Liberal A have pulled off the cup and league double for the second year running in the Braintree Table Tennis League.
On an entertaining cup finals night, they overcame league runners-up Rayne A while Black Notley D took the restricted cup and Rayne I the handicap cup.
Liberal A’s passage was far from straightforward and for a time it looked as if an upset was on the cards.
Rayne A were without men’s singles champion Lee McHugh but claimed two of the first three singles and then the next doubles before the champions reasserted themselves.
John Andrews had a comfortable win over Scott Dowsett before Steve Pennell beat Simon Webber and Andrews and Adam Buxton won their doubles to lead 3-2.
But Dowsett and Webber got it back together in the second half of the match to beat Pennell and Buxton respectively.
The man holding it all together was 2017 men’s singles champion Brandon Crouchman, who won both his singles and the only doubles he played in to produce a final score of 5-3.
Notley D’s success in the restricted cup was an even closer affair, decided in the final set when Sean Clift came from two games down to beat Alan Billing.
Notley D had led Notley E 4-2, with the help of two wins from Adam Clift, before Takunda Nerutanga beat Bruce Wickham 15-17, 12-10, 13-11, 12-10.
Nerutanga and Stewart Ireland won the doubles, played out of order, to set up the finale between Sean Clift and Billing.
The handicap final was the shortest match of the evening, a 5-0 win for Rayne I over Notley F.
Rayne I are the sort of team the handicap cup was made for. Newcomers to the league, they started the season slowly and failed to win any of their first 21 matches.
But they have improved greatly in that time which meant that the handicaps of between six and 12 faced by their opponents were well beyond them.
Alex Morgan and James Long won twice and Scott Whiteside won the only set he played.