There were contrasting fortunes for the Black Notley teams at the top of divisions two and three of the Braintree Table Tennis League this season.
Notley C hit the front in division two with a 10-0 win on day one and gradually increased their lead throughout the season whereas the E team won their first seven matches in division three but gradually drifted away as Felsted RBL C slowly overhauled them.
For Notley C, Glen Laing remained unbeaten, Gary Jackson won 38 out of 43 until injury intervened and late signing Remy De Lynen won all 18 sets he played.
But the part played by captain Tim Huxtable should not be overlooked. In probably his best season in the league, he notched up 48 wins and held the team together
After a few ups and downs it was Liberal C – built round the ever present Garry Fryatt and Gareth Davies, who missed only three matches - who crept up into second place, 13 points behind.
Rayne E made the biggest advance. With the same team as last year – Dave Miller, Dave Punt, Steve Siggs and Paul Wellington - they jumped up from eighth to third.
Felsted C got off to a steady start in division three, but an early postponement left them playing catch-up and for the early part of the season trailed Notley E.
But after being hit by injury and illness the Notley team had to call on a phalanx of ten reserves and gradually fell away.
Felsted’s Matthew Laws, Arthur Geen and Mike Pitt on the other hand missed only two matches each and ended comfortable winners.
Notley I – Matt and Jamie Brooks and Jim Davy - surprised most people, including their club, who had ranked them below their other teams in the division, by claiming third place.
That had much to do with the impressive improvement made by 15-year-old Jamie Brooks who won 59 per cent of his sets compared with only four out of 27 last season.
Davy too made a commendable leap from 37 per cent to 55 per cent.