As expected, Lawford took the necessary points from their last two matches to clinch the Division Two title of the Clacton & District League, leaving Nomads Tigers as 2017/18 runners-up.
So congratulations to Lawford’s regular trio of Ian Sherwood, Paul Hewitt and Richard Spence of Lawford who wrapped up matters in anti-climactic style with a comfortable 10-0 win over a weakened Windsor Harriers.
It’s the third time in the last nine years Lawford have finished in the top two places in the division, confirming their status as a genuine see-saw team between the top two divisions.
For good measure, they went on to defeat Brotherhood I 7-3, Spence getting the better of Paul Alden 11-7 in the fifth but Hewitt losing to the same player in four. There was a close doubles which saw Spence and Ian Sherwood defeat Alden and Graham Parkes 11-8 in the fifth.
So Nomads Tigers, who’ve pushed Lawford all the way, will have to settle for second place, this week finishing their programme with an 8-2 win over Windsor Harriers. Pawel Szemro starred with a hat-trick, Daryl Lott and John Hockley each recording a couple.
Elsewhere, trebles for Lawrence Torr and Barry Allen, and a couple for Lee Allen, gave Brotherhood F a 9-1 result against Nomads Jaguars. But the scoreline could have been closer, Torr edging past Andy Cawley 11-9 in the fifth, Barry Allen beating Andy North 11-6 in the fifth and Lee Allen defeating Kevin Hume 11-5 in the fifth. Cawley took the Jaguars’ consolation point.
At the foot of the table, Duncan Dunne won three, Cris Edwards two and Rodney Betts one as Brotherhood E defeated Windsor Magpies 6-4 for a second time this season. Dave Sweetland took a couple for the Magpies and, although Kayley Rodriguez won only once, both her other singles matches went the distance, losing 11-7 in the decider to Dunne and 11-5 in the decider to Edwards. The victory ensures Brotherhood E will not finish bottom, that dubious honour going to the affable Walton D side.
Walton D’s final match was against Windsor Buzzards which the Windsor side won 8-2, in the process breaking the 100-point barrier. Ray Chillingworth was unbeaten, and Pete Bloomfield and Dan Malinowski took two each. But the Buzzards will feel fortunate to have taken all three matches which went the distance, both Chillingworth and Bloomfield beating Long 11-8 in the fifth, whilst Malinowski beat Bonner 11-6 in the fifth. John Bonner played well to take the two Walton points.
In Division Three second-placed Windsor Penguins defeated Nomads Ocelots 8-2. Alan Charman won three although it was a tight 12-10 in the decider against Arthur Wells-Garrett. Debra Found and Paul Dale took two each for the Penguins as did Wells-Garrett for the Ocelots, his couple including an 11-8 in the fifth victory against Found.
Third-placed Nomads Lynx were 9-1 winners against a Windsor Swallows’ side which fielded a guest. Liam Harris and Dave Harris stayed unbeaten. Cameron Cini had a close 3-2 (4-11, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9) success against Ashley Ivell but went down in five (9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 9-11) to Mark Lamb.
So, with the Penguins and Lynx due to meet on the final day of the season, the equation is simple – the Penguins need two points to confirm the runners-up spot but only a 9-1 victory for the Lynx will ensure them that honour.
The results of those two matches also means that the point acquired by the Swallows means was sufficient to ensure they finish one point ahead of the Ocelots at the foot of the table.
The only other match in the Division saw the Nomads Pumas’ team of Andrew Cousins, Lionel Goddard and Alan Dockerill prove too good for Windsor Kites, ending their season with a 10-0 victory.
In Division One Walton A registered a 9-1 victory over Windsor Hawks, points good enough to ensure they end as runners-up this season behind Nomads Panthers. Gary Young and Kevin James took trebles and Gavin Price a couple but it was a far from easy win. Price edged a 3-2 (9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 14-12, 12-10) victory over Andy Vincent whilst it was 11-4 in the decider in the doubles for Young and Price against John Barton and Vincent. It was also 11-4 in the fifth for James against Ian Fielder but Fielder responded with his best result of the season, an 11-8 in the fifth success against Price.
