Rayne F are slowly and almost inexorably moving away from the
chasing pack in division three of the Braintree Table Tennis League
as their rivals stutter.
After Rayne G’s defeat at the hands of Black Notley G the previous week,
it was the turn of Notley G themselves to trip up, surprisingly, against
Rayne F rose above it all with a 9-1 win over Notley H.
Dave Allinson and Peter Rickwood were unbeaten in Rayne F’s win, where
Mike Smith’s defeat of Alastair Brown was the away side’s only consolation.
For Notley G, defeat to the inexperienced Rayne J team – in only their
second season of league table tennis – came as a disappointment after
rising to second place in the division the previous week.
The match was a personal triumph for 20-year-old Scott Whiteside, who
won his three singles, including a straight-games win over Matt Brooks,
fourth in the individual averages at the turn of the year.
Alex Morgan added two singles and James Long one, which together with
a Whiteside/Morgan win in the doubles made it 7-3.
Rayne G jumped back above Notley G with a 7-3 win of their own.
They beat Netts E with three wins from Rickwood, back in his natural
habitat, and Brian How.
Paul Martin’s three singles led Liberal D to a 7-3 win over Netts E
while Chris Adkins scored the first hat-trick of his career in Notley
I’s 10-0 win over Rayne I.
In division two there was a good win for second-from-bottom Felsted
RBL, 6-4 over fifth-placed Notley F.
Haydn Upson went home undefeated, but he had to work hard for the privilege.
He beat Elliot Game 12-10 in the fifth game and Gordon Fairchild 18-16
in the fifth.
It was Declan Baines who made his mark in the draw between Notley’s
C and E teams.
With a limited number of wins behind him in his first season in division
two, he notched up two victories and then took a 2-1 lead in games against
Takunda Nerutanga before succumbing at 11-8 in the fifth.
Adi Kamma made his debut for leaders Rayne E and duly took his three
singles against Notley D in an 8-2 win.
In division one another defeat for Rayne A has left Liberal A looking
even more impregnable at the top.
Liberal had a 10-0 win over Netts B while Rayne included two reserves
in their visit to Notley A, a dangerous proposition when Steve Kerns
is among the opposition.
The highlight of the evening was always likely to be the clash between
Kerns and Adam Buxton, and so it proved, Kerns sneaking home at 12-10
in the fifth.
Also notable was Guy McKenzie’s win over Steve Buer despite losing the
fourth game 11-0. It gave his side a 6-4 victory.
Maria Boulton was unbeaten in Netts A’s draw with Rayne B while James
Hicks took his three singles and a share in the doubles in Netts C’s
6-4 defeat by Rayne C.
Neil Freeman scored a good win over Andrew Huckson in Notley B’s otherwise
unfruitful visit to Liberal B.
• In the Chelmsford individual championships, there was a first title
for Steve Kerns in the over 50s singles.
He had to come back from 7-3 down in the fifth game to beat Babel McLeod
in the final.
Notley’s Victor Chan had a notable straight-games win over Kerns in
the group stage and then knocked out the No.1 seed Trevor Lloyd before
losing to McLeod.
Netts’ Paul Davison was on the winning side in the veterans’ doubles,
where he was partnered by Gary Young.
They beat Neil Freeman and Liberal’s Mike Johnston on the way to the
final, which they won in three straight games against Lloyd and John
Takunda Nerutanga reached the final of both the division four and division