Top-flight sides Brotherhood B and Windsor Condors were involved in the closest match of Round Two of the Clacton and District League’s Handicap Knock-Out Cup with the Brotherhood trio of Martin Edwards, John Owen and David North emerging as last-gasp 5-4 victors.

The Brotherhood side led 3-1 and 4-3 but the Condors forced the match to a final ninth-match conclusion where Edwards and Owen (0) narrowly beat John Pattrick and Jim Pallett (0) 3-2 (11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6).

In another all-Division One clash, top-team Nomads Panthers had a tough tussle against bottom-team Brotherhood D. And, when Paul Alden (+2) levelled the scores at 3-all with a fine 3-2 (11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 10-12, 11-9) win over James Denyer (-8), the match was in the balance. But then Gill Locke (-6) edged out Russell Hillier (+1) 3-2 (11-3, 9-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9) before Lee Harvey was forced to concede his singles match through injury to give the Panthers a 5-3 win.

Five Division One sides went through by beating Division Two opposition although, in two instances, the ties went to the wire.

Brotherhood F led Walton A 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3, and were on the verge of a famous victory. But Colin Dearman (-6) pulled out all the stops to beat Barry Allen (+1) 11-6 in the fifth which allowed Peter Burrows and John Rice (-8) to seal the deal with a nervy 3-1 (0-11, 11-9, 13-11, 12-10) win over Elliott Attrill and Mark Beckham (+1). It was Attrill’s only defeat of the evening.

In a see-saw match with Windsor Harriers, Walton B led 3-1 and trailed 4-3, before Gavin Price and Graham Buxton rescued them with a final doubles victory in match nine. John Rankin’s two singles wins eventually proved crucial, the Walton player (-5) beating Isabel Barton (+1) 11-8 in the fifth and then (-6) overcoming Ferdy Rodriguez (+1) 11-7 in the decider.

The 5-1 score-line for Cup-holders Nomads Cougars against Windsor Owls disguised a match in which three of the Cougars’ wins came from close-in-five matches, two of them involving Adam Jackson. Colin Beaumont (-1) beat Jackson (+1) 11-9 in the fifth whilst the unlucky Owls’ player (+1) then went down by the same score to Paul Hume (-8).

Walton C made it through with a 5-2 victory against Nomads Tigers. Paul Meikle was their star player, unbeaten in his two singles and one doubles.

Windsor Eagles recorded the only 5-0 score-line of the Round with a comprehensive victory over Nomads Jaguars with just the opening doubles going to five, Phil Smith and Fred Button (-10) beating Mike Vilka and Mike Hillier (+2) 3-2 (8-11, 12-10, 2-11, 12-10, 11-4).

It was bad all-round for Second Division sides with another two beaten by Division Three opposition.

Windsor Ospreys continued their giant-killing act with a 5-4 victory over Brotherhood C, Lucy Burton, Woody Fitzpatrick and Kayley Lamb making full use of their handicap advantage to take an unexpected place in the last sixteen.

Brotherhood H will also feel more than pleased with a 5-3 success against Division Two pace-setters Windsor Kestrels. With the score at 3-all, the tie was on a knife-edge but Brotherhood took the next two matches, David Wilkin (+1) sealing the victory by beating Alan Rutledge (-5) in five.

In the first of two all-Second Division ties, Brotherhood J caused a minor shock by defeating Windsor Ravens 5-3. Five of the matches went the distance, the closest being Tom Burton’s (+1) 3-2 (7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 14-12) win against John Harvey (-3). Burton remained unbeaten on the night.

Lawford’s early 3-0 lead against Windsor Magpies included the opening doubles in which Paul Hewitt and Ian Sherwood (-6) beat Dan Wright and John Plummer (+1) 3-2 (13-11, 11-8, 6-11, 9-11, 11-8) and the first singles where Richard Spence (-8) defeated Dave Sweetland (+1) 3-2 (11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 5-11, 11-9). Thereafter Lawford were never headed and ran out 5-2 winners.

