YES WE KHAN!
Rivhu Khan took the battle honours this week in Division Three of the Clacton and District League when his Walton D side faced current pace-setters Nomads Pumas.
Khan, who unexpectedly took the Division Three Singles title at last season's Closed Championships, was up against a Nomads Pumas' trio which included Eric Lemke, a player who's already notched up a hat-trick this year as a reserve in Division Two.
But in the show-down of the Division's top guns, it was the equanimity and efficiency of Khan which triumphed over the energy and enthusiasm of Lemke, the Walton player enhancing his growing reputation by winning 11-5, 11-1, 4-11, 8-11, 11-5 and, in the process, maintaining his one hundred per cent record for the season.
Alas for Walton, they were their only points of the evening - although there was nearly a fourth, Nomads' John Bowers scraping past Lynette Sparks 11-1, 7-11, 11-7, 10-12, 12-10.
Lemke, Bowers and Lionel Goddard all won two to make it 7-3 for the Pumas who continue to head the early-season table.
Windsor Kites' Chris Simson was another player who remained unbeaten but finished on the losing side, Nomads Ocelots winning their encounter 6-4. Jack Haylett picked up a point for the Kites and was unlucky against Tom Collins who took their individual match 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 12-14, 11-8. Collins and Paul Dale won two each for the Ocelots whilst newcomer Dave Wright won one.
Jason Lloyd was a third player in the Division to win all his matches but not finish on the winning side, Jackie Bunce, Alan Charman and Mike Monschau all taking two in Windsor Penguins' 7-3 success over Nomads Leopards.
There was another 7-3 result as Nomads Wildcats defeated Brotherhood G. There were hat-tricks for Andrew Cawley and Brian Friday whilst Graham Healey, Paul Metcalf and Dave Hunt each notched up a point for Brotherhood.
Windsor Ospreys were 9-1 victors over the Nomads Cougars. Maci Harvey again played well to pick up a couple but she couldn't get the better of Zoe Strange who took the consolation point for the losers.
The season is only six weeks old but Nomads Panthers have already established a healthy lead at the top of Division One. Gill Locke made her first appearance of the current campaign for the champions, remaining unbeaten in her team's 9-1 victory against Walton B. Colin Webber also took three and there were two for John Hatley. Gavin Price prevented the whitewash by beating Hatley 11-13, 13-11, 11-8, 12-10 in the final match of the evening.
The Panthers had a second success when they beat club-mates Nomads Lions 7-3 in a match brought forward from the end of the season. But the star of the evening was Paul Hume of the Lions who stayed undefeated, recording impressive victories over Hatley, Locke and James Denyer.
The Lions also succumbed 7-3 to Walton C. Paul Meikle was on top form and took an excellent treble whilst Derek Willis won two and Jason Gale one. For the Lions, Peter Cranmer's double included an 11-7 in the fifth victory over Willis whilst Adam Wilkin's win was an 11-8 in the fifth success against Gale.
The absence of Greg Green and Colin Stallwood in the Windsor Condors' line-up against Windsor Kestrels gave Martin Hogg the opportunity to debut for his new team. But it ended in defeat for the Condors, the Kestrels emerging narrow but worthy 6-4 winners. Every player picked up a point with Hogg getting a couple for the Condors, and Graham Bunce and John Harvey winning two each for the Kestrels. In a topsy-turvy match, Annabelle Rodriguez of the Condors beat Dave Martin who beat Elliott Attrill who beat Harvey who beat Hogg who beat Bunce who beat Rodriguez. The closest matches saw Harvey edge out Hogg 11-9 in the decider, the same score by which Hogg defeated Bunce.
It was also 6-4 for Windsor Hawks against Windsor Eagles. Andy Vincent excelled to stay unbeaten whilst Felipe Rodriguez chipped in with a couple, beating Sue Welham 11-8 in the fifth but losing 11-6 in the decider to Phil Smith. Smith won two for the Eagles.
But Brotherhood D's depressing start continued when they went down 10-0 to Brotherhood B, Martin Edwards, David North and John Owen all undefeated.
The most noteworthy result in Division Two saw Nomads Jaguars record their first win of the season with a resounding 8-2 success against fellow-relegation candidates Windsor Magpies. Andrew North was the hat-trick man for the Jaguars with Kevin Hume and Caroline North each contributing two. Dave Sweetland and Malcolm Caley took the points for the losers with Caley having a particularly busy evening, going down 11-6 in the fifth to Andrew North but edging out Caroline North 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 18-16 in one of the tightest ties of the season so far.
At the other end of the table, Windsor Owls marched on at the top with a 10-0 victory over Nomads Bobcats. But the score-line reflected harshly on the Bobcats who pushed hard in each match, none more so than Tony Beezer who lost 11-5 in the fifth to Frank Burbidge, 11-7 in the fifth to Mark Salter and 11-8 in the fifth to Tricia Salter.
Nomads Tigers continued their good form with a 7-3 victory over Windsor Harriers. In a match where every player took at least one point, Roger Hance won three, Daryl Lott two and Peter Giles one, with Hance and Lott taking the doubles 11-6 in the decider against Windsor's Jenny Higgins and Ferdy Rodriguez. Higgins had a good individual win over Lott as did Rodriguez against Giles.
It was also 7-3 for Brotherhood I against Brotherhood F, Tom Wilkin and new-signing Morris Hardy unbeaten. The two closest matches saw Hardy defeat Sandie Isaac 11-6 in the fifth and Isaac beat Mark Beckham 11-7, 11-4, 10-12, 11-13, 11-8. Gerald Batt also picked up a singles win for the losers and, with Isaac, took the doubles against Beckham and Wilkin.
In a second all-Brotherhood clash, the 'H' team were 9-1 winners over the 'E' team, Graham Parkes and Grant Sharpe taking trebles and James Smith-Daye a couple. But the 'H' side were flattered by the score-line, Smith-Daye beating Rodney Betts 11-8 in the decider, Parkes defeating Duncan Dunne 11-4 in the decider and Grant Sharpe beating the same player 11-9 in the decider. Tony Edmonds took the 'E' team's only point, overcoming Smith-Daye 12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6.
Nomads Panthers 9 Walton B 1;
Windsor Kestrels 6 Windsor Condors 4;
Walton C 7 Nomads Lions 3;
Windsor Hawks 6 Windsor Eagles 4;
Brotherhood B 10 Brotherhood D 0;
Nomads Lions 3 Nomads Panthers 7.
Nomads Bobcats 0 Windsor Owls 10;
Brotherhood F 3 Brotherhood I 7;
Windsor Harriers 3 Nomads Tigers 7;
Windsor Magpies 2 Nomads Jaguars 8;
Brotherhood H 9 Brotherhood E 1.
Nomads Ocelots 6 Windsor Kites 4;
Nomads Pumas 7 Walton D 3;
Windsor Ospreys 9 Nomads Cougars 1;
Windsor Penguins 7 Nomads Leopards 3;
Brotherhood G 3 Nomads Wildcats 7.