There’s a lot of life in the Lions

After flirting with relegation last season, Nomads Lions are now proving tough opposition in Division One the Clacton and District League.

This week the Lions were involved in a tremendous tussle with Walton B, with five of the matches going the distance before they edged it 6-4. John Weller took three, John Fenton two and John Hatley one. Weller gained his hat-trick by beating Gavin Price 3-2 (10-12, 10-12, 13-11, 11-7, 11-2) Paul Newbould 3-2 (12-14, 11-3, 17-15, 9-11, 11-9) and John Rankin 3-2 (11-13, 11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10). But the doubles produced the closest finish of the evening, Price and Newbould winning it for Walton 3-2 (6-11, 10-12, 11-3, 11-5, 16-14) against Fenton and Hatley.

Walton B’s early-season relegation worries were not helped by Brotherhood B’s 6-4 victory over Walton D. Martin Edwards took a treble and John Own a pair for Brotherhood whilst Steve Noble took two for Walton.

In the clash of the bottom two teams, Sam Hume won three and Colin Beaumont two as Nomads Cougars drew with Brotherhood D. Shaun Beckham played well to take two crucial matches for Brotherhood, 11-9 in the fifth against Beaumont and 13-11 in the decider against Adam Cuthbert.

At the other end of the table, Nomads Panthers moved to the top with an 8-2 success over Walton A, one of the few teams capable of challenging them for the title. Unfortunately, Walton were forced to field a guest and so immediately forfeited three points. Their number one player, Peter Burrows, did get the better of Colin Webber and, together with Colin Dearman, inflicted a first doubles’ defeat of the season on the Panthers. But, even at this early stage after just eight matches, the Panthers look on track to retain their title.

John Andrews was unbeaten, whilst there were two each for Dave Binns and new signing Jermaine Fearon, as Brotherhood A beat Walton C 7-3. But the score-line concealed a far closer contest in which six of the matches went the distance, Brotherhood taking the four which were exceptionally tight. Binns defeated Paul Meikle 11-9 in the decider and Andrews beat the same player 11-8 in the fifth, whilst it was 11-9 in the fifth for Fearon against Mark Gale and 12-10 in the fifth against Derek Willis.

Windsor Condors found things more straightforward against an under-strength Windsor Eagles, winning 8-2. Colin Stallwood maintained his unbeaten record, John Pattrick and Annabelle Rodriguez contributing a couple each. Fred Button took the Eagles’ points although it was 3-2 (9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8) against Pattrick.

In Division Two Lawford jumped up the table with two 9-1 wins over lowly-placed teams. Paul Hewitt and Paul Phelan were unbeaten against Brotherhood I whilst Hewitt and Richard Spence took maximum points against Nomads Jaguars.

The Jaguars also faced another tough test when they faced Windsor Kestrels and it was no surprise that the Kestrels took the match 7-3. Graham Bunce and Bob Sawyer recorded trebles for the Windsor side.

In a busy week, the Jaguars bounced back to take a vital 6-4 victory in a hard-fought basement battle against Windsor Magpies, with Harry Hawkes staying unbeaten. Dave Sweetland took two for the Magpies, and John Plummer and Dan Wright one apiece. Four of the matches went to five, the closest seeing Nomads’ reserve Brian Friday defeat Wright 11-8 in the decider, and Wright beating Mike Hillier by the same score.

Tony Robinson and Darren Bunce of Nomads Tigers had good individual wins over John Harvey and John Long respectively but they were their team’s only successes against Windsor Ravens who took the tie 8-2, Gary Stallwood undefeated.

Brotherhood J are starting to find their feet at this level and will feel pleased with their performance despite losing 6-4 to leaders Nomads Ocelots. Peter Giles was unbeaten for the Ocelots whilst Daryl Lott’s pair included a 3-2 (13-11, 11-13, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8) success against Tom Burton. Burton and Gracie Edwards each won one for Brotherhood whilst Kelvin Olano took two, his 3-2 (11-13, 11-7, 13-11, 10-12, 11-9) victory over Doug Green being the closest match of the evening.

