In the first week of the Group Stage of the Handicap Cup competition organised by the Clacton & District League, holders Nomads Panthers were handed a tricky tie against Brotherhood B of Division Two.
And it was the lower-ranked team who took the honours, Mark Salter, Paul Alden and Barry Allen (pictured above, photo by Roger Hance) of Brotherhood edging a tight match to secure a narrow 5-4 victory in the opening Group A encounter.
Brotherhood won the last two individual matches of the contest, Allen (+3) levelling the score with a win over John Hatley (-8), with Salter and Alden (+2) taking the final doubles against James Denyer and Greg Green (-8).
The other match in the group also saw Division Two defeat Division One, albeit in different circumstances, Nomads Lions forced to field a guest player and unsurprisingly going down 5-0 to Walton D.
Pride of place in Group B goes to Dan Grindrod, Andrey Pavlov and Lucy Carvell of Brotherhood E who overcame fellow-Division Three side Windsor Magpies 5-1.
And it was also 5-1 in the clash of two Windsor Second Division teams, Debra Found, Allen Denyer and Jackie Bunce of the Kestrels easing past the Harriers.
The best fightback of the week came in Group C where Windsor Buzzards recovered from being 4-1 down against Windsor Penguins to take the last four matches of the tie to win 5-4. The crucial game proved to be match eight, Ray Chillingworth (-5) edging out Sharon Gowlett (+1) 3-2 (10-12, 11-8, 13-11, 5-11, 11-9) to take the encounter into a decider.
And in a second match where a Division Two team defeated a Division Three side, Brotherhood D beat Nomads Ocelots 5-2. The closest match was the opening doubles, Duncan Dunne and Tony Edmonds (-8) setting Brotherhood on their way to victory with a close 3-2 (15-17, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9) win over Lily Lorimer and Hazel Blanche (+1).
In Group D the battle of two top-flight Walton sides ended in a 5-2 win for the ‘C’ team against the ‘A’ team. Mark Gale won his two singles and one doubles.
The all-Division Two clash between Brotherhood C and Lawford ended 5-1 in favour of Brotherhood who took both matches which went the distance, the closest being Mark Beckham’s (+1) 11-9 in the decider win over Charlie Denholm (-1).
Brotherhood F of Division Three will feel pleased with their 5-2 result in Group E against Second Division Nomads Jaguars after the match had, at one time, been level at 2-2. Tom Bryden was their unbeaten hero.
Walton B made an excellent start in Group F, recording a 5-1 success against fellow-Division One side Windsor Eagles. Graham Buxton and John Marshall were both undefeated on the night, Buxton (+1) sealing the victory with an 11-5 in the fifth win over John Pattrick (-5).
And in another top-flight encounter, Brotherhood A took the opening three matches against Windsor Hawks and went on to win 5-2.
Finally, in Group G the Division Three clash between Nomads Leopards and Windsor Merlins went the way of the Leopards who won by an unexpectedly comfortable 5-0 margin, only two of the individual matches extended to a fourth set.
* Updated results and tables will be periodically posted on the League website – see ‘KO Cup Results and Tables’.
Nomads Lions 0 Walton D 5
Nomads Panthers 4 Brotherhood B 5
Windsor Harriers 1 Windsor Kestrels 5
Brotherhood E 5 Windsor Magpies 1
Windsor Penguins 4 Windsor Buzzards 5
Nomads Ocelots 2 Brotherhood D 5
Walton C 5 Walton A 2
Lawford 1 Brotherhood C 5
Brotherhood F 5 Nomads Jaguars 2
Windsor Hawks 2 Brotherhood A 5
Walton B 5 Windsor Eagles 1
Windsor Merlins 0 Nomads Leopards 5