There is little doubt which was the outstanding result in week eight of the Braintree Table Tennis League season.
When Netts B, undefeated and only two points off the top spot, travelled to Black Notley B, a team with no wins in their first five matches, few people would have predicted a Notley B win. No one, surely, would have anticipated it finishing 10-0 in Notley’s favour
To say Alistair Hill, who had won his previous nine sets, Nikki Kennard, with six out of nine this season, and Derek Kennard never really got going is something of an understatement.
Dan Anderson won his three singles in straight games, Glen Laing was stretched to four games only once while Steve Noble had to work a bit harder with two four-game wins and one that went the distance.
The result was a dramatic realignment of the league table as Notley B jumped above their opponents into third place.
Rayne A moved into second place with an 8-2 win over Liberal A. Brandon Crouchman was in action again for the erstwhile champions but he could not repeat his previous match’s unbeaten performance.
Steve Pennell, whose season had started unusually slowly with only two wins out of nine, recaptured some of the old gloss and beat him in four games.
In the other division one match Victor Chan, Keith Martin and Ryan Pitt all won twice as Rayne B beat Liberal B 6-4. Ashley Skeggs won two for the losers.
In division two, leaders Sudbury Nomads had their closest match yet as Notley E restricted them to a 6-4 victory.
Peter Pond was the man mostly responsible. Seven months beyond his 80th birthday, he won all three sets in four games, including the scalp of the previously undefeated Karl Baldwin.
Liberal C and Notley D, equal on points in second place, came up against each other and it was the home team who emerged 6-4 better off, inflicting the season’s first defeat on their opponents.
New signing Michael Baldwin was unbeaten as Netts C beat Notley F 7-3 while Rev Matthews’ record was similarly unblemished in Notley C’s 7-3 win over Rayne C.
Sudbury Wanderers maintained their lead in division three – although Rayne E are only seven points behind with two matches in hand – by beating Rayne G 6-4. Louise Hartshorn won her three singles to make it 14 out of 15 for the season.
The other two matches in the division both finished level. Adam Pitt returned to the league after some years’ absence and won twice in Rayne F’s match with Notley G, while Jimmy Calisin was unbeaten in Netts E’s draw at Notley I.