The race for promotion from division two of the Braintree Table Tennis League is developing into a fascinating three-way battle.
Just as Rayne E had appeared to be creeping away, they were pegged back by their own F team while rivals Black Notley C and Liberal C both had big wins.
Rayne E ran into Dave Marsh in good form in their match against the F team. He won his three singles in straight games, but it was an unexpected win by Ted Sims over Dave Punt and a Marsh/Sims win in the doubles that brought them a share of the points.
Notley C played Felsted RBL A twice in the space of eight days (one was a rearranged fixture) and beat them 8-2 and 9-1.
They were strengthened by the inclusion of Steve Noble in both matches but it was Gordon Fairchild who led the way with six wins out of six.
Liberal C meanwhile had an 8-2 win of their own, against Felsted B, where Garry Fryatt and Jon Fieldsend were unbeaten.
Nomads share fourth place with Rayne F but their 6-4 defeat at the hands of Rayne G leaves them vulnerable to a takeover by their opponents, who have matches in hand.
Keith Flowers was unbeaten for Rayne G.
At the other end of the table, Notley D kept their heads above water by holding Rayne D to a draw. Nick Hasler’s three singles held Rayne together.
The division three title race also remains close as the top two both had 7-3 wins, Rayne H over Rayne J and Notley E over Rayne I, while Netts C pulled themselves into the frame with a 10-0 win over Notley G that leaves them level on points with Notley E.
Brian How retained his unbeaten record for Rayne H and Jamie Brooks his for Notley E.
Warren Baines made his first appearance of the season and was untroubled in leading Notley H to a 7-3 win over Netts D.
Newcomer Joe Meleschko had two wins for Netts.
The promising Keller Pritchard Green can be pleased with his performance in Notley F’s draw with Notley I. He had a hard fought win against Paul Martin, in which he came from two games down, and stretched Liam Ebbs to 15-13, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10.
Liberal A marched on with a 10-0 win over Sible Hedingham in division one where Rayne A jumped into second place above Netts A, who were without a game.
Rayne beat Liberal B 8-2. Adrian Pitt won Liberal’s two, but he found Steve Pennell too hot to handle to the tune of 11-8, 11-8, 11-1.
Alan Burgess tasted defeat for the first time in his fourth outing when Adam Buxton got past him in Rayne B’s 6-4 win over their own C team while Netts B have re-signed Chris Buer, whose three singles helped his team to a 9-1 win over Notley B.