Black Notley A stalwart Chris Parr came within an ace of producing the result of the season in division one of the Braintree Table Tennis League.
With only 10 wins in 24 sets, Parr faced men’s singles champion Lee McHugh, playing his first match of the season for Rayne B, with few expectations.
But McHugh could not find a way past Parr’s steely approach and found himself staring at defeat at two games to one and 9-3 down.
“I suddenly thought, ‘I could win this,’ which of course is fatal,” said Parr afterwards. And so it proved. McHugh hauled his way back into the game, took the next eight points and then the final game 11-7, leaving Parr dreaming of what might have been. Rayne took the match 9-0.
At the top, Netts A overcame a potentially difficult hurdle against a Liberal A side including both Simon Webber and Terry Dowsett.
But Paul Davison and Michael Andrews were in no mood to let that disturb them and they ran out 7-2 winners.
Second and third placed teams Netts B and Rayne A had 8-1 wins respectively over Liberal B and Notley B.
In division two Rayne D picked up only their second win of the season with a fighting 5-4 victory over Notley F. There were two wins each for Peter Rickwood and Lewis Armstrong-Kirton and one for Dave Allinson.
Notley C increased their lead at the top to 13 points with a 6-3 win over Rayne C while second-placed Liberal C were beaten 5-4 by Sudbury Nomads, one place below them.
Notley D’s 6-3 win over their own E team was a personal triumph for Alan Billing, who outscored team-mate Paul Nicol for the first time. Billing was undefeated while Nicol was beaten by Gordon Fairchild.
An unfortunate set of circumstances led to Rayne F having to forfeit the division three match to Netts C, who thus increased their lead at the top over Rayne’s E team, who dropped three points to Notley H.
Third-placed Notley G had a 7-2 win over their own I team, with three wins from Matt Brooks.