Holders Netts A have been dumped out of the Braintree Table Tennis League team knockout cup at the first hurdle.

They came off second best by a convincing 6-2 against Black Notley B. Paul Davison was missing but James Hicks, Andy Holmes and Joe Meleschko is a far from negligible line-up.

It was Notley’s recent signing Kaung Htet Paing who made the difference. Hicks, unbeaten in 14 league outings, tumbled 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 to him and while Holmes stretched him to five games he could not quite hold on and lost the decider, also 11-6.

Paing joined Paul Nicol for a straight-games victory over Hicks and Holmes in the opening doubles and he and Takunda Nerutanga overcame Holmes and Meleschko in four games. The victory was rounded off by wins for both Nicol and Nerutanga over Meleschko.

Unusually, four different clubs will be represented in the semi-finals. Rayne A secured their place with a 5-1 win over their own C team although the one that got away was a bit of a surprise – a win in the doubles for Oliver Hicks and Paul Lombardi over Adam Buxton and Paul Lucas.

Liberal B received a walkover from Rayne B while Sudbury Nomads came past Notley A 6-3. Ken Lewis was unbeaten in singles and doubles.

Four different clubs also feature in the semi-finals of the restricted cup. Sudbury Wanderers, currently fourth in division two, look to be the side to beat. They had an 8-1 victory over Netts D, a good win for Charles Calisin over Louise Hartshorn the only blemish.

Rayne F came through by the narrowest of margins, a victory over Notley F in the final doubles at 13-11 in the fifth game with the match score at 4-4. Alex Morgan and Adam Pitt won that one but Jamie Brooks beat both of them to emerge as the only player unbeaten in singles.

Netts C also squeezed through 5-4, and they had to come from 4-2 down against Notley G. Their win in the final doubles was considerably more comfortable, Chris Krelle and James Rissen winning 3-0 (11-5, 12-10, 11-4), but it was Kierlan Richards’ two singles and two doubles that held them together.

Finchingfield are the only third division team left in the competition after they overcame Rayne G 8-1.  Horatio Bradford and John Barrett were unbeaten.

In the league division one, Liberal B’s winning run came to an end when they were held to a draw by Rayne C.

There were 8-2 wins for Netts A over Liberal C and Rayne A over Sudbury Nomads while Notley A eased their relegation fears with a 7-3 win over Rayne B, with Steve Noble unbeaten.