If ever there was a match result that didn’t reflect the match in the Braintree Table Tennis League, it was Rayne A’s 8-1 win over Black Notley A.
It looks to be a predictable scoreline for a team in second place against the team third from bottom. But it was far from that.
No fewer than five sets were decided in Rayne’s favour by two points in the final game, and in four of those Notley had led by two games to one.
Chris Parr was responsible for Notley’s only point with a win over Dean Andrews. With a small twist of fate he could have gone home with a hat-trick. He led both John Andrews and Steve Pennell but Andrews won the final two games 11-7, 11-9 while Pennell walked an even narrower tightrope, winning 11-9, 11-9.
Guy McKenzie missed out against Dean Andrews at 11-9 in the fifth and came even closer to John Andrews before succumbing by the slightly curious scores of 8-11, 11-1, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10.
Alan Billing, playing up from the second division, also got in on the act. After losing the first game against Dean Andrews he looked comfortable after winning the next two 11-7, 11-2, but Andrews was not done and won games four and five by 11-9.
Both Keith Martin and Dave Moles pushed James Hicks all the way in Netts A’s 7-2 win over Rayne B. Moles lost at 11-8 in the fifth while Hicks beat Martin 3-2 (12-10, 8-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9).
Brandon Crouchman turned out for only the second time this season to help Liberal A to a 6-3 win over their own B team while Netts B had a fairly straightforward 8-1 win over Notley B, Neil Freeman’s win over James Mullane the only one to go against them.
In division two Liberal C moved back up to second place with a 9-0 win over Rayne D while Sudbury Nomads went down 5-4 to Notley D. It was a team effort from Notley with Alan Billing and Bryan Speller winning two and Stewart Ireland one.
Leaders Notley C were given a good workout by their own E team but two wins each for Jonny Evans and Glen Laing and one from Tim Huxtable left them on the right end of a 5-4 scoreline.
Richard Jennings made his first appearance of the season for Rayne C but was powerless to prevent another Adam Clift hat-trick leading the visitors to a 5-4 win.