Leaders Brotherhood C took a giant step in the battle for the title in Division Two of the Clacton & District League with an important 8-2 victory over second-placed Brotherhood D, a result that opens up a significant 15-point gap at the top of the table.

Gary Stallwood took his three, while there were two each for Lawrence Torr and Fred Gallone, although it was a tight 3-2 (11-3, 2-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-5) for Gallone against Beckham. But the scoreline could have been even more convincing for the ‘C’ team with Lee Harvey’s two points for the losers both being close-run affairs, winning 3-2 (4-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6) against Gallone and by the same score (11-9, 6-11, 9-11, 11-7, 15-13) against Torr.

The ‘D’ side’s defeat allowed the two chasing teams in third and fourth positions to make up ground. Both enjoyed big victories over teams struggling at the foot of the table, Lawford whitewashing Nomads Jaguars 10-0 and Nomads Ocelots defeating Nomads Tigers 9-1. In the latter match, John Marshall picked up the Tigers’ point with a win over Harry Hawkes and only just failed to make it two, going down 11-9 in the fifth to Brian Parish in the final encounter of the evening.

Windsor Harriers enjoyed a good scrap with Brotherhood F before emerging 6-4 victors. Ferdy Rodriguez, who took a couple, sealed the Harriers’ success with a last-gasp 3-2 (6-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10) victory over Lee Allen in match 10. But Barry Allen was the star of the show, recording a treble that included an 11-6 in the decider victory over Isabel Barton.

Frank Burbidge took a predictable three for Windsor Owls against Brotherhood E but it was Sue Watson’s two wins against Tony Edmonds and Duncan Dunne that earned her side a share of the spoils. And she so nearly made it three, Brotherhood’s Rodney Betts just edging their individual match 3-2 (12-10, 11-4, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9). Betts also had a tight match against Tricia Salter, winning by a similar final-set score, 14-12, 9-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9.

Brotherhood H’s Grant Sharpe was unbeaten as his team defeated Brotherhood I 7-3. His team-mate James Smith-Daye contributed two, including an unexpected win over Mark Beckham, with Rowan Cottee winning one. Tom Wilkin took a couple for the ‘I’ side, his five-set (14-12, 11-9, 10-12, 11-13, 11-6) victory over Smith-Daye denying the ‘H’ team player his hat-trick.

It was a tough week for both Windsor Buzzards and Nomads Lynx, the top two teams in Division Three.

The Buzzards were given a scare by Nomads Bobcats before edging a hard-fought encounter 6-4. Bobcats’ skipper Doug Green, getting back to his best form, beat Ray Chillingworth and Pete Bloomfield in three-straight before chalking up his hat-trick with an 11-6 in the decider victory over Alan Rutledge. Keith Clubb also had an 11-6 in the fifth win over Rutledge whilst the third Nomads’ player, Laurie Farrugia, took both Rutledge and Chillingworth to a fifth set.

It was equally tight in the match between Nomads Lynx and Brotherhood G. John Wrigley was unbeaten for Brotherhood whilst Brian Friday won two for the Lynx, including a fine 3-2 (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8) win over Graham Parkes. Mike Hillier and Pete Miller added one each for the Nomads’ side and, with Friday and Miller taking the doubles 11-7 in the fifth against Wrigley and Parkes, the match ended as an honourable draw.

The all-Nomads’ match between the Wildcats and the Leopards also finished all-square, despite none of the matches being extended to a fifth set. Andrew Cawley was the Wildcats’ hero on the night, his maximum including an excellent 3-1 (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11) win over John Bonner. Martin Cunningham and Harry Barlow took a point apiece for the Wildcats, whilst Bonner and Harry Beezer took two each for the Leopards.

There was another fine performance from an unexpected source in the Windsor Kites v Nomads Pumas match, Chris Simson of the Kites recording a top-notch treble with wins over experienced players John Bowers, Lionel Goddard and John Houghton. But the Pumas took the match 6-4, Goddard and Houghton each winning twice.

Rihvu Khan and Lynette Sparks were unbeaten as Walton D beat Windsor Swallows in a competitive, sociable match at the Red Triangle venue. Sparks had a close 3-2 (7-11, 13-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-6) victory over the much-improved Kayley Lamb, but the closest match of the evening was the doubles, Lamb and Iris Howlett edging out Sparks and Toni Hayhow-Khan in five (11-6, 11-9, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9).

Windsor Ospreys were 9-1 winners against a Windsor Penguins’ side forced to field a guest player. Mike Monschau took the Penguins’ sole point and was denied a second by Woody Fitzpatrick who just got the better of him 3-2 (11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 13-11).

In Division One, Nomads Lions’ good form continued with a 6-4 victory over Brotherhood A, a repeat of the early-season score. Paul Hume’s three included an impressive victory over Greg Green whilst the irrepressible Sam Hume contributed a couple. But the scoreline could have been even more emphatic, with Brotherhood winning three of their four points in the three matches that went to a decider. Green and Alan Burgess both beat John Hatley in five-setters, whilst the two players combined to edge out the Hume brothers in the doubles 11-8 in the decider.

Three each for Colin Stallwood and Paul Woolnough saw Windsor Condors home 8-2 against Windsor Hawks, although Stallwood was pushed harder than he would have liked by Andy Vincent, eventually winning 3-2 (11-9, 9-11, 12-14, 11-6, 11-7). Annabelle Rodriguez contributed with a win in five against Ian Fielder.

Brotherhood B dispelled any prospect of possible relegation with a resounding 9-1 win over Windsor Kestrels, Martin Edwards and Gracie Edwards both remaining unbeaten. Bob Sawyer took the losers’ only point with a victory over John Owen, but Colin Beaumont will feel unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet, going down 11-7 in the fifth to Owen and 13-11 in the fifth to Gracie Edwards.

Despite playing with a guest, Walton C defeated club-mates Walton B 7-3, Gary Young and Derek Willis both taking hat-tricks.

Finally, in the all-Windsor clash, the Eagles were comfortable 10-0 victors over the Ravens, Phil Smith’s five-set (9-11, 13-15, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6) win against John Harvey the only match that went the distance.

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Division 1
Nomads Lions 6 Brotherhood A 4
Windsor Hawks 2 Windsor Condors 8
Walton C 7 Walton B 3
Windsor Kestrels 1 Brotherhood B 9
Windsor Ravens 0 Windsor Eagles 10

Division 2
Brotherhood C 8 Brotherhood D 2
Lawford 10 Nomads Jaguars 0
Windsor Harriers 6 Brotherhood F 4
Brotherhood E 5 Windsor Owls 5
Brotherhood H 7 Brotherhood I 3
Nomads Tigers 1 Nomads Ocelots 9

Division 3
Nomads Bobcats 4 Windsor Buzzards 6
Brotherhood G 5 Nomads Lynx 5
Windsor Kites 4 Nomads Pumas 6
Walton D 7 Windsor Swallows 3
Nomads Wildcats 5 Nomads Leopards 5
Windsor Ospreys 9 Windsor Penguins 1

Tony Oswick
February 16, 2015