Brotherhood C completed their programme with a repeat of their early-season 6-4 victory over Windsor Eagles, an encounter where only two of the individual matches were extended to a fourth set. Ollie Reynolds and Kevin Gowlett took hat-tricks for the victors.
Greg Green won three, and there were two each for Martin Hogg and Felipe Rodriguez, as Windsor Condors defeated Walton C 8-2. But perhaps the most significant feature of the match were the two wins for Walton reserve Daniel Young.
Gracie Edwards continued her good form of the Closed Championships to take her treble in Brotherhood B’s drawn match with Nomads Lions. Ethan Lloyd and Arran Hutchinson each won two for the Lions, both enjoying fine wins over John Andrews.
Champions Nomads Panthers were 10-0 victors against Brotherhood D, John Hatley, Gill Locke and Colin Webber unbeaten, although it was 11-6 in the decider for Webber against Russell Hillier, and 11-7 in the decider for Webber and John Hatley in the doubles against Hillier and Grant Sharpe.
And with Windsor Kestrels going down 8-2 to Walton B – for whom Colin Dearman and Derek Willis remained undefeated – it means the Kestrels finish eight points adrift of Brotherhood D at the foot of the table.
* In the second semi-final of the Handicap Knock-Out Cup, Brotherhood B’s Andy Warner, Gracie Edwards and John Owen proceeded to the final 5-1 at the expense of Brotherhood H – but not without a fight from the Second Division side’s Mark Ratcliffe, Frank Burbidge and Woody Fitzpatrick. In match four, Owen (-8) edged past Fitzpatrick (+1) 9-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 to give the ‘B’ team a crucial 3-1 lead – and they never looked back.
Brotherhood B will now meet Nomads Panthers in the cup final. This is the last match of the season and will be played on Tuesday 1st May at 7.30pm at the Brotherhood Hall. All spectators are welcome.
* Congratulations to Sam Hume, Ethan Lloyd, Scott Campbell and Daniel Young who came out on top in the recent Essex Junior Inter-League Competition held at Holmwood House Sports Centre, Colchester.
With only three teams competing, the Clacton side had a 6-4 victory over Colchester, followed by a draw against Southend. And with Colchester and Southend sharing the spoils in their match, Clacton finished top of the mini-League with eleven points, ahead of Southend on 10 and Colchester on nine.
* The Division Three Handicap Challenge Final between Brotherhood G and Nomads Lynx takes place on Wednesday 25th April at 7.30pm at Windsor’s St James’ Hall venue.
* Players and supporters of the League are reminded that the League’s 80th Anniversary Celebrations will be held at the Firs Caravan Park at Little Clacton on Saturday 12th May. For details and tickets (£15 each) contact from Peter White (Tel: 01255 425292) or any Management Committee member.
* The Windsor Club Quiz Night is on Saturday 19th May at St James’ Hall. Tickets are £3 per person for teams of up to six. To book a table contact Jenny Higgins on 01255 432397 or 07790 240466.
* The League’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 5th June at the Brotherhood Hall.
Windsor Condors 8 Walton C 2
Windsor Kestrels 2 Walton B 8
Brotherhood C 6 Windsor Eagles 4
Walton A 9 Windsor Hawks 1
Nomads Panthers 10 Brotherhood D 0
Brotherhood F 9 Nomads Jaguars 1
Lawford 7 Brotherhood I 3
Windsor Harriers 0 Lawford 10
Windsor Magpies 4 Brotherhood E 6
Walton D 2 Windsor Buzzards 8
Nomads Tigers 8 Windsor Harriers 2
Nomads Pumas 10 Windsor Kites 0
Windsor Swallows 1 Nomads Lynx 9
Windsor Penguins 8 Nomads Ocelots 2
Handicap Knock-Out Cup semi-final
Brotherhood H 1 Brotherhood B 5
End-of-season poser. There are four players currently playing in the League who were playing League table tennis in Division One in the 1974/75 season – and three of those players have played in Division One this season.