With seven straight defeats, it's been a torrid start for Windsor Swallows in Division Three of the Clacton and District League. But they were able to celebrate a minor success this week when they avoided defeat for the first time this season, sharing the spoils in the drawn match with Nomads Ocelots.
Robbie Strutt was the Swallows' unbeaten hat-trick hero, all three wins achieved in three-straight, while the ever-reliable Iris Howlett turned back the years to record two excellent victories, which included an 11-6 in the fifth success against Dominic Joannou.
Arthur Wells-Garrett, making a first appearance of the season, took two for the Ocelots , with Joannou winning one and Sue Lee adding a narrow 11-6 in the decider victory over Mark Lamb. The closest match of the evening was the doubles, Wells-Garrett and Lee edging out Strutt and Howlett 11-9 in the fifth.
At the other end of the table, leaders Brotherhood G beat Nomads Lynx 8-2 to establish a firm grip at the top. There was a maximum for Mark Beckham and two each for Graham Healey and Paul Metcalf. Liam Harris took the Lynx's two points but couldn't get the better of the experienced Beckham who took their individual encounter 11-7, 11-3, 6-11, 7-11, 11-6.
Nomads Caracals' strongest threesome met a Brotherhood J side without Dan Still and so the 9-1 score-line was less of a surprise than it might have been. Vic Little and Denise Thompson stayed undefeated, with Chris Jones taking a couple. Harley Wood played well for the losers to edge out Jones 14-12, 7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 13-11 and also took Thompson close before going down 11-6 in the decider.
An Alan Dockerill maximum was the highlight of Nomads Pumas' 8-2 success over Nomads Leopards, a treble which included a tight 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9 victory over Stuart Wilkinson. There were two wins apiece for John Bowers and Lionel Goddard, although it was a close 11-7 in the fifth for Goddard against Dave Wright. Wilkinson took the Leopards' two points.
In Division One there were convincing wins for the top five teams.
Windsor Condors enjoyed the biggest margin of victory, white-washing bottom-team Brotherhood D. A strong Condors' side comprising Colin Stallwood, Greg Green and Felipe Rodriguez remained unbeaten, although there was a close final match of the night where Rodriguez was just able to get the better of Russell Hillier 11-7, 9-11, 20-18, 9-11, 11-6.
Reigning champions Nomads Panthers continue to look unstoppable, this week defeating Nomads Lions 9-1. Sam Hume and James Denyer retained their season's hundred per cent records whilst John Hatley won two but lost out to Paul Hume. The main talking-point of the evening was the meeting of the Hume brothers which turned out to be a friendly but hard-fought fraternal affair, Sam just edging out older brother Paul 11-5, 9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9.
Hat-tricks for Gary Young and Gavin Price, and two for Paul Woolnough, saw Walton A home 9-1 against club-mates Walton B. Jason Gale beat Woolnough for the 'B' team's point while Colin Dearman took Young close before going down 11-5 in the fifth, the only match which went the distance.
Brotherhood C were 8-2 winners over Walton C. Oli Reynolds was the only player to stay undefeated, his treble including a tight but impressive 12-10 in the decider victory over Peter Burrows. Alan Burgess and Abi Peshkar took a pair apiece for the winners, as did Burrows for the losers.
Martin Edwards notched up a second hat-trick in as many week as Brotherhood B beat Windsor Hawks 8-2. John Cleasby and Gracie Edwards each contributed a couple, both going down to the Hawks' number one Andy Vincent. The closest match of the evening was the doubles, Cleasby and Gracie Edwards scraping past Vincent and John Barton 11-9 in the fifth.
With none of the top three teams in action in Division Two
Brotherhood H took the opportunity to make up ground with a 6-4 victory over Windsor Magpies. However, they might have hoped for better but Ollie Rampton was in fine form for the Magpies, his maximum including a 15-13, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 victory over Mark Salter, while John Plummer inflicted a wholly-unforeseen 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 defeat on the same player. Frank Burbidge and Woody Fitzpatrick won two each for Brotherhood, and Salter one, with Salter and Fitzpatrick sharing a doubles' success.
Only a point separated Brotherhood F and Windsor Harriers before the start of their match so the convincing 9-1 score-line in favour of Brotherhood was somewhat unexpected. Lee Allen and Lawrence Torr took three each, and Barry Allen a couple. Torr's 11-8, 12-14, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5 victory over Ferdy Rodriguez was the only match which went to five.
Nomads Jaguars were unfortunate to find both Daniel Young and Jared Chelski in the Walton E line-up, the two Walton starlets remaining unbeaten in their team's 7-3 success. For the Jaguars, there was a point each for Caroline North, with a 12-10, 9-11, 8-11, 14-12, 11-4 win over Jane Young, Andy Cawley and reserve Liam Harris.
Brotherhood E chalked up a first win of the season, 7-3 over relegation-rivals Walton D who were forced to field a guest player. Duncan Dunne won his two singles for Brotherhood and Cris Edwards one, with Dunne and Rodney Betts sharing a doubles success. John Long enjoyed a welcome couple of wins for Walton, which included a narrow 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 victory over Edwards. Lynette Sparks also celebrated with an 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 14-16, 11-6 victory over Betts and performed well before going down 11-8 in the fifth to Dunne.
* The Penguins took the honours 7-2 against the Kites in the all-Windsor clash in Group Two of the Division Three Handicap Challenge. Alan Charman and Paul Dale took their two singles, Charman defeating Carl Hubbard 11-5 in the fifth in a match played off scratch, with Debra Found (-3) winning one by beating Hubbard (+1) 11-8 in the fifth. The Penguins won two doubles, Charman successful with both Dale and Found. For the Kites, Chris Simson won a singles and shared a doubles victory with dad, Mick Simson.
Nomads Panthers 9 Nomads Lions 1;
Windsor Condors 10 Brotherhood D 0;
Walton A 9 Walton B 1;
Brotherhood C 8 Walton C 2;
Brotherhood B 8 Windsor Hawks 2.
Brotherhood F 9 Windsor Harriers 1;
Walton E 7 Nomads Jaguars 3;
Windsor Magpies 4 Brotherhood H 6;
Walton D 3 Brotherhood E 7.
Nomads Caracals 9 Brotherhood J 1;
Nomads Pumas 8 Nomads Leopards 2;
Windsor Swallows 5 Nomads Ocelots 5;
Brotherhood G 8 Nomads Lynx 2.
Division 3 Handicap Challenge
Windsor Penguins 7 Windsor Kites 2.