There was a similar score-line and an equally close match between Brotherhood F and Windsor Harriers. No-one stayed undefeated but two each from Mark Beckham, Elliott Attrill and Sandie Isaac gave Brotherhood the 6-4 victory.

Brotherhood C’s Kevin Pryor was forced to retire injured in his opening match with Windsor Owls but Lawrence Torr stepped up to the plate, his treble helping Brotherhood to a creditable draw. And they very nearly snatched the win, Fred Gallone taking one and narrowly losing out 11-9 in the fifth to Tricia Salter.

With Division Three leaders Brotherhood E having no game, Brotherhood H and Brotherhood G took the opportunity to move closer up the table.

Brotherhood G faced a Windsor Swallows’ side fielding a guest and made no mistake in winning 8-2, Pete Bloomfield’s 11-7 in the fifth victory over Malcolm Caley the closest match of the contest.

Brotherhood H were even more convincing against lowly Nomads Wildcats with only one of the matches – Andrew Cawley’s win over Brian Baines – extended to a fourth set. Graham Parkes and Gerald Batt were unbeaten in the 9-1 victory.

Four of the other chasing teams faced each other and both matches ended all-square.

No-one was unbeaten in the Brotherhood L v Nomads Lynx encounter. Morgan Harvey and Jonathan Found each won two for Brotherhood, although it was 11-8 in the fifth for Harvey against Kevin Hume and 11-9 in the fifth for Found against Pete Miller. Hume and Brian Friday won two apiece for the Lynx.

Ray Chillingworth took yet another maximum for Windsor Penguins in the drawn match against Nomads Pumas, with Sue Chillingworth enjoying an unexpected success in five against John Houghton. The Nomads’ points came from John Bowers and Lionel Goddard with two each, plus Houghton’s 3-2 (11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8) win over Jackie Bunce.

In the meeting of the League’s bottom two teams, Windsor Ospreys defeated Walton E 8-2. Kayley Lamb celebrated her debut League success in style with a hat-trick although it was a close 3-2 (11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 12-14, 11-8) against Lynette Sparks. Woody Fitzpatrick’s two for Windsor included a 13-11 in the decider victory over Toni Hayhow-Khan. Sparks played well to win one for Walton and, with Hayhow-Khan, take the doubles against Lamb and Lucy Burton.

Finally, Nomads Leopards were 10-0 winners over Windsor Kites, Harry Beezer starring with a first-ever League hat-trick.

* Congratulations to Sam Hume and Gracie Edwards who were part of a seven-player squad who represented Essex Juniors in four County matches over the weekend. The Essex side beat Suffolk 9-1, both Surrey and Sussex 8-2, but lost 8-2 to a strong Middlesex side. Sam won four out of the six matches in which he played and Gracie three out of four.

Division 1

Brotherhood B 6 Walton D 4;
Nomads Cougars 5 Brotherhood D 5;
Walton C 3 Brotherhood A 7;
Nomads Panthers 8 Walton A 2;
Windsor Condors 8 Windsor Eagles 2;
Walton B 4 Nomads Lions 6.

Division 2
Brotherhood F 6 Windsor Harriers 4;
Lawford 9 Brotherhood I 1;
Nomads Jaguars 1 Lawford 9;
Windsor Magpies 4 Nomads Jaguars 6;
Brotherhood J 4 Nomads Ocelots 6;
Windsor Owls 5 Brotherhood C 5;
Nomads Jaguars 3 Windsor Kestrels 7;
Nomads Tigers 2 Windsor Ravens 8.

Division 3
Windsor Penguins 5 Nomads Pumas 5;
Brotherhood H 9 Nomads Wildcats 1;
Windsor Ospreys 8 Walton E 2;
Brotherhood G 8 Windsor Swallows 2;
Nomads Lynx 5 Brotherhood L 5;
Nomads Leopards 10 Windsor Kites 0.

To view the full tables click here

Tony Oswick (November 18, 2013)