Mark Salter of Brotherhood B has made an excellent start in Division Two of the Clacton & District League and already is just one of only three unbeaten players in the division.

This week the hard-hitting Salter put in another top performance, taking a third maximum of the season in his side’s close encounter with Brotherhood D and helping his team to a 6-4 victory. 

The first four matches of the evening all went the distance, but the ‘B’ team crucially won the first three of these, Salter leading the way with a fine 3-2 (11-7, 7-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7) win over the tricky Martin Scarfe. Barry Allen’s two for the ‘B’ team included a 3-2 (6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-13, 12-10) win over Kevin Pryor, whilst Tricia Salter had a vital 3-2 (12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 14-16, 11-9) win over Tony Edmonds. For the ‘D’ team, Scarfe won a couple and Pryor one, an 11-6 in the decider victory over Tricia Salter.

Last year’s runners-up, Windsor Buzzards, have established a narrow lead at the top of the table, this week edging it 6-4 against Brotherhood C. Pete Bloomfield and Andy Cawley each won two for the Buzzards, and Ray Chillingworth one, with Bloomfield and Cawley winning the doubles in five against Mark Boyland and Paul Metcalf.

For Brotherhood, Boyland stayed unbeaten whilst Paul Metcalf beat Chillingworth 11-8 in the decider. Mark Beckham lost to both Bloomfield and Chillingworth in matches which went the distance.

Trebles for Ian Sherwood and Charlie Denholm were the foundation of Lawford’s 8-2 success over Windsor Harriers. Ferdy Rodriguez and Isabel Barton picked up a point apiece for the losers, both beating Richard Spence by the same 11-7 in the decider scoreline.

Walton D drew with Nomads Jaguars, Andy Foster staying unbeaten for Walton, with Chris Petrou and Daryl Lott each winning two for the Jaguars. Three matches involving these players finished in an 11-9 in the fifth scoreline – Foster against both Petrou and Lott, whilst Petrou and Lott won the doubles by that score against Foster and Clive Allenby.

It was Walton’s third draw in as many weeks – a fact which sent the League’s statisticians scuttling for the record books. And whilst complete records are not available for all seasons since 1948, this is certainly the first time in the last 30 years that a team has drawn all three of their opening League matches of the season.

Windsor Kestrels won 7-3 against a Nomads Tigers’ side forced to field a guest player but Dave Miller of the Tigers kept his team’s spirits alive with an undefeated three.

There was a second match of the week for both the Tigers and the Jaguars, and the Jaguars it was who took the honours 8-2, Chris Parr defeating John Hatley on his way to a hat-trick. Chris Petrou and John Hockley won a couple each for the Jaguars, as did Hatley for the Tigers’ side which fielded a reserve.

Walton E moved up to join Windsor Penguins at the top of the Division Three table following their 8-2 victory over Nomads Ocelots, Maggie Earle and Paul Woolnough staying unbeaten. But Ann Peart, on debut, and Pam Cousins of the Ocelots each had the satisfaction of notching up a win over Adrian Sexton.

Windsor Merlins, playing with a guest against Nomads Ocelots, lost ground at the top and went down for the first time this season, the Nomads’ side taking the match 6-4. Sam Plummer stayed unbeaten for the Merlins and, with Ruby Gallagher, took the doubles. The closest match was the final encounter of the evening, Hazel Blanche edging out Gallagher 3-2 (6-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6).

A familiar face in the form of Fred Gallone returned to League table tennis action and he was immediately in the points, winning his three for Brotherhood F in their match with Windsor Magpies. Alas, two each for Alan Rutledge, John Plummer and Dave Sweetland, plus a Plummer/Sweetland doubles, saw the Magpies emerge 7-3 victors.

But there was better fortune for Brotherhood E who enjoyed an excellent scrap with Nomads Bobcats before taking a first win of the season. Daniel Grindrod and Andrey Pavlov took two apiece in the 6-4 success, the pair also sharing the doubles, with Lucy Carvell taking one.

Doug Green stayed unbeaten for the Bobcats with Norman Jacobs winning one. But super-veteran Green, now the League’s senior statesman, was involved in two tough matches, beating Grindrod 3-2 (11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8) and then, against the League’s third-youngest player, Lucy Carvell, he edged it 3-2 (11-9, 8-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3) in a classic match of age versus experience.

In Division One, Nomads Panthers consolidated their fine start, winning 10-0 against Brotherhood A, James Denyer, Greg Green and Gill Locke remaining unbeaten. All but two matches were settled in three-straight but those two matches were mighty close, Locke beating Gary Stallwood 3-2 (7-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8) and then Kevin Gowlett in five (11-8, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10).

Windsor Eagles fielded their strongest trio against Walton A and ended as 8-2 victors. Paul Hume, making a first appearance of the season, recorded a hat-trick whilst there were two each for Mel Rampton and Phil Smith. But it was a tight 11-8 in the fifth for Rampton against Colin Dearman and an even tighter 13-11 in the fifth for Smith against Derek Willis. Kevin James took the two Walton points.

It was also 8-2 for Windsor Hawks against Walton C, with both Andy Vincent and Felipe Rodriguez taking trebles. The closest match of the evening was the doubles, Vincent and Rodriguez edging out the two Marks, Gale and Ratcliffe, 13-11 in the decider. Gale and Ratcliffe each picked up a point for Walton.

* The opening Rounds of the Handicap Cup will, as last season, be played on a Group basis. Full details, including fixtures and handicaps, will be circulated by 20th November.

Team Secretaries are reminded that no reserves can play in these opening Group matches so only the players registered with their team on 5th December, the opening day of the competition, are eligible to play for their team in the three Group matches. These matches are scheduled to be played during weeks beginning 5th December, 12th December and 2nd January.

Division 1

Walton C 2 Windsor Hawks 8
Nomads Panthers 10 Brotherhood A 0
Windsor Eagles 8 Walton A 2
Division 2
Windsor Kestrels 7 Nomads Tigers 3
Lawford 8 Windsor Harriers 2
Brotherhood D 4 Brotherhood B 6
Walton D 5 Nomads Jaguars 5
Brotherhood C 4 Windsor Buzzards 6
Nomads Jaguars 8 Nomads Tigers 2
Division 3
Brotherhood E 6 Nomads Bobcats 4
Brotherhood F 3 Windsor Magpies 7
Nomads Lynx 2 Walton E 8
Windsor Merlins 4 Nomads Ocelots 6