Rayne A one week, Netts A the next. No one can accuse Liberal B’s new signing Harry Chivers of picking the easy matches.

Nor can the top two in the Braintree Table Tennis League complain of being treated unequally. Chivers did to Netts what he had just done to Rayne and won his three singles. And just like the previous match, he took the scalp of a men’s singles champion.

Lee McHugh, the 2019 champion, was tamed last week. This time it was the turn of current champion Paul Davison. After losing the first game, Davison appeared to have the measure of his 17-year-old opponent, winning the next two games 11-3, 11-8. But Chivers held his nerve to win the last two 11-9, 11-7.

He also beat James Hicks in four games and just scraped through a nail-biter against Andy Holmes 11-9 in the fifth after losing the first two games.

An Ashley Skeggs win over Hicks – also coming back from two games down – was Liberal’s only other success, giving Netts a 6-4 victory.

After going six matches without defeat Rayne C lost their third in a row when they fell 6-4 to Black Notley A. Sam Burrows was unbeaten for Notley.

Rayne B were only able to field two players, one of them a reserve, against Sudbury Nomads, but Keith Martin and Adi Kamma did enough to earn them a draw with two wins each and the doubles.

In the absence of a result from Netts B, Rayne D took the opportunity to go top of division two although it was a hard fought 6-4 win over Notley D that got them there. Particularly notable was Richard Whiteside’s win over Sean Clift, one of his three victories.

After a lengthy injury lay-off, Alan Billing has wasted little time in getting himself up to speed. He won his three singles in Notley E’s 8-2 win over Rayne E.

Charles Calisin played up from division three in Netts C’s match against Notley C, where his two singles helped his team to a draw.

Mel Cooch was another player moving up a division. He won both his singles in Notley F’s 7-3 win over a two-person Rayne F.

In division three, leaders Netts D cruised home 9-1 against Notley H where Ben Southgate did well to pinch Notley’s point with a win over Michael Goodchild.

Finchingfield and Rayne H were also 9-1 winners, against Netts E and Sudbury Strollers respectively. This time it was Richard Fewings and Geoff Barrett who took their team’s single point.

And for the record books: Rayne H turned out a team of Tims: Messrs Gowers, Schafer and Townsend playing together for the first time.