Nomads Panthers are champions of Division One of the Clacton & District League for a record 10th consecutive season.

With still two matches to play, the Panthers wrapped up the title after a convincing 9-1 win over Walton A. James Denyer and Greg Green (pictured above, photo by Roger Hance) maintained their one hundred per cent season records whilst there were two for Panthers’ stalwart Gill Locke.

Kevin James picked up Walton’s consolation point with a win in the final match of the evening against Locke, whilst Derek Willis took the same player close before losing 11-7 in the fifth. The doubles also proved a tighter affair than the Panthers may have expected, Denyer and Green beating James and Willis 3-2 (9-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7).

It’s an outstanding achievement for the Panthers who have dominated Clacton table tennis for the past decade and, by finishing top this season, they beat Brotherhood A’s record of nine consecutive titles between 1999 and 2007.

Attention now turns to who will finish in the runners-up spot and Windsor Eagles did their chances no harm with a 7-3 victory against Walton B. Mel Rampton was the only unbeaten player on the night although he had tough games against both Walton reserve Andy Foster, 11-3 in the decider, and Pete Burrows, 11-7 in the decider.

Burrows won a couple for Walton whilst Gavin Price narrowly lost 11-9 in the fifth to John Pattrick but recorded an excellent 11-7 in the fifth win over Phil Smith.

In Division Two Windsor Buzzards remain top but their lead is gradually narrowing. This week, the Buzzards lost 6-4 to Lawford, John Colvin staying unbeaten for the winners. Lawford’s Charlie Denholm enjoyed a victory over Pete Bloomfield but lost narrowly to both Dave Martin, 11-5 in the fifth, and Andy Cawley, 11-7 in the fifth.

Brotherhood C defeated Windsor Kestrels 7-3, Mark Boyland taking three, and John Gallagher and Paul Metcalf two apiece. Graham Bunce won a couple for the Kestrels and shared an important doubles win with Debra Found over Gallagher and Metcalf.

The two teams shared the four matches which went the distance, Gallagher beating Allen Denyer 11-7 in the decider and Metcalf beating Found 11-2 in the decider, whilst Bunce denied both Gallagher and Metcalf their hat-tricks, winning 11-9 in the fifth against Gallagher and 11-8 in the fifth against Metcalf.

A strong Nomads Jaguars trio were too good for Windsor Harriers, Chris Petrou, Chris Parr and Daryl Lott taking the match 10-0, a result which, with only two matches to play, may well seal the fate of the Harriers at the foot of the table.

In Division Three, Neil Chegwidden, Sharon Gowlett and Kayley Rodriguez of Windsor Penguins marched on at the top, defeating Nomads Ocelots 10-0 for a second time this season.

Windsor Merlins kept their outside title hopes alive, also with a 10-0 victory, this over Nomads Lynx. Sam Plummer, Joe Plummer and Ruby Gallagher all stayed unbeaten, Gallagher celebrating her first League treble.

Hat-tricks for Paul Woolnough and Lynette Sparks were the bedrock of Walton E’s 7-3 victory over Brotherhood F. Adrian Sexton, back in action for Walton, narrowly failed to get on the scoresheet, Tom Bryden winning their individual contest 3-2 (13-11, 13-15, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8).

Nomads Leopards fielded a guest but still ran out 7-3 victors against Brotherhood E. Bob Jillins and Stuart Wilkinson remained unbeaten although Wilkinson was given a scare by Dan Grindrod before eventually emerging a narrow 3-2 (8-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9) winner.

* There are just a few days left in which to put in entries for the League’s Closed Championships, sponsored this season by The Survey Initiative and Gary Cattermole. Entries should be sent online to Peter White or by post to Tony Oswick by Friday 10th March. The Championships are being held over the weekend of 1st and 2nd April at the Clacton Coastal Academy.  

Division 1

Walton B 3 Windsor Eagles 7
Walton A 1 Nomads Panthers 9
Division 2
Windsor Buzzards 4 Lawford 6
Windsor Kestrels 3 Brotherhood C 7
Nomads Jaguars 10 Windsor Harriers 0
Division 3
Windsor Merlins 10 Nomads Lynx 0
Walton E 7 Brotherhood F 3
Nomads Ocelots 0 Windsor Penguins 10
Nomads Leopards 7 Brotherhood E 3