Duncan Dunne proved the difference between victory and defeat for Brotherhood E this week in his side’s hard-fought 7-3 win over Windsor Magpies in Division Two of the Clacton and District League.

Dunne was the best player on show, taking an excellent hat-trick which included a 3-2 (11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9) success over Magpies’ skipper John Plummer in the closest contest of the evening.

It was one of five individual matches that went the distance. The ever-reliable Rodney Betts enjoyed two narrow wins, 11-5 in the decider against Dave Sweetland and 11-6 in the decider against Dan Wright. And although there were two also for Tony Edmonds, he ran out of steam against Sweetland who took a marathon match 3-2 (16-14, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 11-4).

Plummer added a second point for the Magpies with a win over Betts and, together with Wright, took the doubles 11-7 in the fifth against Dunne and Betts.

The result moves Brotherhood to almost-guaranteed safety 23 points clear of the drop-zone, but the Magpies are still hovering above the bottom two and will need to pick up points if they are to avoid last-minute relegation worries.

At the top, all four leading sides recorded handsome victories. Brotherhood C were 9-1 winners against Brotherhood F, although it was 11-7 in the fifth for both Kevin Pryor against Lee Allen, and for Gary Stallwood against Sandie Isaac. But Isaac enjoyed the consolation of a revenge point for the losers, beating Kevin Pryor 11-9 in the fifth – by an interesting quirk of fate the same score by which Pryor had defeated her in their first meeting of the season.

Paul Alden with three, and Shaun Beckham and Morgan Harvey with two each, gave Brotherhood D an 8-2 victory over Brotherhood H. Grant Sharpe took the two points for the losers and was involved in the only match that went to five, worn down by the relentless Alden to lose 11-3 in the decider in match 10.

Brian Parish and Peter Giles were unbeaten in Nomads Ocelots’ 9-1 win over Windsor Harriers, as were Richard Spence and Paul Hewitt as Lawford beat Windsor Magpies by the same score.

But Lawford’s second match of the week was somewhat more competitive, eventually edging it 6-4 against Windsor Owls. Spence and Hewitt took a pair apiece, and although Ian Sherwood only won one, he so nearly gained the valued scalp of Windsor’s Frank Burbidge, Burbidge edging their individual encounter 3-2 (15-13, 11-9, 7-11, 11-13, 11-8).

In Division Three Windsor Buzzards maintained their lead at the top with a 10-0 win against Walton D. But it was a closer match than the scoreline suggests, Pete Bloomfield beating Rivhu Khan 3-2 (12-10, 4-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7) and Ray Chillingworth being pushed all the way before defeating the same player in five (8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 13-11, 12-10).

Walton D suffered a second defeat of the week, beaten 6-4 by Nomads Bobcats, for whom Doug Green won three and Dave Haslam two. Khan won a couple for Walton, with Lynette Sparks and Toni Hayhow-Khan contributing a point each.

Nomads Lynx won 9-1 against a Nomads Leopards’ side fielding a guest player. Harry Beezer took the Leopards’ only point with a 3-2 (3-11, 12-10, 11-9, 12-14, 11-8) victory over Mike Hillier but the tightest finish was Brian Friday’s 11-9 in the decider win against Beezer.

Trebles for Graham Parkes and John Wrigley were instrumental in Brotherhood G’s 7-3 success over Nomads Pumas, although Wrigley was put through his paces by Alan Dockerill before emerging a 3-2 (12-10, 11-9, 11-13, 7-11, 11-6) winner. The result means both teams are now locked on 90 points in third place in the table.

The all-Windsor clash between the division’s bottom teams saw the Swallows and Kites share the spoils for a second time this season. Iris Howlett, proving practice makes perfect, stayed unbeaten for the Swallows, whilst Kayley Lamb won twice.

In Division One, Nomads Panthers cruised to a 10-0 victory over a weakened Windsor Condors to leapfrog back to the top over Nomads Lions, who were without a match. Paul Woolnough was the only Windsor player to extend a match to a fifth set, eventually going down 11-4 in the decider to Colin Webber.

The battle for third place is hotting up, with Windsor Eagles, Brotherhood A and Walton A all involved. The Eagles had a tough tussle with Walton C before eventually edging it 6-4. Gary Young took a maximum for the Walton team, although it was a close 3-2 (9-11, 11-1, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8) against Mark Smith. Smith and Gary Cattermole took a couple each for the Eagles, Cattermole defeating Derek Willis in five (12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7) in the final match of the evening to seal the win. Willis picked up just a single victory for Walton, beating Phil Smith 11-7 in the fifth, the same score by which Smith defeated Paul Meikle.

Brotherhood A recorded a straightforward 10-0 success over lowly Windsor Kestrels, with only three of the matches extended to a fourth set, a result that brings them level with the Eagles on 96 points.

Peter Burrows was unbeaten as Walton A defeated Walton B 7-3 for a second time this season. Gavin Price took a couple for the losers and shared a fine doubles win with Graham Buxton against Burrows and David Binns. The ‘B’ side’s John Rankin battled nobly but lost two of his matches in the deciding set, going down 12-10, 10-12, 11-3, 10-12, 11-5 to Binns and 10-12, 16-14, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7 to Colin Dearman.

Walton A are now 14 points behind the Eagles and Brotherhood A but have played three matches fewer than their two rivals.

At the other end of the table, Brotherhood B defeated bottom-team Windsor Ravens 9-1, a repeat of the early-season score. David North recorded his first hat-trick since he was promoted to the ranks of the Brotherhood Division One side at the start of last season – but it was a close 11-5 in the fifth against John Harvey and an even closer 12-10 in the fifth against Woo Dy. Harvey took the Ravens’ sole point with a victory in three-straight against John Owen and will feel unfortunate not to have picked up a second point, narrowly going down 14-12 in the decider to Martin Edwards.

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

Division 2
Brotherhood F 1 Brotherhood C 9
Nomads Ocelots 9 Windsor Harriers 1
Brotherhood D 8 Brotherhood H 2
Windsor Owls 4 Lawford 6
Windsor Magpies 3 Brotherhood E 7
Lawford 9 Windsor Magpies 1

Division 3
Nomads Leopards 1 Nomads Lynx 9
Windsor Buzzards 10 Walton D 0
Nomads Pumas 3 Brotherhood G 7
Windsor Kites 5 Windsor Swallows 5
Walton D 4 Nomads Bobcats 6

Tony Oswick
February 23, 2015