A match featuring three men’s singles winners is something of a collector’s piece, but it happened in the Netts A versus Liberal A encounter in the Braintree Table Tennis League.
Reigning champion Michael Andrews lined up alongside Paul Davison, whose last win came in 2018, with Brandon Crouchman, winner in 2017, at the other end of the table.
Andrews showed why he is a good bet to retain his title with a very comfortable 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-6) win over Crouchman but Davison succumbed to his 2017 counterpart by almost identical scores (11-4, 11-8, 11-6).
Davison almost came a cropper against Scott Dowsett, a men’s singles semi-finalist in 2016, but scraped home at 19-17 in the fifth game.
Crouchman, Dowsett and Zach Harrington all beat Joe Meleschko, leaving Netts with a 6-4 victory.
Netts’ B team had a win by the same score over Rayne B, with Maria Boulton unbeaten.
The match between Black Notley’s A and B teams finished with the latter in charge, also by a 6-4 margin. Dan Anderson was unbeaten.
In division two, Notley D stole a march on Liberal C in the race for the runners-up medals. They beat Netts C 7-3 while Liberal lost to Rayne C by the same score.
Adam Clift bettered his brother for the first time this season, winning his three singles for Notley D, while Sean lost to Joe Meleschko. Liberal C had only two players and it was Garry Fryatt who gained all three points.
Third division players Matt and Jamie Brooks filled in for injury/illness-hit Notley F against Notley C and both acquitted themselves admirably. Matt had a good win over Dave Parker while Jamie also beat Parker and stretched both Gordon Fairchild and Rev Matthews to the full five games.
With the top two in division three out of action, Notley G took the opportunity to close the gap with a 7-3 win over Netts E.
Back in his normal habitat, Jamie Brooks had little difficulty winning his three singles, but Charles Calisin can be pleased with his win over Matt Brooks.
Netts E fall below Notley I, who had a 9-1 win over Rayne G, where Tim Gowers’ win over Matt Stephenson was the visitors’ only success.
In the other match in the division, Kierlan Richards returned to the game after a couple of seasons’ absence and won his three singles in Netts D’s 6-4 victory over Notley H.