Windsor Hawks got off to a flying start in Division One of the Clacton & District League with an emphatic 8-2 win over Brotherhood A.
There were hat-tricks for Andy Vincent and Felipe Rodriguez, although it was a tight 3-2 (10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9) for Rodriguez against Gary Stallwood. But that wasn’t the closest match of the evening, Windsor skipper John Barton beating the unfortunate Stallwood 3-2 (3-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 20-18). Kevin Gowlett and Russell Hillier, with a narrow 11-9 in the fifth win over Barton, were the Brotherhood points-winners.
Favourites for the title, Nomads Panthers, faced favourites for relegation, Walton C, and so the 9-1 result was not a surprise. James Denyer won a comfortable three but Gracie Edwards, making her first appearance for the Panthers, had to pull out the stops to stay undefeated, beating Mark Ratcliffe 3-2 (8-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8) and Mark Gale 3-2 (8-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10). Gale earned the Walton point with a win in three-straight over Gill Locke.
The all-Walton clash saw the ‘A’ team defeat the ‘B’ team 6-4. Kevin James, Colin Dearman and Derek Willis all won a couple for the winners but none of them could get the better of Pete Burrows who stayed unbeaten for the losers. The only match which went the distance saw Dearman beat Graham Buxton 3-2 (11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4).
Windsor Eagles were 6-4 winners against Nomads Lions. Mel Rampton took his treble whilst there were a couple for John Pattrick, making a welcome return to League table tennis after a seven-year absence. The pair also combined in the doubles in the only match which went the distance, defeating Adam Wilkin and reserve John Hatley 11-7 in the decider.
In Division Two, Nomads Tigers fielded their strongest threesome against Brotherhood B and so it was to Mark Salter’s great credit that he emerged unbeaten, recording fine wins over John Hatley, Colin Webber and Dave Miller.
The match ended all-square with Salter and Barry Allen taking the doubles, and Allen winning the fifth Brotherhood point with a win over Webber. Allen will feel unlucky not to have taken another point, narrowly losing 11-6 in the decider to Miller and 11-8 in the decider to Hatley.
Lawford beat Brotherhood D 8-2, with Richard Spence and Ian Sherwood unbeaten and Charlie Denholm taking a couple. Spence needed five sets to overcome both Tony Edmonds and Martin Scarfe, the latter match a narrow 12-10 in the fifth.
The Brotherhood points came from an 11-7 in the decider win for Scarfe over Denholm, and a Scarfe/Edmonds doubles success, 11-9 in the decider, against Spence and Sherwood.
The encounter between Walton D and Brotherhood C ended with honours even. Andy Foster and Clive Allenby won two each for Walton and shared an 11-8 in the fifth doubles success over John Gallagher and Mark Boyland. Gallagher, with an 11-6 in the fifth win over Tony Sharman, and Mark Beckham took a point each for Brotherhood but their new signing Boyland was the man of the match, taking a maximum on his first Clacton League outing.
Windsor Buzzards started their season with a 6-4 victory over Nomads Jaguars. Dave Martin, Pete Bloomfield and Andy Cawley all won two but Nomads’ Chris Parr was the star, taking his treble and, with Chris Petrou, sharing an 11-7 in the decider doubles win against Bloomfield and Cawley. Petrou narrowly failed to get on the scoresheet, taking Martin close before losing 11-9 in the decider.
It was also 6-4 in the all-Windsor clash between the Kestrels and the Harriers, a tight encounter in which every player picked up a point, no-one stayed undefeated and five matches went the distance.
Debra Found and a fit-again Colin Beaumont won two each for the Kestrels, the pair also sharing a doubles victory and skipper Graham Bunce winning one. Harriers’ reserve John Harvey was involved in the match of the evening, excelling to beat Beaumont 3-2 (9-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 14-12) and deny the Kestrels’ player his hat-trick.
In Division Three Windsor Merlins began with a 7-3 victory over Windsor Magpies, Sam Plummer and Joe Plummer unbeaten. Dave Sweetland, Alan Rutledge and John Plummer took a point each for the Magpies.
The all-female Nomads Lynx trio were 6-4 winners over the all-junior Brotherhood E. Vicki Edwards with three, Pam Cousins with two on debut and their shared doubles took the points’ for the Lynx. There were also victories on debut for two of the Brotherhood players, Daniel Grindrod winning two and Lucy Carvell one, with the Brotherhood scoring completed by Yulian Yaramenko.
But Brotherhood F had a baptism of fire in their first League match, the newcomers facing one of the title favourites, Windsor Penguins and unsurprisingly going down 10-0. But credit to Brotherhood’s Tom Bryden who pushed Annabelle Stallwood all the way before going down 11-7 in the decider.
There were trebles for Bob Jillins, Dominic Joannou and Stewart Wilkinson in Nomads Leopards’ 9-1 victory over club-mates Nomads Ocelots. But Chris Wilmotte and Arthur Wells-Garrett had the satisfaction of taking the doubles in three-straight against Jillins and Wilkinson.
Finally, Walton E were straightforward 10-0 winners over a Nomads Bobcats’ side fielding a guest, only Maggie Earle’s 11-7 in the fifth win over James Horsler going the distance. Earle, Lynette Sparks and Adrian Sexton were all unbeaten.
Walton A 6 Walton B 4
Windsor Hawks 8 Brotherhood A 2
Nomads Panthers 9 Walton C 1
Nomads Lions 4 Windsor Eagles 6
Walton B 5 Brotherhood C 5
Windsor Buzzards 6 Nomads Jaguars 4
Windsor Harriers 4 Windsor Kestrels 6
Brotherhood B 5 Nomads Tigers 5
Lawford 8 Brotherhood D 2
Brotherhood F 0 Windsor Penguins 10
Brotherhood E 4 Nomads Lynx 6
Windsor Magpies 3 Windsor Merlins 7
Nomads Leopards 9 Nomads Ocelots 1
Walton E 10 Nomads Bobcats 0