Rayne A’s already slim chance of catching Netts A at the top of the Braintree Table Tennis League became even slimmer when they were held to a draw by Netts’ B team.

And if it hadn’t been for a maximum performance from Lee McHugh, in only his second match of the season, it would have been a lot worse.

McHugh, who reached the final of the Chelmsford League men’s singles last week, was in sparkling form. He won his three singles and partnered Adam Buxton to a doubles win.

Buxton’s win over James Mullane was the only other set that went Rayne’s way, Nikki Kennard and Maria Boulton both winning their other two singles.

In division two, leaders Sudbury Nomads had a comfortable 7-3 win over Rayne C with unbeaten evenings for Karl Baldwin and Richard Kemp. The major surprise was a nil return for Jack Cansdale, who until his previous match had won at least two each time.

Andrew Huckson’s return to Liberal C has boosted their chances of finishing second, but it was old hand Garry Fryatt who was to the fore in their 8-2 win over Netts C. He won his three sets while Huckson lost 14-12 in the fifth game to Szczepan Ziobro and Gareth Davies lost in three games to Clive Forster.

It was a result that took them closer to Black Notley D, who had to fight hard to overcome their own E team 6-4. A 11-9-in-the-fifth win for Sean and Adam Clift in the doubles effectively sealed the win.

At the other end of the table Rayne D picked up their second win of the season by beating Notley F for a second time. Dean Andrews, in only his second match for them, was unbeaten.

In division three, Graham Chinnery’s four-match unbeaten run came to an end when he failed to get past Jamie Brooks.

Brooks took his own run to 21 wins out of 24 with a victory at 11-7 in the fifth game to help Notley G to a 7-3 win over Notley H.

Sixteen-year-olds Jack Dearsley and James Rissen were unbeaten in Netts E’s 9-1 win over Rayne F. Stewart Grant took the one for Rayne.