A top-of-the-table clash has resulted in a change of leader in division three of the Braintree Table Tennis League.
Netts E went into their match with Black Notley F just one point behind – and came away one point in front.
It was Netts’ strength in depth that pulled them through.
Peter Lewis and Tony Smith won two singles each and Michael Goodchild one. And Smith and Lewis scored a crucial win in the doubles.
James Gronland won his three singles for Notley but Netts’ vital wins were two very tight sets against Mel Cooch. Smith won 11-7 in the fifth game while Lewis had to work even harder. He looked out of it after losing the first two games 11-6, 11-3, but rallied to win the third 11-8 and then had two almighty tussles before winning the final two 15-13, 15-13.
The tightness of that match enabled Rayne F to move in closer to the top two after beating Rayne I 10-0.
They overtake Notley I, who were restricted to a 7-3 win over Rayne H. Elliot Game was unbeaten.
Game’s fellow junior Jonny Evans was also to the fore, taking his three singles in straight games against Rayne G to help Notley H to an 8-2 win.
And it was another junior, Mia Charles, who made her mark for Netts F, taking their only two sets against Notley G. Jim Davy was the one who proved a hurdle too far.
There are new leaders too in division two and again it’s a Netts team that has risen to the summit.
The club’s D team scored an 8-2 win over Notley D while the previous leaders Liberal C came up against Nomads’ strongest team and went down 7-3.
Ken Lewis was his usual tidy self with three straight-game victories, backed by Richard Kemp, who won twice, and Kevin Saunders once.
Gareth Davies won twice for Liberal.
Notley E scored their third win in a row and like the others it was over a team who were above them in the table.
Rayne E are now below them after their 6-4 defeat. Three wins from Keith Flowers were not enough.
The two Felsted teams came up against each other with the result a predictable 9-1 in favour of the A team. Nick Butler got the one for the B team.
Rayne A took advantage of Liberal A’s inactivity in division one to pull further ahead at the top after a 9-1 win over Liberal B.
Robin Armstrong spoiled the purity of the scoreline with a commendable win over Alan Burgess.
Netts B climbed above Liberal A – although they have played two more matches – by beating their own C team 8-2 while Netts’ A team had a 9-1 win over Notley B.
The most notable feature of that match was that Notley’s win came from Dave Parker, his first in division one.
Notley’s A team had a 6-4 win over Rayne B, the team one place above them, thanks largely to three sets from Steve Kerns, although Kerns was given an unusually stiff test by Keith Martin before coming through in five games.
From Paul Davison:
A strong contingent from the Colchester League Tollgate club joined players from the hosts Netts at Earls Colne Recreation Club for the first round of the revived Netts Top 12 competition. Arranged monthly at four different levels the top premier section for county standard players will start next month.
In the A section two premier division Colchester League players Abhi Peshkar and cadet Ollie Rampton had good wins over Netts’ Nikki Davison and Brentwood-based Trevor Carter respectively to reach the final. In a fluctuating match of attacking top-spin table tennis Peshkar won by three games to two. Davison overcame Carter to take third place.
The B section saw Black Notley’s Takunda Nerutanga win over Netts players Peter Hardy and Jack Cains in the top group. Local girl Mia Charles took fourth place by winning group B on count-back.
Section C is designed for social players and young cadet players, many of whom were playing in their first table tennis tournament. Two of the younger players competed in the final with Tollgate’s Toby McLewin taking the top spot with a 3-0 win over Charlie Lunn of Coggeshall. Two of Netts’ over 55s Club members achieved creditable placings in their first tournament. A five-game thriller saw Micky Abbott beat Jackie Staplehurst in the play-off for fifth and sixth places.
The next Netts Top 12 will take place on Saturday 15 December. For information regarding activities at Netts please contact Paul Davison on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01787 220247.