The first week of the Braintree Table ~Tennis League season was notable for some promising debuts and the return of once familiar faces.
In division one, new signings Matthew Brown and Lee McHugh both got off to an unbeaten start.
Brown won his three singles in Rayne D’s 8-2 win over Black Notley A while McHugh was similarly successful in Rayne B’s 10-0 win over Felsted RBL A.
Netts B included both Alistair Hill, son of Jon, and James Mullane, son of Tim, neither of whom have played in the league for some seasons.
Hill almost made a spectacular return when he pushed Netts A’s Kevin Gowlett, unbeaten in the league last season, to the limit but fell just short at 11-9 in the fifth game.
The A team emerged 7-3 better off while reigning champions Liberal A started in champion form with a 10-0 win over Rayne C.
In division two, Paul Mitchell returned to the fray after a brief absence and won one singles in Rayne F’s 6-4 defeat by Notley B.
David Razzell was another new name to make his mark. He won his three singles in Notley E’s 8-2 win over Hedingham Lions.
Oliver Hicks won his three sets to help Notley C to a draw against Rayne E while Richard Kemp was unbeaten for Nomads in their 7-3 win over Notley D.
There was a sprinkling of new names in division three, mostly taking up competitive table tennis for the first time, but it was a returning name who enjoyed most success. Dave Swash, kept out of the game for some time through illness, won his three singles to help Felsted C to an 8-2 win over Netts C.
Felsted’s B team were held to a draw by Notley G while Notley’s F team had a 6-4 win over their I team, with Mike Smith unbeaten.
Tim Townsend’s unbeaten evening led Rayne H to a 6-4 victory over Notley H while relegated Rayne G showed just why they are favourites to go back up by taking all ten sets off Rayne I.