Liberal C pulled off the win of the week in the Braintree Table Tennis League.
They travelled to division two pre-season favourites Black Notley B a player short but lost only one set during the evening to come away with a 6-4 victory.
Gareth Davies, who won only once in the first meeting between the sides, led the way with three singles victories and Garry Fryatt was not far behind with two.
The two also combined to take the doubles.
Fryatt lost to Gordon Fairchild but won his other two sets at 11-7 in the fifth game. Davies won all his in four games.
Their defeat leaves Notley B 15 points behind their C team as they go into the Christmas and New Year break.
The C team had an 8-2 win over Felsted RBL A where Ashley Butler saved a bit of face for the village side by winning one singles and joining brother Nick in a doubles win.
While Liberal’s was the team win of the week, individual honours undoubtedly go to the venerable Dave Punt, one of the league’s longest standing players, who overcame Ken Lewis, men’s singles semi-finalist and beaten only twice in the league last season.
Punt won 11-7, 13-15, 11-5, 11-6 and added his other two singles to lead Rayne E to a 7-3 win over Nomads that brought them to within one point of their third-placed opponents, with a match in hand.
Felsted B are beginning to look somewhat lonely at the bottom after the two teams above them, Hedingham Lions and Notley D, shared the ten points between them while Felsted were losing 9-1 to Rayne F.
Lions’ Adam Purslow was unbeaten in their draw with Notley D, for whom Keith Flowers and Adam Clift won twice.
In division one, Netts’ B and C teams both picked up 7-3 wins.
James Hicks was unbeaten in the B team’s win over Liberal B while John Cleasby and Nikki Davison formed a two-person team against Rayne C and won them all, only the doubles going beyond three games.
Leaders Liberal A had a 10-0 win over Notley A. But it was not that straightforward. Andrew Huckson twice got within a whisker of a win, but lost 11-9 in the fifth to Scott Dowsett and 12-10 in the decider to Ryan Gooday.
Arthur Geen has been in somewhat up and down form for Felsted C in division three this season, but everything went right against Notley G where his three singles helped his team to an 8-2 win.
Notley’s two wins came from Martin Bragoli. In his first season in the league, he can be particularly pleased with wins over Matthew Laws – beaten only four times before – and Mike Pitt.
Their victory meant that Felsted C pulled one point closer to leaders Notley E, who beat Rayne H 7-3.
Third-placed Notley I made up even more ground with a 10-0 win over Rayne I.
Sixteen-year-old Ewan Phillipson scored the first win of his fledgling league career in Notley H’s draw with Rayne G.
Charles Wilkinson held Rayne together with his three singles, although he was stretched to 12-10 in the fifth by Declan Baines.
Lowly Netts D put up stiff resistance against Notley F. They lost 7-3 but four of those defeats came in five games, three of which were decided by two points in the decider.
Vernon King was unbeaten for Notley.