Tom Wilkin set out his stall in the first week of the season of the Clacton & District League with a well-crafted hat-trick for Brotherhood I in their Division Two match against Windsor Magpies.

Team captain Wilkin led from the front to take three good wins against John Plummer, Dave Sweetland and Dan Wright, and share a 3-0 doubles victory with Jonathan Found (12-10, 11-6, 14-12) against Plummer and Sweetland, to help his team to a hard-earned 7-3 win.

His Brotherhood team-mate Mark Beckham took a couple and was involved in two of the closest matches of the evening, edging past Wright 3-2 (9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 15-13) but denied his treble by John Plummer also in five (8-11, 12-10, 9-11, 12-10, 12-10).

And although Found contributed a valuable point for Brotherhood by defeating the luckless Wright 3-2 (5-11, 18-16, 6-11, 14-12, 11-5), he couldn’t get past Sweetland, going down 3-2 (12-10, 11-9, 5-11, 7-11, 3-11).

Plummer was the Magpies’ best player on the night, taking two victories.

Elsewhere in the division, the three teams fancied to do well all started the new season with 9-1 victories.

Lawford breezed past Nomads Bobcats with only Tony Beezer’s surprise 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 19-17) win over Ian Sherwood blotting the Lawford copybook. Paul Hewitt and Richard Spence took trebles for the victors.

It was also comfortable for Nomads Tigers against Nomads Jaguars, John Marshall and Peter Giles unbeaten and reserve Mike Hillier taking two. Kevin Hume picked up the consolation point for the Jaguars.

The third 9-1 scoreline saw Windsor Owls defeat Brotherhood E. Frank Burbidge and Mark Salter both took maximum points whilst Duncan Dunne’s last-gasp 3-1 (11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6) victory in match 10 against Tricia Salter prevented the whitewash.

Brotherhood F were 8-2 victors over Windsor Harriers, Barry Allen taking three, and Lee Allen and Sandie Isaac two each. But the scoreline belied a closer match, with four of the matches going the distance. The two tightest matches saw Barry Allen beat Ferdy Rodriguez 12-10 in the decider whilst, in what might turn out to be the closest match of the season, Lee Allen overcame Jenny Higgins 3-2 (12-10, 5-11, 11-3, 9-11, 21-19). Rodriguez won the two points for Windsor.

Brotherhood H and Windsor Buzzards enjoyed a hard-fought battle, with the honours eventually ending even. Grant Sharpe’s three for Brotherhood included an 11-7 in the decider victory against Ray Chillingworth. Pete Bloomfield and Chillingworth each won two for the Buzzards, Chillingworth involved in another tight match before beating Graham Parkes 11-8 in the fifth.

The Division Three fixture list handed the short straw to Windsor Kites and, somewhat predictably, they lost 10-0 to title favourites Nomads Pumas. But the Kites put up a good fight, no more so than Chris Simson who took Lionel Goddard all the way before the Pumas’ skipper took their match 3-2 (8-11, 11-6, 11-13, 11-4, 11-6).

It was also 10-0 in the all-Nomads’ clash between the Ocelots and the Lynx. Tom Collins and newcomers Dave Wright and Scott Campbell celebrated with hat-tricks for the Ocelots but the Lynx nearly got themselves on the score-sheet, Wright only just scraping past another new signing, Cameron Cini, 3-2 (9-11, 11-1, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9).

In a second encounter between two Nomads teams, the Cougars won 7-3 against a Leopards’ side fielding a guest player. Tony Rayner won a couple for the losers but, in the battle of the big beasts, Mike Hillier defeated Rayner in three-straight. Gill Knight of the Cougars enjoyed a debut success for the winners, narrowly beating Roger McNaughton in five (11-6, 8-11, 13-11, 5-11, 11-9).

Windsor Ospreys fielded a guest player against Brotherhood G but still emerged 6-4 victors. Woody Fitzpatrick won three and Debra Found two but the returning Rob Bright had the satisfaction of a confidence-boosting 3-1 (11-8, 8-11, 15-13, 11-9) win over Found.

A Rivhu Khan treble and Lynette Sparks double set Walton D on their way to a 6-4 success against Windsor Swallows. In a tight-fought encounter, Kayley Lamb won a couple for the Swallows whilst there was a win apiece for her team-mates Iris Howlett and Kayleigh Stratford who, on debut, beat Toni Hayhow-Khan 3-2 (8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6) in the closest match of the evening.

In Division One, reigning champions Nomads Panthers eased into the season with a 10-0 win over a Brotherhood C team forced to field a reserve. Only one match was settled outside the regulation three, Kevin Pryor doing well to take a set off James Denyer before Denyer took it 11-9, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7.

Three each for Greg Green and Colin Stallwood were sufficient to give Windsor Condors an 8-2 success against Walton B. All the matches, bar one, were settled in three-straight, the exception being Paul Woolnough’s 3-1 (5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 14-12) win against Annabelle Rodriguez.

It was somewhat closer but also 8-2 for Windsor Eagles against Brotherhood D. Sue Welham, returning from injury, starred alongside Phil Smith, both remaining undefeated. There was a point each for Brotherhood’s Russell Hillier and Lee Harvey but Paul Alden was out of luck, going down in five to both Welham and Smith. Fred Button also made a welcome return to League action and he was rewarded with a 3-1 (7-11, 11-1, 13-11, 11-8) victory over Alden.

Felipe Rodriguez was unbeaten and Andy Vincent won two as Windsor Hawks edged past Walton C 6-4. The Hawks secured the victory by taking the last two matches of the evening, Vincent scraping it 3-2 (12-10, 11-13, 11-9, 7-11, 16-14) against Paul Meikle and Rodriguez just getting the better of Derek Willis 11-8 in the decider. Willis won two for Walton.

Four of the matches between Brotherhood B and Nomads Lions went the distance and, appropriately, the match ended all-square. Martin Edwards took a hat-trick for Brotherhood whilst there were two each for Adam Cuthbert and Adam Wilkin of the Lions. In the two tightest matches, Brotherhood’s David North defeated Brian Parish in five (6-11, 13-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8) whilst the Lions’ won a close doubles, Cuthbert and Wilkin edging a see-saw match 3-2 (0-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10) against Martin Edwards and Gracie Edwards.

However, the unfortunate news from Division One is that Walton A have reluctantly had to withdraw their team from the League through long-term injuries to key players. The division will continue to run on 11 teams and the one match played by Walton A will be expunged from the records.

* Team Secretaries are asked to ensure that result cards are with the Press and Records Secretary by 10am on the Saturday following the match.


Division 1
Windsor Hawks 6 Walton C 4
Brotherhood B 5 Nomads Lions 5
Walton B 2 Windsor Condors 8
Brotherhood D 2 Windsor Eagles 8
Nomads Panthers 10 Brotherhood C 0

Division 2
Brotherhood H 5 Windsor Buzzards 5
Nomads Jaguars 1 Nomads Tigers 9
Windsor Harriers 2 Brotherhood F 8
Windsor Magpies 3 Brotherhood I 7
Nomads Bobcats 1 Lawford 9
Brotherhood E 1 Windsor Owls 9

Division 3
Nomads Pumas 10 Windsor Kites 0
Nomads Lynx 0 Nomads Ocelots 10
Windsor Ospreys 6 Brotherhood G 4
Nomads Leopards 3 Nomads Cougars 7
Walton D 6 Windsor Swallows 4