It’s been a somewhat underwhelming season to date for Phil Smith in Division One of the Clacton League, but the veteran League stalwart showed his true form this week with an excellent hat-trick in Windsor Eagles’ drawn match with Walton A.

Smith (pictured above, photo by Roger Hance) remained unbeaten on the night with victories over Colin Dearman, Derek Willis and David Binns, the closest win his 11-4 in the fifth success against Binns.

John Hobson and John Pattrick each added a point for the Eagles, Hobson involved in the closest match of the encounter with a 3-2 (2-11, 6-11, 22-20, 11-6, 11-9) win over Willis. Binns and Dearman won two each for Walton and shared a doubles victory.  

Windsor Hawks v Brotherhood A also ended all-square, five of the matches going the distance. Daniel Young’s maximum for the Hawks included an 11-3 in the decider win over Kevin Gowlett, as well as an 11-8 in the decider win over Dad Gary. Gowlett and Young both won two singles for Brotherhood, but Russell Hillier narrowly failed to record a victory, going down 11-8 in the fifth to Felipe Rodriguez and 12-10 in the fifth to John Barton.

The Brotherhood A result means that Nomads Panthers, 10-0 winners over Walton B, move back to the top of the table. John Hatley, James Denyer and Gracie Edwards proved a formidable combination, with only Hatley’s 11-8 in the decider win over Gavin Price extended beyond three sets.

And there was another 10-0 result as Walton C’s Mark Gale, Mark Ratcliffe and Paul Meikle eased past their Windsor Buzzards’ opponents, with only three of the matches extended to a fourth set.

In Division Two, Brotherhood D’s inexorable march to the title continued with a 9-1 victory over Windsor Penguins, Simon Smith-Daye and Joe Plummer taking trebles. Sam Plummer had a strenuous evening, beating Sharon Gowlett 11-8 in the fifth and Neil Chegwidden 14-12 in the fifth, but going down 11-9 in the fifth to Scott Campbell.

Just 11 points cover the teams from third to eighth places in the table, and Brotherhood B moved to the top of that group after their 9-1 victory over Windsor Kestrels. Barry Allen and Mark Salter each took hat-tricks, Graham Bunce defeating John Owen 11-4 in the decider for the Kestrels’ point.

Nomads Jaguars’ top trio defeated an under-strength Nomads Tigers, the 8-2 scoreline a reverse of their early-season result.  Daryl Lott was the Jaguars’ star player although it was tight 3-2 (18-20, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9) against Dave Miller. Chris Petrou and Kevin Hogg both won two for the winners, as did Miller for the losers.

In Division Three, Brotherhood E beat Nomads Bobcats 6-4, Tricia Salter unbeaten, Tony Edmonds taking two and Rodney Betts one. Alex Baldock was the Bobcats’ best player, winning two and sharing an 11-7 in the fifth doubles win with Matt Sage against Salter and Edmonds, a first doubles defeat of the season for Brotherhood.

But it was more comfortable for Brotherhood’s nearest challengers at the top, Windsor Harriers winning 10-0 against bottom team Nomads Ocelots, none of the matches extended beyond three sets.

Windsor Magpies and Nomads Leopards enjoyed an excellent scrap and the match appropriately ended with honours even. Magpies’ skipper John Plummer recorded a hat-trick for the second week running, with Bob Jillins and Stu Wilkinson winning a couple each for the Leopards.

Finally, the all-Brotherhood clash between the ‘F’ and ‘G’ teams finished 6-4 in favour of the ‘G’ team. Dan Grindrod, Danny Still and Gary Simpson all won two for the victors, but none of them could get the better of Tom Bryden who took an impressive maximum. The crucial individual match turned out to be Simpson’s 11-9 in the decider win over Ruby Gallagher.

* Entries for the League’s Closed Championships are now open. The tournament, the League’s premier event of the season, takes place on 6th and 7th April at the Coastal Academy Sports Hall. Entry forms have been sent to all players and full details are also on the League’s website. Entries can be sent online to Peter White or by post to Tony Oswick. The closing date for entry is 15th March.

* The League was sorry to learn recently of the death of Dennis Barton at the age of 96 years. Dennis, father of the League’s Treasurer John Barton, was a keen table tennis player in his younger days and was a regular League player at Thorpe during the 1950s. After a break from the sport, he resumed his table tennis career again in the 1980s with the Post Office Club in the Third and Fourth Divisions. We send our sincere condolences to John and his family.

Division 1

Windsor Eagles 5 Walton A 5
Windsor Hawks 5 Brotherhood A 5
Walton C 10 Windsor Buzzards 0
Nomads Panthers 10 Walton B 0
Division 2
Brotherhood B 9 Windsor Kestrels 1
Nomads Tigers 2 Nomads Jaguars 8
Brotherhood D 9 Windsor Penguins 1
Division 3
Windsor Harriers 10 Nomads Ocelots 0
Brotherhood G 6 Brotherhood F 4
Windsor Magpies 5 Nomads Leopards 5
Brotherhood E 6 Nomads Bobcats 4