In only his second season of competitive table tennis, Bob Bales of Windsor Robins is confirming he’s one of the most improved players in the Clacton & District League.

This week, in an encounter between two of the lower-placed teams in Division Three, he recorded his third hat-trick of the season as the Robins beat Nomads Lynx 6-4. Bales’ victories were all achieved in three-straight, and included fine wins over Dominic Joannou and Jill Canning. His team-mates, Mick Coker and Oleksandra Klymenko, took one each, with Bales and Klymenko securing the match with an 11-6 in the fifth doubles success over Joannou and Canning.

Canning, in her first appearance of the season, and Joannou won two apiece for the Lynx although it was a close 11-6 in the fifth for Joannou over Coker

In another clash between two of the bottom-four teams, a Windsor Merlins’ side, fielding a guest, drew with Nomads Ocelots. Sharon Gowlett stayed unbeaten for the Merlins whilst Janet Cowie enjoyed the best night of her so-far short table tennis career, defeating Barbara Rhodes 11-4 in the decider and Hazel Blanche 3-2 (5-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 13-11).

Arthur Wells-Garrett picked up one for the Ocelots and, with Rhodes, won the doubles by edging out Gowlett and Cowie 11-9 in the decider.

In a third match between teams from the Windsor and Nomads clubs, the Penguins defeated the Leopards 5-4, the unusual score-line caused by both sides fielding a guest player.

For the Penguins, Jackie Bunce beat Dave Wright 12-10 in the fifth, Paul Dale defeated the same player 11-8 in the fifth, with the pair sharing a doubles victory. Bob Jillins won two for the Leopards, his pair including an 11-9 in the decider win over Dale.

In Division One Brotherhood A were the only one of the top three sides with a match and they turned out arguably their strongest team against Windsor Eagles, not unexpectedly ending 9-1 winners. Andy Warner and Kevin Gowlett took trebles and Gracie Edwards a couple.

Phil Smith won the Eagles’ point and took Warner all the way before losing 11-5 in the fifth. Gary Cattermole nearly got on the score-sheet, edged out by Gowlett 11-9 in the fifth.

It was honours evens between Nomads Lions and Windsor Hawks, the match ending in a draw. Adam Cuthbert of the Lions stayed unbeaten and, with Adam Wilkin, took the doubles. Wilkin completed the Lions’ scoring with a tight 3-2 (11-8, 13-11, 8-11, 11-13, 17-15) win over Felipe Rodriguez.

Andy Vincent and Roger Hance each won a couple for the Hawks, Vincent beating Phil Wolski 3-2 (9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-13, 11-4) in the only other match which went the distance.

Every player picked up at least one point in the all-Walton clash of the ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams, Walton C taking all three matches which went the distance to finish 6-4 winners.

Peter Burrows recorded a maximum, John Marshall defeated Derek Willis 11-8 in the fifth and Paul Newbould beat Colin Dearman 12-10 in the fifth. In a crucial doubles, Burrows and Newbould were 11-7 in the fifth winners against Dearman and Willis. Jason Gale won two for the ‘D’ team, Dearman and Willis one each.

In the meeting of the two relegation-threatened teams, Walton E, playing with a reserve, beat Brotherhood B 6-4. Mark Gale was their unbeaten star with Paul Woolnough chipping in with two, including a narrow 3-2 (11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 12-14, 12-10) victory over John Owen. Gale and Woolnough also notched up their side’s first doubles win of the season.

For Brotherhood, Fred Gallone excelled to take a couple, enjoying a surprise 11-9 in the decider victory over Woolnough. Owen and Graham Parkes took one each.

In Division Two leaders Brotherhood D were 9-1 winners over lowly Brotherhood G who, with a slice more luck, could’ve seen the match end all-square, the ‘D’ side winning all four matches which went the distance.

Barry Allen and Lee Allen both stayed unbeaten, Lee Allen struggling before defeating Mark Beckham 11-8 in the fifth and John Gallagher 11-7 in the fifth. Martin Scarfe’s two included an 11-4 in the fifth victory over Paul Metcalf, whilst Scarfe and Barry Allen shared an 11-6 in the decider doubles win over Beckham and Metcalf. Beckham won the ‘G’ team’s consolation point by beating Scarfe.

Brotherhood C kept up the pressure at the top, their 8-2 success over Windsor Kestrels meaning they’re just a point behind the leaders at the halfway mark of the season.

Russell Hillier and Mark Salter took maximum points, whilst Tricia Salter’s win was the only match which went the distance, an excellent 11-7 in the decider victory over Graham Bunce. There was a point apiece for Bunce and Kayley Rodriguez for the losers.

Third-placed Lawford returned to winning ways with a 7-3 success against Brotherhood E. Paul Hewitt showed all his guile and cunning to take a hat-trick whilst Charlie Denholm and Ian Sherwood won two each. Kevin Pryor took two for Brotherhood and, with Rodney Betts, won the doubles against Denholm and Sherwood.

Windsor Magpies end the first half-season at the foot of the table after their 7-3 defeat at the hands of Nomads Bobcats. Eric Lemke, Mike Wellum and Andy North all won two, North having to fight hard before beating Malcolm Caley 11-6 in the fifth. All three Magpies’ points came from the reliable bat of Dave Martin.

Finally, Windsor Harriers, another team fighting relegation, also went down 7-3, this to Windsor Buzzards. An unbeaten Ray Chillingworth was the man of the match, well-supported by Andy Cawley with two and Alan Rutledge with one. Ferdy Rodriguez was the Harriers’ hero, suffering from a bad back which forced him to concede his final match with Chillingworth but battling to defeat Cawley in three-straight and Rutledge 11-7 in the fifth.

Division 1
Walton C 6 Walton B 4
Windsor Eagles 1 Brotherhood A 9
Walton E 6 Brotherhood B 4
Nomads Lions 5 Windsor Hawks 5

Division 2
Brotherhood G 1 Brotherhood D 9
Windsor Harriers 3 Windsor Buzzards 7
Brotherhood C 8 Windsor Kestrels 2
Lawford 7 Brotherhood E 3
Windsor Magpies 3 Nomads Bobcats 7

Division 3
Windsor Merlins 5 Nomads Ocelots 5
Nomads Lynx 4 Windsor Robins 6
Nomads Leopards 4 Windsor Penguins 5
Brotherhood F v Nomads Jaguars (result outstanding)