Brotherhood J produced the most eye-catching result in the opening round of matches of the new Clacton & District League season with a first-ever league victory, a 9-1 success in Division Three over Windsor Swallows.

Ex-Windsor player Maci Harvey and newcomer Dan Still both recorded hat-tricks whilst Harley Wood contributed a valuable couple which included a 3-2 (12-14, 8-11, 11-8, 14-12, 11-5) success over Mark Lamb. Robbie Strutt took the Swallows’ consolation point.

Graham Healey and Paul Metcalf both returned maximum points in Brotherhood G’s 8-2 win over Nomads Leopards. Metcalf’s 11-5 in the fifth success over Stuart Wilkinson was the only match which went the distance. Wilkinson and Dave Wright took a point each for the Leopards.

Title favourites Nomads Pumas were 7-3 victors over Nomads Caracals, Brian Friday, Lionel Goddard and Alan Dockerill all winning twice. But none of them could get the better of Vic Little, who excelled for the Caracals to remain unbeaten.

There was another 7-3 result in another all-Nomads’ clash, the Lynx beating an Ocelots side which fielded a guest. Four of the matches went to five, with each side winning two of them. For the Lynx, it was 11-4 in the decider for Liam Harris against Martin Cunningham and 12-10 in the decider for Dave Harris against Dominic Joannou whilst, for the Ocelots, Cunningham beat Dave Harris 11-8 in the fifth and then edged past Cameron Cini 11-7 in the fifth.

In Division One, Gary Young and Kevin James breezed through their match with promoted Brotherhood D, both staying undefeated in the 9-1 success. Paul Woolnough contributed two but went down to Brotherhood’s Scott Campbell who showed much promise on debut at this level.

Ethan Lloyd was another player making a first appearance in Division One and, against somewhat less stiff opposition, still played well to record two wins to help Nomads Lions beat Windsor Kestrels 7-3. Every player in the match picked up a point but an unbeaten Paul Hume was the outstanding player on the night. For the Kestrels, Colin Beaumont beat Lloyd whilst Bob Sawyer and ex-Kestrels’ skipper Dave Martin both defeated Roger Hance.

Champions Nomads Panthers were one of three of the leading teams to record an 8-2 victory. Sam Hume and James Denyer both took hat-tricks in their win over Windsor Eagles. Phil Smith and John Pattrick each beat Joe Andrews for the Eagles’ points.

Andy Warner and Gracie Edwards were a second pair of undefeated players as Brotherhood B beat Walton C 8-2. Peter Burrows and John Rankin took one apiece for the losers.

Windsor Hawks got off the worst possible start, fielding only two players against Walton B and predictably went down 8-2. Hawks’ skipper John Barton had a good win over Paul Meikle, and he combined with George Berry to take the doubles, 15-13 in the decider, against Derek Willis and Colin Dearman in the closest encounter of the evening.

Windsor Condors were involved in the tightest top-flight match, finally edging past Brotherhood C 6-4. Greg Green led the way with a fine hat-trick. Alan Burgess and new signing Abhi Peshkar won two each for Brotherhood although it was a hard-fought 13-11 in the decider for Burgess against Felipe Rodriguez.

The all-Brotherhood clash in Division Two between the ‘E’ and ‘F’ teams ended in the only whitewash result of the first round of matches. Barry Allen, Lee Allen and Lawrence Torr of the ‘F’ team won all their singles in three-straight, an excellent start for them but an ominous beginning for the ‘E’ team.

Only Ferdy Rodriguez’s win over Fred Gallone prevented Windsor Harriers going the same way, his side losing 9-1 to Brotherhood I, Paul Alden and Graham Parkes unbeaten. But the Harriers would argue they were unfortunate to lose the three matches which went the distance, Rodriguez losing 12-10 in the fifth to Parkes, Jenny Higgins losing 11-8 in the fifth to Paul Alden whilst Higgins and Isabel Barton went down 11-7 in the fifth in the doubles to Gallone and Parkes.

Three for Paul Hewitt, two for Ian Sherwood and one from Andrea Alleyne saw Lawford home 7-3 against Nomads Jaguars. But the three Jaguars’ players had the satisfaction of each taking a point, Kevin Hume beating Alleyne 11-8 in the decider, Andrew North defeating the same player 11-9 in the fifth with Caroline North enjoying an unexpected win against Sherwood.

It was also 7-3 for Brotherhood H against Nomads Tigers, Mark Ratcliffe excelling with three, Woody Fitzpatrick impressing with two and Frank Burbidge surprisingly contributing only one. John Hockley, with two wins, was the Tigers’ best player, with captain John Marshall taking the Tigers’ third point.

But it was the third 7-3 result which may send shivers down the spine of many Division Two players, Walton E’s Daniel Young and Jared Chelski brushing past the Windsor Buzzards’ trio to stay unbeaten, both winning their matches in three-straight. Ray Chillingworth, Pete Bloomfield and Dan Malinowski picked up a consolation win each for the Buzzards.

* Details of a new competition – the Division Three Handicap Challenge – have been announced. The competition will run from the end of October and provide additional playing opportunities for players of Division Three teams. As the competition will be played on a handicap basis, it could also provide one of the less-fancied teams the chance of winning silver-ware. Grades to be used in the competition will be issued by 23rd October. Full details are on the League’s website.

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

Division 2
Brotherhood F 10 Brotherhood E 0
Lawford 7 Nomads Jaguars 3
Brotherhood I 9 Windsor Harriers 1
Walton E 7 Windsor Buzzards 3
Nomads Tigers 3 Brotherhood H 7

Division 3
Nomads Ocelots 3 Nomads Lynx 7
Windsor Swallows 1 Brotherhood J 9
Nomads Caracals 3 Nomads Pumas 7
Brotherhood G 8 Nomads Leopards 2