Braintree League: Top teams advance in cup

Ron Fosker

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The top teams in division one had very little difficulty in making their way through to the semi-finals of the team knockout cup in the Braintree Table Tennis League.

Netts B suffered a surprise defeat to Black Notley A in the first round but in round two the other teams in the top five gave little away.

Leaders Rayne A declared at 5-0 against Notley A. Steve Pennell, Adam Buxton and Matthew Brown won all five in straight games.

Champions Liberal A also did not drop a game. They had only Peter Hayden and Scott Dowsett available against Notley B but that was enough.

Netts A dropped two sets against Nomads and Liberal B one against Rayne C – and the common factor was that all three were decided by two points in the fifth game.

Nomads’ Ken Lewis beat Steve Buer 14-12 in the fifth and he and Richard Kemp beat Steve and Chris Buer by the same score. James Hicks was on the winning side in both his singles and doubles.

Liberal B surrendered only the final doubles when Dave Punt and Steve Siggs overcame Robin Armstrong and Mike Johnston 11-9 in the fifth. Andrew Huckson won all his sets.

In the restricted cup the only two second division teams left came through unscathed.

Notley D had a 5-1 win against their own F team. James Gronland beat Peter Foster for the F team’s win and came close to what would have been an excellent result against Sean Clift, in which he led by two games to one before falling in five.

Peter Pond was another third division player to make his mark. He won his two singles for Notley I against the club’s E team but the E team took the rest.

Rayne F were seldom troubled by Netts E’s two-man team and took all the sets available but Netts’ F team ensured the club will be represented in the semi-final by beating Rayne H, two places above them in the league, 5-2. Chris High accounted for Rayne’s two wins.

Netts Cadets have made their mark in division three of the National Cadet League Eastern Region.

They included two debutants for the first set of matches at Stowupland and were essentially looking to gain valuable competitive experience for future rounds.

But James Rissen, aged 12, and Charlie Lunn, 13, both pupils of Honywood School, Coggeshall, surpassed expectations with good back-up from teammate JJ Calisin, 10, of Earls Colne Primary School.

Netts secured victories over Britannia Ipswich D 5-1, Chesterton 4-2, Wensum C 6-0 and CR Alliance 4-2. Rissen excelled himself by remaining undefeated with eight wins out of eight. Lunn was just behind in the averages with only one defeat to his name. Calisin’s four wins also showed a marked improvement from the previous season.

The team will now move up from division three for the next round of matches which takes place on Sunday.

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