Liberal C produced one of the shock results of the season in division two of the Braintree Table Tennis League when they crushed leaders Sible Hedingham 8-2.
Hedingham have had availability problems all season that have prevented them opening up any sort of lead.
But there was no excuse this time. They had a full complement of Roy Hooper, Mark Brown and Richard Jennings, a combination that has been successful every time they have been together.
But Liberal also had one of their strongest teams of the season and both Gareth Davies and Jon Fieldsend went through the evening unbeaten in singles and doubles. Garry Fryatt added a win over Hooper to make it 8-2.
Spare a thought for Hedingham, though. No fewer than six sets went to five games, and Liberal won them all, two at 12-10, one at 11-9, two at 11-8 and one at 11-7.
In division one, Rayne A had a comfortable 9-1 win over Liberal B. The fact that it was not 10-0 was because Mike Johnston had an equally comfortable and surprising win over Jon Hill 11-6, 11-2, 11-5.
Felsted RBL C had a 9-1 win over Black Notley I in division three, but the score disguises a close match in which Nick Butler pulled off perhaps the brinkmanship of the season when he pulled through at 22-20 in the third game against Patrick Bugg , having lost the first two. He went on to win the next two and the set.
Fifteen-year-old Bugg, in only his second league match, made his mark with an excellent win over Matthew Laws, who had beaten him 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 only a month earlier.
Following the second round of the handicap cup, Black Notley have four teams through to the quarter final. The draw has kept them apart so they could provide all four semi-finalists – or none.
The I team, with Alan Cook unbeaten, beat Nomads 7-2 while the G team came past Rayne G by the same score. Paul Martin was unbeaten in this one.
Notley’s other two successful teams both put out another team from the club. The C team were 6-3 winners over the B team while the H team had a 7-2 win against the D team, with Jill Canning unbeaten.
Felsted’s A and B teams both reached the last eight, the A team 7-2 against Netts C, with Arthur Geen unbeaten, and the B team 5-4 against Notley F, where Leon Hewitt’s three wins for the Notley team were in vain.
Felsted failed to make it three out of three when their C team went down 6-2 to Hedingham Lions.
Rayne E and D teams came up against each other and it was the E team that triumphed 7-2. Steve Siggs was unbeaten.