Rayne I’s Ian Rubens has the honour of being the Braintree Table Tennis League’s oldest player.
As such he rarely makes the headlines, but he rose to the occasion against Netts D where his efforts almost singlehandedly earned his team a share of the points.
He won his three singles for the first time in nearly four years and added the doubles with Barry Mouser.
New signing Mark Jackson chipped in with a singles to bring up the five points.
Kierlan Richards and Joe Belsom both won twice for Netts.
As a warm-up Rubens had chalked up one of the best wins of his Braintree career two days earlier when he overcame the redoubtable Charles Wilkinson while playing up for Rayne’s H team.
The G team won the fixture 6-4.
After three matches Felsted RBL C lead the division three table, having dispatched Black Notley I 10-0.
Notley E won their third match in a row when they got the better of their own F team 6-4. There were three wins for Hannah Pitt and two for Jill Canning in her first match of the season.
Notley’s G and H teams fought out a draw, with Declan Baines unbeaten for the H team.
In division two, the win of the week came from Felsted A, who beat Liberal C 6-4.
Not only were Liberal third in the table last year, but they had a strong side out that included Jon Fieldsend in addition to Gareth Davies and Garry Fryatt.
But Ian Butler won his three singles, Ashley Butler scored excellent wins over Davies and Fryatt and Nick Butler showed again how much he has improved in less than two years’ competitive play by overcoming Fryatt, a player with a 64 per cent average last season.
Earlier Felsted had dealt with their own B team 9-1.
Notley’s B and C teams share top spot, the B team after their second successive 10-0 win, this time over Felsted B, and the C team after a 7-3 win over Hedingham Lions.
Adam Purslow’s win over Gary Jackson in the latter game was particularly notable.
Nomads are tucked in just behind after their 9-1 win over Rayne F. Paul Mitchell’s win over Kevin Saunders was Nomads’ only failure, revenge for Mitchell for his defeat in last season’s restricted singles final.
Rayne E’s 10-0 win over Notley D was not quite as straightforward as the scoreline suggests. Five of the ten sets went the full five games, with Dave Miller’s win at 12-10 in the fifth against Keith Flowers the closest of them.
The only match in division one featured an excellent evening for Mike Johnston in Liberal B’s draw with Netts C.
Wins over Maria Boulton and Nikki Davison do not come easily.