It has not been a particularly good season for Black Notley G in division three of the Braintree Table Tennis League.
They won only one of their first 17 matches and at one point stood bottom of the table.
But they have sprung to life in the last few weeks and against Rayne H they scored their third win in a row.
Much of their recent success has been down to the form of Liam Ebbs.
New to league table tennis this season, Ebbs has quickly got to grips with the game and his three singles against Rayne H brought him to 14 wins out of his last 15 sets.
His three wins, plus the doubles with Martin Bragoli, who won two singles, helped his team to a 6-4 win.
His one defeat in 15 sets was to Notley F’s Leon Hewitt and Hewitt was again in form in his team’s 6-4 victory over Rayne G. In winning his three singles, he was the only one to get the better of Charles Wilkinson.
The division’s top two both racked up 8-2 wins, Felsted RBL C against Notley H and Notley E over Rayne I, a match in which Steve Rowe, Notley’s recent signing, gained the first win of his league career.
Notley I’s Jim Davy has lived in the shadow of his teammates Matt and Jamie Brooks this season, but against Netts D he rose to the occasion to lead his team to a 6-4 victory.
Not only did he outscore them for the first time, but he remained unbeaten while they were both found wanting by Max Plumridge and Joe Belsom.
In division two, an under-performing Notley C tasted defeat for the fourth time this season.
They tumbled 6-4 to Rayne E, for whom Dave Miller was unbeaten.
Their defeat and Notley B’s 7-3 win over Rayne F cut Notley C’s lead at the top to 14 points, although the B team have played one more match.
Notley B’s win was another example of a team’s normal No.3 jumping to the front. Like Davy, Dave Parker’s three wins meant he outscored his teammates for the first time this season.
Liberal C remain the bigger threat to the leaders. Their 9-1 win over Hedingham Lions left them 19 points behind Notley C but with a match in hand.
Nomads slipped back after a draw with Notley D while Felsted A moved forward following a 10-0 win over their own B team, their first maximum success of the season.
Liberal A and Netts A continued their dogfight at the top of division one.
Liberal needed a rare appearance from Peter Hayden to capture a 6-4 win over Rayne B – Ryan Pitt getting the better of both Ian Hayden and Simon Webber – while Netts beat their own B team 7-3.
Netts C’s two-person team of Nikki Davison and Andy Holmes took all seven sets from Sible Hedingham, while Andrew Huckson and Chris Parr were responsible for all Notley A’s seven points against Rayne C.