The top two teams in division two of the Braintree Table Tennis League both discovered that life may not be so straightforward in the latest set of matches.
Black Notley B and Liberal C had both started the season with three straight wins, which, as the two main challengers to Rayne E’s run to the title last season, was no great surprise.
But Nomads and Netts E saw things differently.
Nomads brought off an excellent 6-4 win over Notley B – and they did so without Ken Lewis in the side.
Richard Kemp, in his first match of the season, was their mainstay with three wins.
He was backed up by two wins from Kevin Saunders and the two combined to win the doubles to clinch victory.
Patrice Elonge, in his first outing of the season, took two singles for Notley, missing out against Kemp at 11-8 in the fifth game.
Liberal C’s stumbling block was the returning Fred Evans. The former division one title winner, out of the game for some time, had had a quiet reintroduction, winning three of his first six sets, but found some of the old magic against Liberal, with wins over Garry Fryatt in five games, Gareth Davies in four and Jon Fieldsend in three.
Joe Meleschko, in division three last year, also showed that life in the upper sphere will hold no terrors for him. He grabbed the scalps of Fieldsend and Davies, second and fourth in last year’s individual averages, and the two combined to take the doubles to give Netts a 6-4 win.
Steve Siggs was another man in form. He won his three singles for Rayne G against Rayne F but his opponents took the rest.
Richard Upson also took his three singles, in his case to help Felsted RBL A to a draw with Netts D.
In division three, Rayne H moved to within three points of leaders Felsted C, who were without a match, after an 8-2 win over Notley H. Brian How was unbeaten.
Rayne J, second from bottom last season, are in a creditable third place, but they had to give second best to Notley G, for whom Alan Billing made an unbeaten start to his Braintree League career in the 6-4 victory.
Jimmy Calisin was another player who made a mark on his league debut. He, Michael Goodchild and Peter Lewis all won twice in helping Netts F to a 6-4 win over Rayne I.
Notley’s E and F teams came up against each other and it was the lower ranked team who came off better. Takunda Nerutanga was unbeaten in their 6-4 win.