Brotherhood F are emerging as genuine contenders for honours in Division Two of the Clacton and District League and they confirmed their credentials this week with a 6-4 victory over fellow-promotion hopefuls Brotherhood H.
Lawrence Torr was the 'F' team's hat-trick hero, with Barry Allen and Lee Allen - who are both enjoying excellent seasons - providing solid support with one win each. The crucial match proved to be the doubles, Torr and Lee Allen beating Grant Sharpe and Paul Bellinger 11-8 in the decider in the only encounter of the evening which went to five. Sharpe and Graham Parkes each won two for the losers.
Brotherhood I are the third team currently in the promotion mix and they kept up the pressure with an 8-2 victory over Walton C. Kris Stefanov and Scott Campbell stayed unbeaten although, in a genuine battle of the generations, it was a tight 15-13 in the decider for the youthful Campbell against the evergreen John Long. Mark Beckham took two for the winners, including an 11-6 in the fifth victory over John Bonner. Long took a singles win for Walton and, with Bonner, shared a top-class, if unexpected, 11-13, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 doubles victory over Stefanov and Campbell.
Before the season started, Brotherhood D and Nomads Tigers were tipped to be in the race for honours and both are on the fringes of the promotion race. And when these two evenly-matched sides met this week, the encounter predictably ended with honours-even. Five of the matches went the distance, with no player staying unbeaten and every player picking up at least one point. There were two each for Brotherhood's Lee Harvey and Paul Alden, and also for Tony Robinson of the Tigers. Brotherhood's Shaun Beckham enjoyed a good win over Daryl Lott who, in his turn, had a fine 13-11 in the decider victory over Harvey - who then beat both Robinson and John Marshall.
The relegation clash between Nomads Jaguars and Brotherhood E ended all-square. Andrew North and Caroline North won two each for the Jaguars, and shared a doubles success whilst, for Brotherhood, Rodney Betts and Cris Edwards won two each and Tony Edmonds one. The key match of the encounter, and the only one which went the distance, was Caroline North's tight 11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 12-10 victory over Betts.
Ray Chillingworth and Pete Bloomfield remained unbeaten as Windsor Buzzards beat Windsor Magpies 9-1. Dan Malinowski took a couple for the winners but fell foul of John Plummer who took the Magpies' only point.
In Division Three Nomads Wildcats returned to the top with a comfortable 9-1 victory over Nomads Leopards. Mike Hillier and Mike Wellum stayed undefeated whilst Peter Martin's couple included a win in five against Stuart Wilkinson. Tom Collins was the Leopards' sole point-winner.
Windsor Penguins moved up to third place after winning 8-2 against a Windsor Swallows' side fielding a guest player. But the score-line flattered the Penguins who won three of the four matches which went to five. Jackie Bunce beat Iris Howlett 11-6 in the fifth before defeating Paul Dale 6-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 13-11, whilst the Penguins took the doubles by an even-closer margin, Debra Found and Zoe Strange edging it 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 14-12 against Howlett and Dale.
It was no surprise that the Windsor Kites v Brotherhood G match ended all-square - it was the fourth draw of the season for the Kites and the third for Brotherhood. Brotherhood's Paul Metcalf recorded a treble which included an 11-13, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6 victory over Chris Simson. There was one each for David Hunt and Jo Millar, Hunt needing all five sets before defeating Mick Simson 12-10, 10-12, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6. Carl Hubbard and Chris Simson both took a couple for the Kites and shared a doubles win.
Windsor Ospreys were 7-3 winners over Brotherhood J, Robbie Strutt and Maci Harvey undefeated for the winners. Georgia Ayton, Harley Wood and Oleksandra Klymenko took a point each for the losers.
The all-Nomads clash in Division One ended 8-2 in favour of the Panthers over the Lions. Sam Hume retained his unbeaten record for the reigning champions and enjoyed an 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 victory over brother Paul. But Hume the elder had the satisfaction of taking the losers' two points which included the even-greater satisfaction of winning 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7 against the previously-unbeaten James Denyer.
There were three each for Greg Green and Felipe Rodriguez as second-placed Windsor Condors beat club-mates Windsor Owls 9-1. Mark Salter's win over Annabelle Rodriguez was the Owls' sole success.
Windsor Eagles moved into third place with a predictable 10-0 victory over lowly Lawford, five of the matches extended to a fourth set but none going the distance.
The mid-table encounter between Walton B v Brotherhood B proved to be a tight-fought affair, Brotherhood edging it 6-4 despite a hat-trick from Walton's Derek Willis. John Cleasby and Gracie Edwards won two each for the winners, and John Owen one.
Windsor Hawks drew with Windsor Kestrels which was, surprisingly, only the third drawn match in the Division this season. John Barton stayed unbeaten for the Hawks, his closest victory an 11-5 in the decider success over Graham Bunce. Bunce, playing his first singles matches for Kestrels this season, also lost 11-5 to Elliott Attrill but recorded a win over George Berry. Dave Martin and John Harvey took a couple each for the Kestrels.
* Details of Rounds One and Two of the Handicap Knock-Out Cup will be sent to Team Secretaries on Saturday 3rd December. Round One matches, involving ten teams from Division Three, will be played during week commencing 16th December. Round Two matches will be played in week beginning 2nd January.
Nomads Panthers 8 Nomads Lions 2;
Windsor Kestrels 5 Windsor Hawks 5;
Walton B 4 Brotherhood B 6;
Windsor Eagles 10 Lawford 0;;
Windsor Owls 1 Windsor Condors 9.
Brotherhood H 4 Brotherhood F 6;
Nomads Jaguars 5 Brotherhood E 5;
Windsor Magpies 1 Windsor Buzzards 9;
Brotherhood D 5 Nomads Tigers 5;
Walton C 2 Brotherhood I 8.
Windsor Penguins 8 Windsor Swallows 2;
Nomads Wildcats 9 Nomads Leopards 1;
Windsor Ospreys 7 Brotherhood J 3;
Brotherhood G 5 Windsor Kites 5.