If it’s tough at the top, it’s even tougher at the bottom, and this week witnessed a meeting of the two teams at the foot of Division Three of the Clacton League.

And, in the all-Nomads clash, victory went to the Lynx, who defeated the Ocelots 9-1. Gerry Widnell and Ian Gwillim both took hat-tricks, and they combined to share a narrow 3-2 (7-11, 11-4, 8-11, 17-15, 12-10) doubles victory over James Horsler and Anne Bonny.

For the Ocelots, the improving Bonny had an excellent individual win over Dave Wright, and took Gwillim close before going down 11-5 in the fifth.

At the other end of the table, leaders Brotherhood E were 7-3 victors over Nomads Leopards, taking three of the four matches which went the distance. Fred Gallone stayed undefeated while Tony Edmonds took two, as did Bob Jillins for the losers.

Windsor Harriers beat Brotherhood F 8-2, an undefeated Isabel Barton the player of the match. Brotherhood’s Joe Sherwin and Tom Bryden each picked up a win over Jenny Higgins.  

Dan Grindrod, Danny Still and Gary Simpson recorded trebles for a second successive week as Brotherhood G defeated Nomads Bobcats 10-0, a repeat of their early season score. No individual match went the distance, but seven were extended to a fourth set.

Three for John Plummer, two for Alan Rutledge and one for Malcolm Caley saw Windsor Magpies to a 7-3 win against Walton E. Maggie Earle won two for Walton and Adrian Sexton one, and although Debrorah Pallett failed to get on the scoresheet for Walton, her three defeats came in matches which went to five.  

In Division One Brotherhood A beat Walton C 10-0, Kevin Gowlett, Gary Young and Russell Hillier undefeated. The closest of the two five-setters saw Young and Hillier scrape the doubles 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 15-17, 11-7) against Mark Gale and Mark Ratcliffe. The result puts the Brotherhood side one point ahead of Nomads Panthers at the top of the table.

Nomads Lions and Windsor Buzzards each fielded a reserve but it was the Lions who came out 7-3 winners, Ethan Lloyd taking three, Jason Lloyd two and reserve Dave Miller one. Buzzards’ reserve Scott Campbell played well to take two for the losers.

It was also 7-3 as Walton B defeated a weakened Windsor Eagles.

There were two each for Gavin Price, Graham Buxton and Paul Newbould but none of them could get the better of Mel Rampton who secured his hat-trick with a 3-2 (11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7) victory over Price in the final match of the evening.

Finally in Division One, Windsor Hawks were 10-0 winners against Walton A who fielded a guest player, none of the matches going the distance.

In the meeting of Division Two’s top and bottom teams, Brotherhood predictably beat Windsor Kestrels, but the 6-4 scoreline was something of a moral victory for the Kestrels. Windsor captain Graham Bunce had good wins over Kevin Pryor and James Smith-Daye, Allen Denyer recorded an unexpected 3-2 (9-11, 8-11, 14-12, 11-5, 12-10) win over Smith-Daye, whilst Bunce and Debra Found shared an excellent three-straight doubles success. But, through all this, Simon Smith-Daye notched up yet another treble for Brotherhood who now look unstoppable at the top.

Lawford are clear of the pack in second spot, this week defeating Walton D 6-4 in a hard-fought encounter in which six matches went the distance, Lawford winning two of them. Every player picked up at least one point but James Tindle remained unbeaten for Lawford. Clive Allenby won two for Walton.

Chris Petrou took a hat-trick for Nomads Jaguars with fine wins over John Owen, Barry Allen and Paul Alden, but Brotherhood C emerged 6-4 winners, Alden and Allen each taking two.

Trebles for Denes Somodi and Dave Miller were good enough to give Nomads Tigers a 7-3 victory over Brotherhood C. Both players were involved in tight five-setters, Somodi beating Mark Boyland 11-6 in the decider and Miller going even closer against the same player, winning 3-2 (9-11, 8-11, 15-13, 15-13, 14-12).  

Division 1

Brotherhood A 10 Walton C 0
Windsor Buzzards 3 Nomads Lions 7
Walton B 7 Windsor Eagles 3
Walton A 0 Windsor Hawks 10
Division 2
Windsor Kestrels 4 Brotherhood D 6
Nomads Jaguars 4 Brotherhood B 6
Lawford 6 Walton D 4
Brotherhood C 3 Nomads Tigers 7
Division 3
Brotherhood F 2 Windsor Harriers 8
Nomads Bobcats 0 Brotherhood G 10
Walton E 3 Windsor Magpies 7
Nomads Leopards 3 Brotherhood E 7
Nomads Ocelots 1 Nomads Lynx 9