It has been quite a comeback season for Derek Kennard in the Braintree Table Tennis League.
With no competitive experience for more than 20 years, he has re-entered the fray this season with an unbeaten run in division three and a good showing in his first division one outing a couple of weeks ago.
He moved up a notch in his latest outing for Netts A in the top division when he captured his first two wins at the higher level.
Against Sible Hedingham, he dismissed Mark Brown, a player with 21 wins in 54 sets, 11-7 in the fifth game, and Richard Jennings, with 16 wins out of 42, in four games.
Roy Hooper got the better of him but Netts took the rest for a 9-1 win.
Ian Hayden was another player to make his mark after a lay-off. A much shorter one in his case, but this was only his second outing of the season and he took two singles in leaders Liberal A’s 6-4 win over Rayne C.
The other two matches in the division finished level, Hector Rogers’ three singles helping Rayne B to draw with Liberal B while Andy Holmes was unbeaten for Netts B against Rayne A.
In division two, Keith Flowers’ excellent season continues as he took all three singles in Rayne G’s 7-3 defeat against potential title winners Rayne E.
Rayne D brought off probably the surprise win of the week in the division when they got the better of their own F team who, despite the alphabet, were three places above them. Dave Marsh won his three singles for the F team, but the D team managed to purloin six of the rest.
Gordon Fairchild and Dave Parker were unbeaten in Black Notley C’s 9-1 win over Felsted RBL B while Matthew Laws and Richard Upson were similarly untroubled in Felsted A’s 8-2 win over Notley D.
Disappointingly, the quarter finals of the team knockout cup featured three walkovers. In the only match played, the holders Netts A progressed to the last four with a 5-3 victory over second division Nomads.
Nomads’ Ken Lewis, unbeaten in 21 sets in the league, continued that form in the cup and won his two singles. But two wins from Paul Davison, one from James Mullane and two doubles saw Netts through.
The restricted cup paired four second division teams against four from division three with predictable results, although Black Notley H, seventh in division three, did give Felsted RBL B a good run for their money.
After two excellent wins from Declan Baines and one from Takunda Nerutanga, Notley reached 4-4 before Felsted scraped home in the final doubles.
Rayne G beat Notley I 8-1, where a good win for Liam Ebbs over Steve Willis prevented the whitewash.
A win for Jim Davy over Bruce Wickham was the eye-catching result in Notley D’s win over Notley E, but Rayne I were unable to trouble the scorers against their own F team.
Braintree players made their mark in the Chelmsford League individual tournament.
Andrew Huckson and Adrian Pitt won the veterans’ doubles, James Hicks the division two singles and Matthew Laws the handicap singles.