Rayne E are slowly establishing themselves as one of the favourites for promotion from division two of the Braintree Table Tennis League.
With a postponement and a no-match week behind them, they have been playing catch-up, but they remain the only unbeaten team in the division and last week racked up their fourth win out of five.
A strong Felsted RBL A side were the latest victims of a solid team performance.
Richard Whiteside, beaten only once this season – by Patrice Elonge – led the way again with his three singles while Laurie Sapiano added two and Kelly Yuenyongpknan scored a good win over Ian Butler.
Richard Baxter, also beaten only once up to this match, was among Whiteside’s victims, but he took his other two singles for Felsted.
Leaders Black Notley B have played two matches more than Rayne E and lead them by 16 points after their 7-3 win over Rayne F, in which Neil Freeman was unbeaten.
Dave Hardy turned out for second-placed Liberal C for the first time this season and won his three singles in a win by the same score over Netts D.
Rayne G avoided defeat for the first time when they drew with Netts E, whose five matches have all finished 6-4 or 5-5. Steve Siggs and Steve Willis won twice for Rayne, matched by two each from Netts’ Fred Evans and Joe Meleschko.
The other match in the division was a collector’s item. Notley D had not won this season. Notley C had lost only once. Scene set for a 10-0 win? Possibly. But surely not in the D team’s favour.
But that’s what happened as Bruce Wickham, Sean and Adam Clift took the lot.
The first division’s top two, Liberal A and Rayne A, both had 10-0 wins, Liberal over a far from negligible Rayne B team and Rayne A against their own C team.
Netts A dropped only one point – a good win for Victor Chan over 2016 men’s singles finalist John Cleasby – in beating Notley A.
In a tight match in which five sets went the full five games, Netts B and Liberal B shared the points while Netts C picked up their first win, 9-1 over Rayne D, a match in which Hannah Pitt also broke her duck for the season.
The performance of the week in division three came from Notley G’s new signing Alan Billing. He won all three against last season’s third placed team Notley E. He also joined Max King to win the doubles and help his team to a draw.
Tim Townsend won his three singles in Rayne I’s draw with their own J team while there were convincing wins for Felsted C, 10-0 over Notley H, and Notley F, 9-1 winners against Netts F.