Braintree League: Netts might hold key

Ron Fosker

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Netts A may be too far behind to capture this season’s Braintree Table Tennis League title, but they could still have an effect on its destination.

With Paul Davison in their side, they are always going to be dangerous opponents, and he turned out against second-placed Rayne A where his maximum haul of three singles and a share in the doubles, plus one singles from reserve James Hicks, led to his team taking half the points available.

Hector Rogers gave Davison his closest game, stretching him to 11-5 in the fifth game, but he overcame Steve Pennell in four games and Adam Buxton in three.

The damage to Rayne’s title hopes was limited, though, by leaders Liberal A needing to call on a reserve for their match against their own B team. That, and a surprise win for Robin Armstrong over Peter Hayden restricted them to a 6-4 win.

Fourth-placed Netts B took all ten sets from Rayne D while Ian Whiteside’s unbeaten evening helped Rayne B to a 7-3 win over Black Notley A.

Rayne C improved their chances of avoiding the last-but-one spot when they beat the team currently occupying that place, Netts C, 6-4. Nikki Davison was unbeaten for Netts.

Neil Freeman won his three singles as division two leaders Notley B beat their own D team 8-2. Sean Clift won the two for the D team and only succumbed to Freeman at 11-9 in the fifth.

Liberal C fell further behind when they came up against a full-strength Nomads. Ken Lewis retained his unbeaten record in his side’s 7-3 win.

Felsted RBL A are probably at their strongest when Richard Baxter, Richard Upson and Ashley Butler are in the side and it was that combination that gave them a 6-4 win over Rayne G.

And Notley C are greatly strengthened when Glen Laing is with them. His three singles and a win in the doubles with Tim Huxtable helped his team share the points with Netts E.

In division three, leaders Felsted C dropped just one set – a good win for Takunda Nerutanga over Andy Laws – in beating Notley F 9-1, while second-placed Notley E beat Netts F 8-2. Matt Brooks and Jim Davy were unbeaten.

Rayne I had mixed fortunes. In a rearranged match, they lost 9-1 to Notley F, but were then on the winning side against Notley’s H team.

Mike Smith won three for Notley, his first maximum of the season, but two wins each for Tim Townsend, Brian Dixon and Roger Hasler gave Rayne I a 6-4 victory.

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