Braintree League: 13 and out for Rayne

Ron Fosker

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Rayne E’s long winning run in the Braintree Table Tennis League division two has come to an end. After 13 consecutive wins since the start of the season, they met their match in Black Notley F, who beat them 6-4.

It was a tight match in which no one remained unbeaten and where the four sets that went to five games were shared at two each.

Gordon Fairchild set the tone early in the match by overcoming Richard Whiteside, beaten only four times in his previous 30 sets, but then surprisingly lost to Gauthier Chevallier.

Elliot Game did it the other way round and Fairchild, Game and Peter Pond all beat Dave Moles. A Fairchild/Game win in the doubles ensured the win.

Despite the defeat, Rayne E increased their lead at the top after Liberal C suffered an unexpected upset against Nomads who beat them 7-3.

In the first match between the teams, Garry Fryatt and Jon Fieldsend had taken seven sets between them, but this time could manage only two.

Karl Baldwin, who did not play in the first match, inevitably made the difference but there were also wins for Kevin Saunders over Fryatt and Lorraine Burgess over Fieldsend, both of which had gone the other way first time.

Notley C have won every match that Dan Anderson and Glen Laing have played together and it was their own D team who suffered this time, to the tune of 8-2.

Richard Baxter made his first appearance of the season for Felsted RBL but could not prevent a 6-4 defeat by Notley E, while Clive Forster’s absence for only the second time this season led to a 10-0 defeat for Netts D at Rayne D.

In division one, leaders Liberal A overcame the tough hurdle of a Netts A team including Paul Davison. Brandon Crouchman brought about Davison’s first defeat of the season (15-13, 12-10, 11-9) to lead his team to a 7-3 victory.

At the other end of the table, there was a first win on the table for Netts C (their only previous win had been a walkover against Liberal A).

James Hicks, in his second match of the season, made the difference, taking his three singles in the 6-4 success against Liberal B.

Rayne A had a 9-1 win over their own C team while their B team shared the points with Netts B where Ian Whiteside and Ryan Pitt for Rayne and Nikki Davison and James Mullane for Netts won two each.

The two Notley teams in the division played each other, and despite two wins each for Patrice Élonge and Neil Freeman, it was the A team who triumphed 6-4.  Victor Chan remained unbeaten for the A team although Élonge came close to toppling him, only going down 14-12 in the fourth game while two games to one up.

In division three, Rayne G reclaimed second place after a 10-0 win over Liberal D while Notley G were restricted to 8-2 against Notley I.

But the shock of the week came in leaders Rayne F’s 9-1 win over Rayne J, where it was Dave Allinson, leading the individual averages at the end of the year, who lost the one.

Alex Morgan can chalk up his victory, at 11-7 in the fifth, as the win of his career so far. Ted Sims and Dave Whiting were unbeaten for Rayne F.

Mia Charles made her first appearance for the season for Netts E and won twice, as did Jimmy Calisin and Michael Goodchild in Netts’ 7-3 win over Rayne H.

Tim Townsend beat Charles and Goodchild, both 11-8 in the fifth, but it was Brian Dixon who found a way past Calisin.

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