While two of their main rivals continue to drop unexpected points, Black Notley C have established a commanding lead at the top of division two of the Braintree Table Tennis League.

While Notley picked up 17 points from a possible 18 with wins of 8-1 over Rayne D and 9-0 against Notley D, Liberal C garnered ten points and Rayne C seven.

Liberal and Rayne faced each other in a match where David Razzell’s three singles led Liberal to a 5-4 win.

It was 5-4 again for Liberal against Notley D, led this time by Gareth Davies’s three singles.

Earlier Rayne C, with two reserves, tumbled 6-3 to Notley F.

Instead it is Sudbury Nomads who are putting in the strongest challenge for the top spot. They followed a tight 5-4 win over Notley F – Karl Baldwin unbeaten – with a 9-0 win over Rayne D.

Most of the sets were as straightforward as the score suggests, but Peter Rickwood pushed Kevin Saunders all the way before losing 3-2 (6-11, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-8).

In the match between Notley’s E and F team’s, an unbeaten Gordon Fairchild led the higher-rated side to a 6-3 win.

Like Notley C, Netts A have been moving steadily clear in division one. They followed an 8-1 win over their own B team with a 7-2 victory at Liberal B.

Rayne A had a 9-0 win over Liberal B but then struggled to get past their own B team 6-3.

Champions Liberal A had a comfortable 8-1 win over Rayne B but made harder work of beating bottom team Notley B 5-4, the highlight of which was an outstanding win for Paul Nicol, playing up from division two, over Terry Dowsett.

In the battle of the basement, Notley A moved up a place after beating their B team 7-2 but went on to lose 6-3 to Netts B.

In division three there were wins for the top three. Rayne E beat Netts D 7-2, where Alex Morgan was the only one to beat Jack Dearsley, Netts C beat Rayne G 8-1 and Notley G beat Rayne F 6-3.