Double delight for Netts

After a couple of slight blips, Netts’ B and D teams rediscovered their shooting boots to grab the title in divisions two and three of the Braintree Table Tennis League.

Netts B had an uncertain February when they lost to Black Notley D and just scraped home against Notley’s C and E teams 6-4.

But they came good over the final stretch when they gained 26 points out of a possible 30 in their last three matches.

Rayne F and Notley F were dispatched 8-2 and 10-0 respectively before Netts stamped their authority on the division by beating Sudbury Wanderers, the team that had once threatened to depose them, by 8-2.

Joe Meleschko and Szczepan Ziobro, their mainstays throughout the season, both won all nine games over the three matches.

Wanderers had played themselves into contention with four matches to go but stumbled on the run-in where they recorded 15 points fewer than their rivals, precisely the gap between them at the end of the season.

They ran into an in-form Rev Matthews at Notley C, where they lost 7-3, and a similarly unbeaten Sean Clift at Notley D, where they were held to a draw, before Netts B applied the coup de grace.

It was a run that cost them second place as Rayne D finished strongly with a 9-1 win and two 8-2s in their last four matches.

They too ran into Matthews but three wins from Richard Whiteside in each of their other three matches opened up a five-point gap on Wanderers.

In division three, Netts D’s slip-ups came in 6-4 defeats to Notley G and Great Yeldham shortly before the final run-in, but they swept to the title with a sequence of 9-1, 10-0 and 9-1 in their final three matches against Rayne H, Netts E and Notley H respectively.

Jimmy Calisin and son Charles were unbeaten in all three matches.

Great Yeldham, who had at one point threatened to overtake them, were slowed down by draws against Notley G and Finchingfield, where they fell foul of two of the division’s most consistent players, Graham Chinnery and John Barrett respectively.

But a 6-4 win over Rayne G and a 9-1 victory over Notley I – Doug Sanders unbeaten in both – earned them the runners-up trophies.