The women of Walton and Windsor went head-to-head in Division Three in the first week of the new Clacton & District League season, and it was Walton D who came out 7-3 victors over Windsor Merlins.
But Sharon Gowlett of the Merlins was the heroine of the hour, her hat-trick for the losers including excellent wins over accomplished players Maggie Earle, Toni Hayhow-Khan and Lynette Sparks, the latter two matches decided in the fifth set. Earle, Hayhow-Khan and Sparks all took couple for Walton.
There were two other 7-3 results in the Division, with the unbeaten player ending up on the losing side in both matches.
A pair each for Paul Dale, Jackie Bunce and Alan Charman saw Windsor Penguins home 7-3 against Nomads Lynx but none of them could get the better of an inspired Dominic Joannou.
And it was Arthur Wells-Garrett who won his three for the Ocelots in the all-Nomads clash against the Leopards, although two each from Stuart Wilkinson, Dave Wright and Bob Jillins were enough to give the 7-3 victory to the Leopards. The closest encounter of the evening saw Wells-Garrett beat Wilkinson 11-9 in the fifth.
It was cheering to see John Bowers of Nomads Pumas back at the table tennis table, and his one point proved to be the difference as the Pumas edged past Brotherhood F 6-4. Andrew Cousins stayed unbeaten and Lionel Goddard won two for the winners, whilst there was a couple for Dan Still for the losers. Still, with Harley Wood, also took the doubles for Brotherhood.
The final fixture in the division matched a potential top team against a potential bottom team and the result followed form, Nomads Jaguars ending comfortable 9-1 winners against Windsor Robins.
There were trebles for Kevin Hume and Harry Hawkes, but Windsor’s Bob Bales had the satisfaction of defeating Mike Vilka in the opening match of the evening and taking Hume close 11-6 in the decider.
In Division One, champions Nomads Panthers started the defence of their title with a 10-0 win against a Walton E side forced to field a guest. Liam Harris stayed unbeaten in his official top-flight debut for the Panthers.
Brotherhood A opened with a convincing 9-1 success against Nomads Lions, Andy Warner and Martin Edwards unbeaten. Adam Cuthbert took the Lions’ consolation point, an 11-5 in the fifth victory over Kevin Gowlett.
It was also 9-1 for Walton B against Brotherhood B, Colin Dearman and Paul Meikle undefeated, with John Owen’s victory over Derek Willis the sole point for the losers.
There was a familiar look to Windsor Hawks’ 7-3 victory over Walton C, with Andy Vincent winning three, Felipe Rodriguez two and John Barton one. Peter Burrows picked up two for Walton and Graham Buxton one.
Hat-tricks for Daniel Young and Gary Young guided Walton A to an 8-2 win against Windsor Eagles. Martyn Green and Mel Rampton took a point apiece for the Eagles, Green’s 3-2 (9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-4) win against Gavin Price the only match which went the distance.
Pride of place in Division Two goes to Windsor Buzzards who upset pre-season predictions by winning 7-3 against one of the fancied promotion sides, Brotherhood C.
In a match where no-one stayed unbeaten, there were two each for Andy Cawley, Pete Bloomfield and John Harvey of the Buzzards.
Russell Hillier’s couple for Brotherhood included an 11-6 in the decider victor over Harvey, whilst Frank Burbidge edged past Bloomfield 11-7 in the decider.
Relegated Lawford enjoyed an opening 9-1 victory over Windsor Magpies, Richard Spence and Paul Hewitt taking trebles, and Ian Sherwood’s couple including a 13-11 in the decider win over John Plummer. Dave Sweetland took the Magpies’ point.
It was also 7-3 as Brotherhood D beat Nomads Bobcats. David North, on his return to local table tennis, picked up a hard-won treble for the losers, his maximum including an 11-9 in the fifth win over Grant Sharpe and an even closer 3-2 (11-3, 10-12, 12-10, 12-14, 14-12) win against Lee Allen.
Sharpe, Lee Allen and Barry Allen all won two for Brotherhood, Barry Allen having a tight 11-5 in the fifth success against Caroline Page.
No-one stayed unbeaten in the Windsor Kestrels v Brotherhood G fixture, the Kestrels eventually getting home 6-4, Bob Sawyer and Debra Found each winning two, and Kayley Rodriguez one. There was a couple each for Brotherhood’s John Gallagher and Mark Beckham, Gallagher having an impressive 13-11 in the fifth success against Sawyer.
Finally, Brotherhood E and Windsor Harriers shared the spoils in the only drawn match of the week, a tight tussle in which no-one stayed unbeaten and each team won two of the matches which went the distance.
For Brotherhood, there was a pair apiece for Kevin Pryor and Rodney Betts, and one for Tony Edmonds. Skipper Ferdy Rodriguez led from the front for the Harriers, sharing a doubles win with Jenny Higgins against Pryor and Betts, and taking two singles, including a notable 11-9 in the fifth success against Pryor.
Nomads Panthers 10 Walton E 0
Brotherhood A 9 Nomads Lions 1
Walton B 9 Brotherhood B 1
Walton A 8 Windsor Eagles 2
Windsor Hawks 7 Walton C 3
Windsor Buzzards 7 Brotherhood C 3
Lawford 9 Windsor Magpies 1
Brotherhood E 5 Windsor Harriers 5
Brotherhood D 7 Nomads Bobcats 3
Windsor Kestrels 6 Brotherhood G 4
Nomads Pumas 6 Brotherhood F 4
Windsor Robins 1 Nomads Jaguars 9
Walton D 7 Windsor Merlins 3
Nomads Ocelots 3 Nomads Leopards 7
Windsor Penguins 7 Nomads Lynx 3