There was no doubt about the result of the week as the 2023/24 Clacton League season got under way, Brotherhood D putting down an early marker for Division Two honours with a shock 9-1 win over pre-season favourites Brotherhood B.
Thirteen-year-old Joe Plummer (pictured above) won his three, as did Simon Smith-Daye on his return to league table tennis, with Sam Plummer winning two – an impressive team performance from the new-look ‘D’ side against established players Mark Salter, Paul Alden and Barry Allen.
The ‘B’ team’s sole success was Alden’s 11-5 in the decider win over Sam Plummer, while Alden took Smith-Daye close before losing 11-8 in the decider.
Elsewhere, Brotherhood C beat Windsor Penguins, Mark Boyland winning three, Mark Beckham two, John Gallagher one, with Boyland and Gallagher combining to take the doubles. For the Penguins, Scott Campbell won two on his table tennis return and Neil Chegwidden one, Sharon Gowlett just failing to get on the scoresheet after going down 11-8 in the decider to Beckham.
Despite three of the matches going the distance, Lawford ran out comfortable 9-1 victors against Windsor Kestrels. John Colvin and Ian Sherwood stayed unbeaten, but Charlie Denholm was denied his maximum by Kestrels skipper Graham Bunce.
In Division Three, Walton E and Brotherhood F enjoyed a good scrap but experience eventually got the better of youth, Walton edging it 6-4, Lynette Sparks unbeaten. There were a couple for Maggie Earle, although it was a tight 11-9 in the fifth against Tom Bryden and an even tighter 12-10 in the fifth against JJ Barry. Joe Sherwin won two for Brotherhood.
Experience got the better of youth once again in the all-Brotherhood clash between the ‘E’ and ‘G’ teams, Brotherhood E winning 8-2, with Tony Edmonds and Fred Gallone taking trebles. Dan Grindrod and Danny Still picked up a point each for the losers.
Dominic Joannou began his season with a maximum for Nomads Leopards in his side’s 8-2 success against Nomads Lynx. There were two each for Stu Wilkinson and Chris Wilmotte, with Dave Wright picking up the two points for the Lynx.
It was also 8-2 in another all-Nomads’ clash, the Ocelots defeating a Bobcats’ side fielding a guest, with Arthur Wells-Garrett emerging as the only unbeaten player on the night. Bobcats’ new signing Jack Riddleston enjoyed an 11-8 in the decider debut win over Hazel Blanche, but went down in three to James Horsler, whilst Alex Baldock, another player making his league debut, beat Horsler but went down to Blanche.
In Division One, defending champions Nomads Panthers got off to a winning start, James Denyer unbeaten in the 8-2 success against Walton C. John Hatley and reserve Denes Somodi took two each. Mark Ratcliffe, with a good win over John Hatley, and Jason Gale took the Walton points.
An all-Windsor battle saw the Hawks take the honours against the Eagles, winning 8-2. Daniel Young won three in his first match for his new team, with Andy Vincent and Felipe Rodriguez each winning twice. Mel Rampton and John Pattrick were the Eagles’ point-scorers, Pattrick recording a close 11-8 in the decider win against Vincent to deny the Hawks’ player his treble.
Three for Adam Cuthbert, two for Adam Wilkin and one for Jason Lloyd was enough to give Nomads Lions an opening 6-4 win against Walton B, the crucial match proving Wilkin’s 11-5 in the fifth win against Graham Buxton. Gavin Price won two for Walton, John Marshall one, with Marshall and Buxton winning a close doubles 11-9 in the decider against Cuthbert and Wilkin.
But it was a baptism of fire for newly promoted Windsor Buzzards in their first match at this level, the wily old hands of Walton A proving too good, Kevin James, Colin Dearman and Derek Willis all recording trebles in the 10-0 victory.
Windsor Eagles 2 Windsor Hawks 8
Walton B 4 Nomads Lions 6
Walton A 10 Windsor Buzzards 0
Windsor Penguins 3 Brotherhood C 7
Windsor Kestrels 1 Lawford 9
Brotherhood B 1 Brotherhood D 9
Nomads Bobcats 2 Nomads Ocelots 8
Brotherhood F 4 Walton E 6
Nomads Leopards 8 Nomads Lynx 2
Brotherhood E 8 Brotherhood G 2