads but his three singles could not prevent them losing 6-4 to Felsted A.
Rayne E’s Steve Siggs illustrated how much his game has improved this season with an excellent performance against his club’s F team.
He returned to the game after an absence of some 30 years with a season in division three in 2013-14, and then returned an average of 29 per cent in division two last season.
This season that has jumped to 56 per cent and in his latest match excellent wins against Dave Moles and Paul Mitchell helped his team to a draw.
Division one leaders Liberal A turned once again to the Chelmsford League for their latest recruit when Brandon Crouchman became the ninth player to represent them this season.
He joined Scott Dowsett, his contemporary in the Essex junior ranks three years ago, in winning his three sets to help his team to a 9-1 win over Netts B.
Rayne A kept up the pressure with a 9-1 win of their own – their fourth by that score in five matches – against their own B team while third-placed Netts A were also 9-1 winners, in their case against Rayne C.
Netts C went one better with a 10-0 win over Notley A, their first win of the season.
Braintree veterans took part in the Essex League division one weekend and despite some close sets, could not quite get over the finishing line.
They lost all three matches 6-3 but should keep their place in the division, which they won in 2013-14, after both Ilford and Becontree dropped out.
Steve Kerns won four sets out of six, Ian Whiteside two and the two of them won all three doubles they played.