Netts A’s defence of their Braintree Table Tennis League title got off to a shaky start when they were held to a draw by their own C team.
And they came within a whisker of defeat.
Five-times men’s singles champion Paul Davison was stretched to the limit by Maria Boulton before edging home 11-8, 12-14, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9.
And both James Mullane and Alistair Hill were stretched to five games before overcoming Patrick Gilbert.
The C team, who have swapped identities with the B team since their original entries, were indebted to two wins from Boulton, two from John Cleasby plus the doubles for their five points.
Rayne A were another of the expected front runners not to get things their own way.
They had to bring in a reserve to face their D team and also found Adam Buxton in top form. Buxton won his three singles to give his team a 6-4 victory.
Black Notley A picked up their first win with a 6-4 victory over Sible Hedingham. Chris Parr was unbeaten for Notley.
In division two, Notley B quickly got back on track after their initial defeat with an impressive 10-0 thumping of Rayne F.
It was particularly impressive as Dave Marsh was in the opposition ranks. He took each of Steve Noble, Sean Clift and Gordon Fairchild to five games but for the first time in his Braintree League career emerged with nothing to show for it at the end.
Liberal C had a 9-1 win over Hedingham Lions, where Adam Purslow prevented the maximum haul with a win over Barry Evans.
Notley C included new signing Glen Laing for the second match running and his three singles helped his team to a 7-3 win over Rayne E.
Nomads followed up their surprise win over Notley B with a further success over the club’s D team.
Kevin Saunders was unbeaten in Nomads’ 7-3 win but it was a scrape before he overcame Adam Clift 8-11, 10-12, 11-7, 15-13, 11-5.
In division three, Leon Hewitt proved that last season’s win over Tony Stredder was no fluke by repeating the dose in Notley F’s 7-3 defeat by Rayne G.
But he was not able to get the better of Charles Wilkinson, who won his three singles.
Jamie Brooks followed up the previous week’s impressive win over Helen Barnett by taking all three for Notley I against Netts D. Matt Brooks and Jim Davy followed suit in a 10-0 win.
Barnett was not troubled in her next match, an 8-2 victory over Rayne I.
Brendan Mason produced the first unbeaten evening of his Braintree League career in Felsted C’s 7-3 win over Notley H while Martin Bragoli opened his league account with an excellent win over Tim Townsend in Notley G’s 6-4 win over Rayne H.