The race for promotion from division two of the Braintree Table Tennis League twisted one way and then the other in the space of a couple of games.
First Liberal C lost out to top team Black Notley B but in their next match they became the first team to beat Rayne E.
As Rayne E had a 10-0 win in their other match and still have matches in hand, the top of the table remains as tight as ever.
The fixtures also had some sub-plots, such as Neil Freeman turning out against his former clubmates and Dean Andrews losing his unbeaten record.
Although he only played infrequently, Freeman has been in Liberal C’s squad for the past few years, but moved across to Notley B this season and his two wins were vital in giving his new team a 7-3 win over his former teammates.
He lost to Gareth Davies while Garry Fryatt beat Gordon Fairchild, but Notley’s new signing Paul Nicol led the way with his three singles.
After that disappointment, Liberal C entertained Rayne E and became the first team to beat them.
Jon Fieldsend’s three wins included a 11-7, 8-11, 17-15, 3-11, 11-6 win over Andrews. Fryatt chimed in with two wins and the two combined to win the doubles.
Rayne E had earlier beaten Notley’s C team 10-0.
Notley B’s other match was a 7-3 win over Netts D where it was Fairchild’s turn to remain unbeaten while Nicol lost to Fred Evans in one of the season’s tightest sets 12-14, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10.
Nomads held on to fourth place despite an 8-2 defeat by relegation-haunted Rayne G. With three different players they followed that up with a 10-0 win over Rayne F, and overtook them as a result.
Rayne F had earlier beaten Felsted RBL A 8-2.
In their other match, Rayne G picked up a useful five points from Netts D as did bottom team Notley C at Felsted A.
In Netts E’s other match, Evans and Joe Meleschko won three singles each in their 6-4 win over Notley D.
First and third met in division three but despite the closeness in the table there was little closeness in the match.
Rayne H stretched one set to five games and another to four but Felsted C took the rest in straight games.
Notley E had a comfortable 9-1 win over Rayne I for whom Roger Hasler won the one set, while Rayne J and Notley F shared the points.