In this week’s crunch match in Division One of the Clacton League, Nomads Panthers defeated their nearest challengers Brotherhood A 6-4, a win which surely means they will once again be crowned champions.

In a hard-fought match between two class sides, Greg Green (pictured above, photo by Roger Hance) and James Denyer won a couple each for the Panthers, although it was a tight 12-10 in the fifth for Denyer against Kevin Gowlett. The pair also shared a doubles win against Gowlett and Gary Young, with Gracie Edwards beating granddad Martin Edwards in three-straight to seal the victory.

For Brotherhood, Gowlett and Young each won two, Young edging past Gracie Edwards 11-8 in the decider and having the satisfaction of inflicting a first defeat of the season on Denyer.

The result extends the gap at the top between the sides to eight points and, with each team having two matches to play, the Panthers need just 21 points for an historic 11th consecutive title.

Elsewhere, Walton B’s Gavin Price was the undefeated player of the match in the encounter with club-mates Walton A, but it was the ‘A’ team which triumphed 7-3, Colin Dearman, Derek Willis and Dave Binns all winning two. It was a tight affair, with Walton A winning three close matches, both Dearman and Binns beating Paul Newbould 11-7 in the fifth, and Binns and Willis scraping the doubles 3-2 (11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 11-13, 14-12) against Price and John Marshall.

A Phil Smith treble, and two each for John Hobson and John Pattrick, saw Windsor Eagles home 8-2 against Windsor Buzzards. Smith and Hobson also took the doubles 11-8 in the decider against Andy Cawley and Pete Bloomfield. Cawley and Dave Martin picked up a point each for the losers.

In Division Two, Brotherhood D were 10-0 winners against Walton D, Sam Plummer, Joe Plummer and Simon Smith-Daye the successful trio. The result confirms the Brotherhood side as worthy Divisional champions.

Fourth-placed Brotherhood B and second-placed Lawford enjoyed an excellent scrap before Brotherhood emerged narrow 6-4 victors, despite a maximum from Lawford’s James Tindle. John Owen and Mark Salter each won two for Brotherhood, Salter defeating Ian Sherwood 11-6 in the fifth and Charlie Denholm 12-10 in the fifth.

Neil Chegwidden, Scott Campbell and Sharon Gowlett recorded a 10-0 victory over a below-strength Nomads Tigers. In the two five-setters, Chegwidden beat Colin Webber 11-9 in the decider and Gowlett beat Mike Wellum 11-8 in the decider.

Nomads Jaguars defeated Windsor Kestrels 7-3, Chris Petrou unbeaten. There were two for Kevin Hogg and a welcome couple also for Callum Hogg, who beat Jackie Bunce 11-4 in the fifth and Allen Denyer 11-7 in the fifth. For the Kestrels, Graham Bunce won two and, with wife Jackie, shared a doubles victory over Petrou and Callum Hogg. 

The top two teams in Division Three continue to march in step, Brotherhood E and Windsor Harriers notching up 10-0 victories over Nomads Ocelots and Walton E respectively.

The improving Brotherhood G moved up to third place with a 9-1 win over Nomads Lynx. Dan Grindrod and Gary Simpson took trebles without dropping a set, but scraped the doubles 13-11 in the decider against Ian Gwillim and Gerry Widnell. Gwillim beat Andrey Pavlov 11-6 in the decider for the Lynx point.

Brotherhood F are another much-improved side, demonstrated by their impressive 8-2 success against the seasoned Windsor Magpies. Tom Bryden stayed unbeaten, with Joe Sherwin and Lucy Carvell taking two each. Carvell was involved in two close matches, defeating Malcolm Caley 11-8 in the fifth but losing 11-4 in the fifth to Dave Sweetland. Sweetland took both the Magpies’ points but was denied his hat-trick by Bryden, 14-12 in the fifth.

Finally, no-one stayed unbeaten as Nomads Leopards beat Nomads Bobcats 7-3, Dominic Joannou, Stu Wilkinson and Bob Jillins all winning two. Wilkinson narrowly missed out on a treble, losing 14-12 in the fifth to Matt Sage, Joannou beat Jack Riddleston 11-6 in the fifth but lost in three-straight to Matt Sage, while Jillins beat Sage 11-8 in the fifth but lost 11-5 in the fifth to Alex Baldock. 

* Congratulations to the Clacton League players who won silverware at last week’s Colchester Closed Championships. Daniel Young was the Men’s Singles champion, having beaten James Denyer in the semi-final, while Gracie Edwards won the Ladies’ Singles, as well as the Ladies’ and Mixed Doubles. Kevin Gowlett was a winner in the Men’s Doubles, with Denyer and Greg Green finishing as runners-up, while Sam and Joe Plummer were losing finalists in the Junior Doubles.

Division 1

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