It’s been an unfortunate and unexpected start to the season for Windsor Magpies in Division Three of the Clacton & District League.
The pre-season title favourites suffered their second defeat in as many weeks, this time going down to club-mates Windsor Penguins.
Three from Kayley Rodriguez, two from Peter Aumord and one from Sharon Gowlett saw the Penguins home 6-4 but it was a hard-earned victory and the Magpies will feel that, with a little more luck, they might have squeezed the win.
Dave Sweetland took two for the Magpies and Malcolm Caley one, with the pair combining successfully in the doubles. But skipper John Plummer was edged out in the two closest matches, losing 11-9 in the fifth to Rodriguez and 13-11 in the fifth to Gowlett.
However, there was encouraging news for the junior members of the Plummer family, with Sam Plummer and Joe Plummer both taking hat-tricks in Windsor Merlins 7-3 win over Nomads Lynx.
Two matches went the distance, Joe Plummer beating Dominic Joannou 11-9 in the decider but Yulian Yaramenko just failing to record a debut win for the Merlins, going down 12-10 in the decider to Norman Jacobs.
Windsor Robins’ first match of the season finished with them winning 7-3 against Nomads Leopards. Bob Bales and new signing Neil Chegwidden both remained unbeaten.
In Division One Walton A chalked up a second 8-2 victory, this time against Windsor Hawks.
There were trebles for Gary Young and Gavin Price, although it was a tough 3-2 (11-9, 8-11, 12-14, 11-8, 13-11) for Price against Andy Vincent. Paul Woolnough’s point for Walton was an 11-9 in the fifth success over John Barton. Vincent and Ian Fielder took a point apiece for the Hawks.
Kevin Gowlett was the only undefeated player as Brotherhood A got back to winning ways with a 7-3 victory against Nomads Lions. Luke Burridge and Martin Edwards each contributed two.
There was a couple for Nomads’ Adam Cuthbert whilst the Lions also had the satisfaction of taking an excellent doubles, Cuthbert and Adam Wilkin edging past Gowlett and Burridge 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10).
Windsor Eagles began their season in excellent style with a 9-1 win against a Walton D side fielding a guest. Paul Hume and Mel Rampton remained unbeaten although it was a tight 11-9 in the decider for Rampton against Mark Gale.
Rampton and Hume also took a close doubles, 11-7 in the decider, against Gale and Paul Meikle, whilst Meikle took Walton’s consolation point with an unexpected win over Phil Smith.
It was also 9-1 for Nomads Panthers against Walton C, Greg Green and Liam Harris taking maximum points. John Hatley’s two for the Panthers included an 11-6 in the fifth win over Paul Newbould. A Peter Burrows win prevented the whitewash.
In Division Two three each for Ian Sherwood and Richard Spence, and a couple from Charlie Morris-Denholm, saw Lawford to a comfortable 9-1 win against Windsor Harriers.
Sherwood won his three singles in three-straight but it was tighter for Spence who was involved in the only match which went the distance, beating Ferdy Rodriguez 11-8 in the fifth.
John Owen took three as Brotherhood B beat Nomads Jaguars 7-3, his closest match a 3-2 (7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7) win against Daryl Lott. Martin Scarfe added a couple, which included an 11-9 in the fifth win over Chris Petrou, with Grant Sharpe taking one. For the Jaguars, Lott won two whilst Petrou enjoyed a good win over Sharpe.
Brotherhood D played well to earn a share of the spoils with Windsor Buzzards, Mark Beckham taking an excellent three, with Paul Metcalf winning two.
The crucial tie was Beckham’s 12-10 in the decider win over Andy Cawley, the only match which went to five. For the Buzzards, John Harvey won two, and Cawley and Pete Bloomfield one each.
No-one stayed unbeaten as the Windsor Kestrels v Brotherhood E fixture also ended all-square. Graham Bunce and Debra Found won two each for the Kestrels, and Jackie Bunce one.
The much-improved Found enjoyed a surprise 11-8 in the fifth win against Duncan Dunne and only just lost 11-9 in the fifth to Kevin Pryor.
Pryor and Dunne took a couple each for Brotherhood and shared a doubles win, 3-2 (11-7, 5-11, 18-16, 7-11, 11-8), against Found and Jackie Bunce.
* Team Secretaries are asked to ensure completed result cards are received by the Press and Records Secretary by noon on the Saturday after the match to enable a report of the match to be included in the weekly report.
* Players in the League will be saddened to learn of the death of Bob Sawyer. Bob joined the League in 2009 with Windsor Kestrels, the only team he ever played for in his time in the League. He made an immediate impact and, in his first season, reached the final of the Division Two Singles at the Closed before losing to Terry Kirby.
He was twice a member of a Division Two title-winning side – in 2011 alongside Frank Burbidge and Chris Petrou, and again in 2014 with Graham Bunce, Dave Martin and Alan Rutledge.
And although the Kestrels proved to be a yo-yo team, constantly moving between the top two Divisions, Bob showed he was well capable of holding his own in the top flight, registering a best average of 45% in the 2015/16 season.
The League, and the Windsor Club in particular, will miss Bob’s company and competitive spirit, and we send our sincere condolences to his family.
Walton D 1 Windsor Eagles 9
Walton C 1 Nomads Panthers 9
Windsor Hawks 2 Walton A 8
Brotherhood A 7 Nomads Lions 3
Windsor Kestrels 5 Brotherhood E 5
Lawford 9 Windsor Harriers 1
Brotherhood D 5 Windsor Buzzards 5
Nomads Jaguars 3 Brotherhood B 7
Windsor Robins 7 Nomads Leopards 3
Windsor Penguins 6 Windsor Magpies 4
Nomads Lynx 3 Windsor Merlins 7