Things are hotting up in Division One of the Clacton League following two significant results.

Champions for the last 10 seasons, Nomads Panthers are facing one of their toughest challenges, this week losing for a second time in a month to Windsor Hawks.

The Panthers, who were without James Denyer, still fielded a high-class trio in Greg Green, Gill Locke and Gracie Edwards, but fine hat-tricks from Daniel Young and Andy Vincent gave the Hawks a well-deserved 7-3 victory. The crucial match proved to be match nine, with Young defeating Green 11-9 in the decider.

And the Panthers’ insecurity was compounded when their nearest challengers, Brotherhood A, recorded an emphatic 10-0 win over Windsor Buzzards. Kevin Gowlett, John Cleasby and Martin Edwards, who was making his first appearance of the season, were all unbeaten, with only the doubles extended to a fourth set.

The result leaves Brotherhood just seven points behind the Panthers but with a game in hand.

Trebles for Adam Cuthbert and Charlie Fulcher, and a couple from Jason Lloyd, saw Nomads Lions home 9-1 against Walton A. Their closest win was an 11-8 in the fifth success for Fulcher over Dave Binns. Derek Willis took Walton’s consolation point with a hard-fought 3-2 (11-7, 7-11, 14-12, 11-13, 11-8) win over Lloyd.

Walton B took three of the four matches which went the distance to edge past Walton C 6-4. Pete Burrows was unbeaten, although he was taken to five by both Mark Ratcliffe and Mark Gale. Gavin Price won a couple and shared an 11-7 in the fifth doubles win with Graham Buxton against Gale and Ratcliffe. For Walton, Gale won two, and Ratcliffe and Paul Meikle one each, Meikle beating Buxton 3-2 (15-13, 9-11, 13-11, 7-11, 12-10).

In Division Two, Brotherhood D strengthened their position at the top with a 10-0 victory over a Nomads Tigers’ side without Denes Somodi and fielding a guest player. Simon Smith-Daye, Sam Plummer and Joe Plummer all stayed unbeaten. Colin Webber took Smith-Daye to the limit before going down 11-5 in the fifth, whilst the Plummer brothers were pushed by Dave Miller and reserve Bob Jillins in the doubles, eventually taking it 11-6 in the decider.

Windsor Penguins had an excellent 7-3 result against Lawford, Scott Campbell and Neil Chegwidden each recording trebles. Campbell defeated Charlie Denholm 11-6 in the decider, the same score by which Chegwidden beat Richard Spence. Denholm and Spence took a point each for Lawford, with Denholm and Ian Sherwood winning the doubles.

The Penguins followed this with a 6-4 success against Brotherhood B, although the Brotherhood side was hampered when Barry Allen was forced to concede two matches. Scott Campbell was again unbeaten for the Penguins, beating Mark Salter 3-2 (9-11, 7-11, 15-13, 11-6, 11-9) in the encounter between the team’s leading players.

Andy Foster and Paul Woolnough remained unbeaten, and Mo Hardy took two, as Walton D beat bottom team Windsor Kestrels 8-2, the same score as their early season encounter. For the Kestrels, Debra Found beat Hardy 11-7 in the fifth and, with Graham Bunce who only played in the doubles, shared a doubles success against Foster and Hardy.

In Division Three, pace-setters Brotherhood E won 10-0 against a Walton E side fielding a guest. Fred Gallone, Tricia Salter and Tony Edmonds were the winning team, Edmonds involved in the only five-setter of the match, beating Adrian Sexton 11-5 in the decider.  

Tom Bryden, JJ Barry and Joe Sherwin of Brotherhood F were too good for Nomads Ocelots, winning 10-0. The closest match was the doubles, Bryden and Barry defeating Anne Bonny and James Horsler 11-6 in the fifth.

And, in a third 10-0 result, the Bobcats defeated the Lynx in an all-Nomads clash, Alex Baldock, Matt Sage and Jack Riddleston taking maximum points, Riddleston just getting the better of Gerry Widnell 11-7 in the fifth.

Finally, Brotherhood G beat Windsor Magpies 7-3, Dan Grindrod taking three, and Danny Still and Gary Simpson two apiece. Dave Sweetland won a couple for the Magpies and, with Alan Rutledge, beat Grindrod and Simpson in the doubles.

* Entries for the Handicapped Singles Tournament, which takes place on Saturday 3rd February at Windsor’s St James’ Hall, should be sent to either Tony Oswick or Peter White. The closing date for entry is Saturday 27th January. The entry fee is £4. Full details have been sent to all players.

Division 1

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