This year’s Clacton League Knock-Out Cup final will be an all-Division One encounter between Walton C and Windsor Hawks, both teams recording 5-1 victories in their semi-final matches this week.

Walton C extinguished the Cup hopes of Second Division Windsor Penguins, Mark Gale, Mark Ratcliffe (pictured above, photo by Roger Hance) and Paul Meikle the successful trio. The closest game was the middle doubles, where Windsor’s Scott Campbell and Sharon Gowlett (+1) won 15-13, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10 against Gale and Meikle (-3). Ratcliffe remained unbeaten for Walton.

And the Cup adventures of Division Three newcomers, Nomads Bobcats, came to an end at the hands of Windsor Hawks, Daniel Young, Felipe Rodriguez and Ian Fielder proving too strong and experienced. Jack Riddleston’s singles win over Rodriguez was the only Bobcats’ victory.

The final takes place at the Brotherhood Hall on Tuesday 2nd April with play starting at 7.30pm. All spectators are welcome.

* In Division One of the League, Nomads Panthers whitewashed a below-strength Nomads Lions for a second time this season, James Denyer, Greg Green and Gill Locke only extended to a fourth set in three of the matches. Now only a miracle of Biblical proportions can prevent the Panthers finishing as champions, needing just two points from their final match against bottom team Windsor Buzzards to guarantee them another title.

But a stronger Lions’ side was able to edge past Cup finalists Windsor Hawks 6-4. Ethan Lloyd, Adam Cuthbert and Charlie Fulcher all won two, but none of them could get the better of Daniel Young. Despite this defeat, with only one match left to play, the Hawks, with a seven-point advantage over the Lions, look favourites to take third place.

In Division Two, champions Brotherhood D completed their season unbeaten, defeating Brotherhood C 6-4, Simon Smith-Daye winning three and Kevin Pryor two. But it was a close-run thing, with three matches going the distance, including a 13-11 in the fifth win for Pryor over John Gallagher.

It was also 11-7 in the fifth for Smith-Daye against Boyland, coming back from 6-0 down in the fourth to take the match to a decider. And it was even tighter in the doubles, Smith-Daye and Pryor coming back from two sets and 9-2 down to eventually win 3-2 (8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-6).

In their second all-Brotherhood match, the ‘C’ team edged past the ‘B’ side 6-4, Mark Boyland winning three, Mark Beckham two and John Gallagher one. For the ‘B’ team, Mark Salter took two and Paul Alden one, and although Barry Allen failed to get on the scoresheet, it was oh-so-close against Brotherhood C No 1, Boyland, Allen narrowly losing 13-11 in the decider.

Windsor Magpies were comfortable 9-1 winners in Division Three against Nomads Lynx. John Plummer and Dave Sweetland took predictable hat-tricks, with Dave Wright beating Malcolm Caley for the Lynx point.

And trebles for Dominic Joannou and Bob Jillins saw Nomad Leopards safely to an 8-2 success against Nomads Ocelots. For the Ocelots, there were wins for Arthur Wells-Garrett and also for Lily Miaomei Liu, her first in the League, 11-7 in the fifth against Stu Wilkinson. 

* Entries have now closed for the League’s Closed Championships, generously sponsored again this year by The Survey Initiative, courtesy of Gary Cattermole. An encouraging number of 66 players have entered. Entrants will be sent further details, including information about check-in times, by 2nd April at the latest. The Championships take place at the Coastal Academy Sports Hall on Saturday 6th April and Sunday 7th April.

Knock-Out Cup

Windsor Penguins 1 Walton C 5
Nomads Bobcats 1 Windsor Hawks 5
Division One

Nomads Panthers 10 Nomads Lions 0
Windsor Hawks 4 Nomads Lions 6
Division Two
Brotherhood D 6 Brotherhood C 4
Brotherhood B 4 Brotherhood C 6
Division Three
Nomads Leopards 8 Nomads Ocelots 2
Windsor Magpies 9 Nomads Lynx 1