The big showdown in Division Three of the Clacton & District League ended with leaders Windsor Buzzards edging out second-placed Nomads Lynx 6-4 in a fiercely contested but sporting match.
With no player staying unbeaten, the Buzzards produced a fine team performance with Pete Bloomfield, Dan Malinowski and Alan Rutledge all winning a pair apiece. Both Rutledge and Malinowski defeated the Lynx No 1 Mike Vilka, his first reverses of the season, although Rutledge had to battle hard before winning 11-8 in the fifth.
Mike Hillier, a late call-up for the Lynx, was the Nomads’ best player on the night, beating Rutledge in four sets and Bloomfield 11-8 in the decider before losing in five to Malinowski. The Lynx also had the satisfaction of ending the Buzzards’ 100 per cent doubles record, Hillier and Vilka defeating Malinowski and Rutledge 3-1 (6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9).
With both teams having played nine matches, only seven points separate the two sides at the top – which promises an exciting title battle for the rest of the season.
Elsewhere, Walton D leap-frogged Windsor Penguins in the table with a 7-3 victory. Rivhu Khan won three, Lynette Sparks two and Toni Hayhow-Khan one whilst Jackie Bunce was the Penguins’ most successful player, her two wins including an 11-6 in the decider over Sparks.
Doug Green, Dave Haslam and Vic Little each won two for Nomads Bobcats in their 7-3 win against Windsor Ospreys, although none of them could get the better of Woody Fitzpatrick who recorded a top-notch treble.
But the scoreline camouflaged a much tighter match which could easily have ended in an Ospreys’ victory, the Bobcats taking the three matches that went close in five.
Green had to use all his experience to defeat the talented Lucy Burton 3-2 (9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-7) and the fast-improving Millie Easton 3-2 (11-9, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8), while the doubles proved equally tight, Little and Haslam scraping past Fitzpatrick and Easton in five (11-6, 11-5, 4-11, 11-13, 11-9).
Alan Dockerill with three, and two each from Andrew Cousins and John Bowers, saw Nomads Pumas home 8-2 against Windsor Swallows. Angela Barratt picked up the two Windsor points and, in the match of the evening, went down 11-8 in the decider to Dockerill.
Chris Simson played well to take a couple and Rachel Simson one for Windsor Kites against Nomads Wildcats but they were their side’s only points in the 7-3 defeat. But, in their second match against Nomads Leopards, the Kites failed to trouble the scorer, going down 10-0.
In Division One, Nomads Panthers were 10-0 winners against lowly Windsor Kestrels but Windsor’s Bob Sawyer so nearly got the Kestrels on the score-sheet, narrowly losing 12-10 in the fifth to Colin Webber.
There was double misfortune for Walton A in their match against Walton C – being forced to field a guest player and then to see Gary Young take his place in the opposition line-up. Young proved the key player, his treble in the 6-4 match victory including a crucial win in three-straight against Kevin Gowlett. Derek Willis had a mixed night for the C team, playing well to take Gowlett to a decider before losing 11-7 in the fifth but forced to retire through injury in his second match.
Nomads Lions are increasingly looking contenders for a top-two spot and they continued their quest with a 7-3 success against Walton B. Sam Hume stayed unbeaten, whilst John Fenton and Adam Wilkin provided top-class support with two each. Walton’s No 1 Gavin Price beat Fenton and Wilkin, lost in five to Hume, and shared a good doubles victory with John Rankin against Fenton and Wilkin.
Windsor Condors returned to winning ways with a 9-1 result against Brotherhood B. Paul Woolnough’s first hat-trick of the season included a win in five against John Owen but Brotherhood’s Gracie Edwards denied Annabelle Rodriguez her own treble, coming back well to take Brotherhood’s sole point with a fine 3-2 (9-11, 13-15, 11-9, 18-16, 11-5) win.
It was also 9-1 for the Hawks in the all-Windsor clash against the Ravens. Ian Fielder was involved in two five-setters, beating John Harvey 12-10 in the fifth but losing 11-8 in the decider to an ebullient performance from John Long.
