HIGH HOPES FOR THE HAWKS
A Windsor Hawks' side has never finished in the top half of Division One of the Clacton and District League - but that could all change this year.
This week the Hawks defeated Brotherhood B 9-1, a result that eases them comfortably into fourth position. Andy Vincent and Felipe Rodriguez are proving a potent double-act, both staying unbeaten in the Brotherhood match. Skipper John Barton gave valuable support, taking his first points of the seasons with good wins against John Owen and David North, although he couldn't get the better of Gracie Edwards, narrowly going down 11-8 in the decider.
Elsewhere, lowly Windsor Kestrels faced leaders Nomads Panthers hoping for a miracle. But there was no divine intervention, the Panthers taking the tie 10-0 with only three of the individual matches extended to a fourth set.
It was also 10-0 for Windsor Eagles against an under-strength Nomads Lions, a result which leaves the Lions in the heart of the relegation battle. There were hat-tricks for Phil Smith, Fred Button and Gary Cattermole but the Lions will feel unfortunate not to have snatched a consolation point, Smith beating Adam Cuthbert 6-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 and Button defeating reserve Roger Hance 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 12-14, 11-8.
Bottom-team Brotherhood D lost 7-3 to Walton C to register their best - or least-worst - result of the season so far. Both Paul Alden and Lee Harvey beat Jason Gale but it was their doubles win, 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6 against Derek Willis and Paul Meikle, that earned them particularly praise. It was also their side's first doubles win of the season. Willis and Meikle picked up trebles for Walton.
With Kevin Gowlett and Oli Reynolds in the Brotherhood C line-up, and only Martin Hogg of Winsor Condors' big guns among the opposition, a 6-4 result for Brotherhood always looked on the cards. Gowlett took three and Reynolds two - but it was Fred Gallone's first singles victory of the season that turned out to be the crucial winning point. Hogg took two for Windsor and, with Elliott Attrill, had an unexpected doubles win in five against Gowlett and Reynolds.
In Division Two Windsor Buzzards took full advantage of a Windsor Owls' side fielding a reserve to edge a close match 6-4 and, at the same time, inflict a first defeat of the season on the Owls. Pete Bloomfield starred for the Buzzards, his hat-trick including a notable 11-5, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10 win over Frank Burbidge. Dan Malinowski's couple included an 11-8 in the fifth win over Tricia Salter whilst Angela Barratt contributed with another tight victory, 11-9 in the fifth, against Owls' reserve Debra Found.
This result allowed Nomads Tigers, 7-3 winners over Brotherhood I, to narrow the gap at the top to just two points. In a match where no-one stayed unbeaten, Brotherhood's Mark Beckham was involved in three tight five-setters, defeating John Marshall 11-8 in the decider but losing 11-7 in the decider to John Bonner and 11-6 in the decider to Daryl Lott. Marshall, Bonner and Lott all won two for the winners whilst Maurice Hardy took a couple for the losers.
Lawford's regular hat-trick heroes, Richard Spence and Paul Hewitt, were again on target in the 9-1 win over Brotherhood E. And it was only Duncan Dunne's narrow 4-11, 16-14, 11-5, 7-11, 12-10 success over Ian Sherwood that prevented the Lawford skipper from joining the maximum men.
It was also 9-1 for the Harriers in the all-Windsor clash with the Magpies. An undefeated Ferdy Rodriguez was involved in the closest match of the evening, defeating David Sweetland 11-7 in the decider. Sweetland took the Magpies' consolation point with a win over Jenny Higgins.
Three each for Lee Allen and Sandie Isaac saw Brotherhood F home 7-3 against Nomads Jaguars. But the Jaguars will feel, with a little more luck, they could've scraped a draw, Caroline North losing to Allen 11-9 in the fifth and Kevin Hume going down 12-10 in the fifth to the same player. For the Jaguars, there was a point apiece for North and Cris Edwards, with the pair combining to take the doubles in three-straight against Allen and Gerald Batt.
In Division Three Walton D beat Nomads Ocelots 8-2 but the meeting between the second and third-placed sides turned out to be something of an anti-climax, with the Ocelots forced to field a guest player. Mike Wellum took the losers' two points with victories against John Long and Toni Hayhow-Khan. The tightest match of the evening was an 11-6 in the decider doubles win for Walton's Long and Rivhu Khan against Wellum and Dave Wright.
Debra Found and Woody Fitzpatrick were unbeaten in Windsor Ospreys' 6-4 win over Windsor Penguins although Found had to battle hard before withstanding the challenge of super-veteran Ron Dacey 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6.
Mike Hillier took a hat-trick for Nomads Cougars but Nomads Wildcats ended the evening as 7-3 winners, Andrew Cawley, Martin Cunningham and Hazel Blanche all taking a couple. Blanche had a competitive encounter with Zoe Strange before edging it 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 but the doubles proved to be the knife-edge match, Cawley and Blanche beating Hillier and Strange 12-10, 14-12, 10-12, 10-12, 11-8.
Despite Chris Simson picking up his fourth maximum of the season for Windsor Kites, Windsor Swallows ran out 6-4 victors. Sue Chillingworth and Kayley Lamb each won two for the Swallows, with Lamb playing well to push Simson all the way before succumbing 11-7 in the decider. Kayleigh Stratford took a point for the winners and pushed Jack Haylett all the way before going down 11-8 in the decider.
Three for Jason Lloyd, two for Tony Rayner and one for Ethan Lloyd were sufficient to give Nomads Leopards the honours 6-4 against Brotherhood G. Each side had two wins that went the distance. For the Leopards, Ethan Lloyd beat Rob Bright 11-7 in the fifth and Rayner defeated Paul Metcalf 11-9 in the fifth whilst, for Brotherhood, Graham Healey edged past Rayner 13-11 in the decider and, with Metcalf, took the doubles 11-7 in the decider against the two Lloyds.
* In Division Two of the Super-Veterans' Section of the Essex Inter-League, Clacton beat Burnham 8-1. Phil Smith, Colin Webber and Gill Locke all took their two singles. Webber stayed unbeaten in both his doubles matches and it was only an 11-6 in the fifth defeat for Smith and Locke at the hands of Burnham's Glen Laing and Tim Cramphorn that prevented the whitewash.
Windsor Hawks 9 Brotherhood B 1;
Walton C 7 Brotherhood D 3;
Windsor Kestrels 0 Nomads Panthers 10;
Brotherhood C 6 Windsor Condors 4;
Nomads Lions 0 Windsor Eagles 10.
Brotherhood F 7 Nomads Jaguars 3;
Windsor Buzzards 6 Windsor Owls 4;
Lawford 9 Brotherhood E 1;
Windsor Harriers 9 Windsor Magpies 1;
Brotherhood I 3 Nomads Tigers 7.
Windsor Ospreys 6 Windsor Penguins 4;
Nomads Ocelots 2 Walton D 8;
Nomads Wildcats 7 Nomads Cougars 3;
Windsor Kites 4 Windsor Swallows 6;
Brotherhood G 4 Nomads Leopards 6.
Essex Inter-League : Super-Veterans (Division 2)
Clacton (Smith, Webber, Locke) 8 Burnham 1.