There were two all-Division Three battles.

In the first, Brotherhood E defeated Nomads Lynx 5-1 although the first and last matches both ended 11-9 in the decider in favour of Brotherhood. Tony Edmonds and Gary Bayliss (+1) beat Kevin Hume and Peter Miller (-1) in the opening doubles whilst Duncan Dunne (0) secured the win by defeating Kevin Hume (0) in match six.

Nomads Pumas will feel pleasantly satisfied with their 5-3 success against Brotherhood G, Alan Dockerill unbeaten on the night for the Pumas.

The all-Division One tie between Windsor Hawks and Nomads Lions ended 5-4 on the night but the Lions unfortunately played with a reserve who hadn’t been re-handicapped and was therefore ineligible. The match score was thus changed to 5-1 for the Hawks.

The final ties saw Nomads Ocelots and Walton D go through on walk-overs against Brotherhood A and Brotherhood I respectively.

So in Round Three there will be four teams from Walton – an excellent result for the club – four each from Brotherhood and Nomads, just three from Windsor, plus Lawford’s one side.

And in terms of the respective Divisions, there are nine teams from One, just three teams from Two and a surprise four teams from Three.

The draw for the Third Round will be made on 17th January, with the matches to be played during week beginning 3rd February.

* In Division One of the League, John Rice stayed unbeaten as Walton defeated Nomads Cougars 7-3. There were two each for Matt Watson and Colin Dearman, although Dearman struggled against Sam Hume before scraping through 11-9 in the decider. Paul Hume won two for the Cougars and, with younger brother Sam, took the doubles.

In Division Two Windsor Kestrels were 6-4 victors against Brotherhood C, Dave Martin and Graham Bunce both recording hat-tricks.

In Division Three there was a comfortable 9-1 victory for Nomads Pumas against Nomads Wildcats. John Bowers and Alan Dockerill were undefeated for the winners with Andrew Cawley getting a consolation point for the losers with a win over Lionel Goddard.

Three for Jonathan Found, two for Debra Found and one for Vicki Edwards saw Brotherhood L home 7-3 against Walton E who will, nevertheless, be encouraged by their performance, Lynette Sparks winning twice and Toni Hayhow-Khan once.

* The first major New Year event is the Handicapped Singles Tournament which takes place on Saturday 22nd February at the Coastal Academy Sports Hall with play starting at 9.30 am.

This year the Tournament will be run with the initial round being played in groups of four or five players. This guarantees every player at least three matches.

The new format means the Tournament organisers have been forced to impose a limit of 45 on the number of entrants, so players who wish to take part are advised to enter as soon as possible.

Full details are being sent to Team Secretaries and will also appear on the League’s website.

Handicap Knock-Out Cup : Round 2
Lawford 5 Windsor Magpies 2;
Walton C 5 Nomads Tigers 2;
Brotherhood B 5 Windsor Condors 4;
Nomads Jaguars 0 Windsor Eagles 5;
Nomads Lynx 1 Brotherhood E 5;
Windsor Owls 1 Nomads Cougars 5;
Brotherhood F 4 Walton A 5;
Windsor Ospreys 5 Brotherhood C 4;
Windsor Harriers 4 Walton B 5;
Brotherhood H 5 Windsor Kestrels 3;
Nomads Pumas 5 Brotherhood G 3;
Windsor Ravens 3 Brotherhood J 5;
Brotherhood D 3 Nomads Panthers 5;
Nomads Lions 1 Windsor Hawks 5;
Nomads Ocelots w/o v Brotherhood A;
Walton D w/o v Brotherhood I.

Division 1
Walton A 7 Nomads Cougars 3.

Division 2
Windsor Kestrels 6 Brotherhood C 4.

Division 3
Nomads Pumas 9 Nomads Wildcats 1;
Brotherhood L 7 Walton E 3.

Tony Oswick (January 13, 2014)