The top of Division Two is developing into a three-horse race between Lawford, Brotherhood D and Brotherhood C, and all three teams recorded heavy wins this week against teams in the lower reaches of the table.
Lawford plundered nine points against Nomads Tigers, Richard Spence, Paul Hewitt and Ian Sherwood all undefeated. But they got a rude awakening in the doubles, John Marshall and Eric Lemke taking a shock 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-9) victory against Spence and Sherwood.
There was a similar 9-1 result for Brotherhood D against Brotherhood I, Paul Alden and Russell Hillier talking maximum points. But the ‘I’ team were no pushovers with Hillier taken all the way by Mark Beckham before winning 3-2 (10-12, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6), whilst the ‘D’ team’s reserve Graham Parkes scraped home 12-10 in the fifth against Tom Wilkin.
Brotherhood C recorded a whitewash 10-0 victory against bottom-team Nomads Jaguars. Jaguars’ reserve Doug Green was involved in two close matches that went to five, the closest being his 11-8 in the decider defeat at the hands of Fred Gallone.
The Jaguars had a closer encounter with Brotherhood H but it was the Brotherhood side who emerged the narrowest of 6-4 winners. Andrew North took two for the Jaguars with Kevin Hume and Caroline North each taking a point but a Grant Sharpe maximum, allied to a crucial 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 13-11) win for reserve John Wrigley over Caroline North, secured the victory for Brotherhood.
The narrow margins between victory and defeat was never more clear than in the Windsor Owls v Nomads Ocelots match which ended in a 7-3 win for the Owls. There was a hat-trick for Frank Burbidge, two for Adam Jackson and one for Tricia Salter but the Owls took all four matches that went to a deciding set. Jackson defeated John Hockley 11-6 in the fifth and Burbidge beat the same player 11-8 in the fifth but the closest match of all was Salter’s 3-2 (5-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 15-13) victory over Harry Hawkes.
A Sandie Isaac treble was the highlight of Brotherhood F’s 6-4 win over Windsor Magpies. Barry Allen took a couple for the victors, as did Magpies’ reserve Ray Chillingworth. The Windsor side also had the satisfaction of a tight doubles victory, David Sweetland and Dan Wright defeating Isaac and Allen 14-12 in the fifth.
Finally, no-one stayed unbeaten as Windsor Harriers defeated Brotherhood E 7-3. Jenny Higgins and Ferdy Rodriguez won two each for the winners while Duncan Dunne played well for the losers to take two and just failed to make it three, losing 11-7 in the decider to Higgins.
* Congratulations go to Clacton juniors Sam Hume and Gracie Edwards who represented Essex Cadets at the County Championships held at Cippenham last weekend. The team won three matches and drew the fourth, Sam winning five of his six matches and Gracie seven out of her eight. The result puts the Essex Cadets’ team in second position in their division.
* The Windsor Club’s Quiz Evening is being held on this Saturday at 7.30pm at St James’ Hall. For more information ring Jenny Higgins on 01255 432397 or 07790 240566. Full details are also on the League’s website.
Walton A 4 Walton C 6
Windsor Condors 9 Brotherhood B 1
Windsor Hawks 9 Windsor Ravens 1
Nomads Panthers 10 Windsor Kestrels 0
Nomads Lions 7 Walton B 3
Windsor Harriers 7 Brotherhood E 3
Nomads Ocelots 3 Windsor Owls 7
Brotherhood F 6 Windsor Magpies 4
Nomads Tigers 1 Lawford 9
Brotherhood D 9 Brotherhood I 1
Nomads Jaguars 0 Nomads Ocelots 10
Brotherhood C 10 Nomads Jaguars 0
Brotherhood H 6 Nomads Jaguars 4
Windsor Swallows 2 Nomads Pumas 8
Windsor Buzzards 6 Nomads Lynx 4
Windsor Kites 0 Nomads Leopards 10
Walton D 7 Windsor Penguins 3
Nomads Bobcats 7 Windsor Ospreys 3
Nomads Wildcats 7 Windsor Kites 3
December 1, 2014