As the Clacton & District League season enters its final week, Windsor Buzzards are within touching distance of taking the Division Two title, needing just two points from their last match to confirm themselves as champions.

And, having headed the table for most of the season, Pete Bloomfield, Andy Cawley, Ray Chillingworth and Dave Martin have certainly proved themselves the best all-round side in the division.

This week, they defeated lowly Windsor Harriers 9-1, Chillingworth and Bloomfield taking trebles, and Andy Cawley two, Isabel Barton getting a consolation point for the Harriers with an unexpected 11-7 in the fifth victory over Cawley. Alas, for the Harriers, the result confirms they will finish bottom.

Nomads Jaguars’ strongest trio turned out against a severely depleted Brotherhood B and so the 8-2 result was no surprise. Chris Parr stayed unbeaten, whilst there were two each for Daryl Lott and Chris Petrou, as there was for Brotherhood’s Mark Salter.

Lawford fielded a guest but still ran out 7-3 winners against Windsor Kestrels. But it was no walk in the park, with four of the Lawford wins coming from five-setters – Ian Sherwood against both Debra Found and Graham Bunce, Charlie Denholm also against Bunce, whilst Sherwood and Denholm took the doubles 11-5 in the fifth against Found and Allen Denyer.

And so, with just one match to play, Walton D currently lie in second place, nine points behind the Buzzards and unlikely to take the title but favourites to take the runners-up spot, sitting two points ahead of Lawford and four in front of Brotherhood B.

Elsewhere, three for Mark Boyland, two for Mark Beckham, one from John Gallagher, plus a doubles win for the two Marks, gave Brotherhood C a 7-3 victory over Brotherhood D. Kevin Pryor won two for the losers and Rodney Betts one. This result leaves the Brotherhood team two points ahead of Windsor Kestrels who currently fill the second relegation position.

It couldn’t be closer in Division Three where the top two teams enter the final week level on 141 points.

Windsor Merlins recorded a 9-1 victory over Brotherhood F, Sam Plummer and Joe Plummer taking trebles, with Ruby Gallagher’s two including an important 3-2 (10-12, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10) win over JJ Barry. Tom Bryden picked up the Brotherhood point.

But Windsor Penguins pulled level with a 10-0 success against Nomads Lynx, Annabelle Stallwood, Sharon Gowlett and Kayley Rodriguez unbeaten in a match where five of the six participants were women players.

So the title depends on the final matches, with the Merlins due to play Brotherhood E, and the Penguins having, on paper, an easier match against bottom team Nomads Bobcats.

Windsor Magpies edged a close match 6-4 against Walton E. Paul Woolnough remained unbeaten for Walton while there were a pair apiece for John Plummer and Dave Sweetland of the Magpies. Crucially, the Magpies won all three matches which went the distance, the closest being Plummer’s 14-12 in the decider victory over Lynette Sparks.

Trebles for Dominic Joannou and Bob Jillins were the bedrock of Nomads Leopards 7-3 success against Nomads Bobcats, although it was a tight 11-8 in the fifth for Joannou against John Morley, and an even tighter 12-10 in the fifth for Jillins against Doug Green. Morley and Green took a point each for the losers, and shared a five-set doubles win against Jillins and Stuart Wilkinson.

With one match to play, the Leopards are favourites to secure third spot, standing three points ahead of Walton E, with the two teams due to meet next week.

No-one stayed undefeated as Nomads Ocelots edged past Brotherhood E 6-4. Chris Wilmotte and Arthur Wells-Garrett each won two for the Ocelots, and Hazel Blanche one, Wilmotte beating Dan Grindrod 11-7 in the decider and Blanche beating Lucy Carvell 11-8 in the decider. Grindrod and Yulian Yaramenko each won two for Brotherhood, Grindrod winning 11-9 in the decider against Wells-Garrett.

In Division One Nomads Panthers, playing with a reserve, ended their season with a 6-4 defeat at the hands of Walton B, only their third win of the season. Pete Burrows’ hat-trick for Walton included a 3-2 (11-6, 10-12, 6-11, 11-7, 13-11) win over Greg Green which ended Green’s 100% season record. There were a couple for Gavin Price and one for Graham Buxton. Green won a couple for the Panthers, and Gill Locke one, the pair sharing an 11-9 in the decider doubles win over Burrows and Price.

Despite the defeat, it’s been another dominant season for the Panthers, champions once again and the class side of the League.

Trebles for Gary Cattermole and Mel Rampton, and a couple for Phil Smith, saw Windsor Eagles to a 9-1 victory over bottom team Walton C. Mark Gale saved Walton’s blushes with an 11-5 in the fifth win in the final match of the evening against Phil Smith. The Eagles now need just four points from their final match against Brotherhood A to finish as runners-up.

Brotherhood A v Walton A ended all-square, only the fourth drawn match in the division all season. Gary Stallwood won two for Brotherhood, and Russell Hillier and Martin Edwards one each, but none of them could get the better of Kevin James who took his maximum for Walton. Colin Dearman picked up a couple, with Derek Willis unfortunate to lose to both Stallwood and Hillier in close five-setters.

* Next weekend sees the League’s 2023 Closed Championships, sponsored by The Survey Initiative, courtesy of Gary Cattermole. Play starts at 9am on Saturday and 8.30am on Sunday. The finals are timed to take place from approximately 2.30pm onwards on Saturday and from 3.15pm on Sunday. Spectators are welcome and admission is free. The venue is the Clacton Coastal Academy Sports Hall.

* This year’s Cup Final will be between Division One side Brotherhood A and Nomads Leopards from Division Three, the first Third Division side to reach the final since 2008. The date of the match is different from that noted in the League Handbook and will now be played on Tuesday 11th April. As usual, the final takes place at the Brotherhood Hall, with play starting at 7.30pm.


Division 1
Walton C 1 Windsor Eagles 9
Walton B 6 Nomads Panthers 4
Brotherhood A 5 Walton A 5

Division 2
Windsor Kestrels 3 Lawford 7
Brotherhood C 7 Brotherhood D 3
Windsor Buzzards 9 Windsor Harriers 1
Nomads Jaguars 8 Brotherhood B 2

Division 3
Walton E 4 Windsor Magpies 6
Nomads Ocelots 6 Brotherhood E 4
Windsor Merlins 9 Brotherhood F 1
Nomads Lynx 0 Windsor Penguins 10
Nomads Bobcats 3 Nomads Leopards 7