Sible Hedingham have been inching their way towards the division two title in the Braintree Table Tennis League, but last week’s win represented a bigger stride than usual.
It came against second-placed Black Notley B, whose own hopes of the title have now more or less vanished.
It was a tight match in which no one remained undefeated but all won at least once.
Richard Jennings and Roy Hooper won twice for Hedingham and Gordon Fairchild twice for Notley.
Elsewhere in division two Nomads, with Ken Lewis and Richard Kemp in full flow, beat Rayne E 8-2 while Notley E got the better of their own D team 7-3.
Bryan Speller had a good win over Sean Clift at 12-10 in the fifth game but lost to Peter Foster.
Hedingham Lions took advantage of an out-of-touch Alastair Brown to pick up three points against Rayne F.
In division one there were routine wins for the top two. Netts A beat Felsted RBL A 10-0, only their third 10-0 of the campaign, while Liberal A beat their own B team 9-1.
Adrian Pitt scored an excellent win over Ian Hayden to register the B team’s one success.
After five wins in a row third-placed Rayne A were surprisingly held to a draw by their own B team, thanks largely to the efforts of Lee McHugh, who won his three singles and shared in a doubles win with Ryan Pitt.
Netts B moved closer with a 9-1 win over Notley A in which they lost only the doubles while Rayne C picked up their first win in 12 matches, a 6-4 success against their own D team.
New signing Scott Bills’s three singles were mainly responsible.
In division three Felsted B’s challenge has faded after their 6-4 defeat at Rayne H.
Three wins from Nick Hasler, two from Tim Townsend and the doubles between them ended Felsted’s run of nine matches without defeat.
Rayne G pulled further away at the top with a 9-1 win over Notley H.
Third-placed Notley G were 7-3 winners at Netts C where Paul Martin picked up the first maximum of his career.
Felsted C scored a good win over Notley F, two places above them, while ninth-placed Notley I beat eighth-placed Rayne I 7-3.