A thumping win and an unexpected defeat for their rivals has brought Liberal C firmly into the picture for promotion from division two of the Braintree Table Tennis League.

Liberal were merciless against a misfiring Black Notley C, Gareth Davies, Garry Fryatt and David Razzell taking all nine sets with comparative ease.

The previous day, leaders Notley C had run into difficulties when three of their four-man squad were unavailable, allowing Rayne D to continue the recent run of surprise successes for bottom-placed teams.

Rayne were strengthened by bringing in the former division one player Steve Buer, who won both his singles. That would have been enough for victory but Dave Allinson provided the icing on the cake with excellent wins over Bryan Speller and the in-form Jonny Evans to make the score 7-2. Notley’s lead at the top was cut from 12 points to five as a result.

Liberal’s position was further enhanced by an unanticipated defeat for Sudbury Nomads, who had started the week equal on points, at the hands of second-from-bottom Notley F.

Karl Baldwin, beaten only three times in 24 sets, lost to both Adam and Sean Clift.  A win for Adam over Kevin Saunders and wins for both of them against Peter Abbott gave Notley F five points to lift them two places up the table.

Fourth-placed Rayne C had an 8-1 win over Notley E.

In division three, Netts C increased their lead at the top with an 8-1 win over their own D team while second-placed Rayne E beat Notley G 6-3. Jack Dearsley gained Netts D’s only point with a win over Peter Clark. For Rayne E, Dave Whiting turned out for the first time since mid-October and won his three singles.

Peter Taylor was unbeaten in Rayne F’s 5-4 win over Notley H.