LIAM AND MACI MAKE HISTORY
History was made at the St James' Hall last week in Division Three of the Clacton and District League when, for the first time in living memory - and possibly the first time since the League was formed in 1938 - two ten-year old players were in opposition in a League match.
Liam Harris, aged ten years and nine months, of Nomads Lynx faced Windsor Ospreys' Maci Harvey, five months his junior. And, in what turned out to be a top-class competitive match between two extremely promising youngsters, Liam came out on top 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7.
Liam's victory proved to be the Lynx's sole success of the evening, with the Ospreys winning the match 9-1 and Maci going on to take her other two singles. But Liam so nearly took another point against Debra Found who breathed a huge sigh of relief after narrowly securing victory 10-12, 11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 12-10 in their individual match.
Elsewhere, leaders Nomads Pumas maintained their undefeated record but were forced to share the spoils with a hard-working Brotherhood G side. Paul Metcalf took a fine maximum for Brotherhood which included two tight wins, 11-9 in the fifth against Andrew Cousins and 11-6 in the fifth against Lionel Goddard. Rob Bright contributed an 11-6 in the decider victory over John Bowers whilst Cousins and Goddard won two each for the Pumas.
Second-placed Walton D had a comfortable 10-0 success against Nomads Cougars but found Nomads Wildcats a tougher proposition, the match ending all-square. Rivhu Khan took a predictable maximum whilst there a couple each for Brian Friday and Andrew Cawley of the Wildcats. Unusually for a drawn match, none of the matches went the distance and only three were extended to a fourth set.
These results leave Walton just a point behind the Pumas, having played a game more.
Trebles for Kayley Lamb and Kayleigh Stratford helped Windsor Swallows to a 7-3 success against Nomads Cougars. Lamb had to be at her best in order to overcome Gill Knights 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-13, 13-11 and Stratford had a tough battle against Zoe Strange, eventually winning 11-6, 12-14, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4. Knights, Strange and Sue Lee all won a point for the Cougars.
Nomads Ocelots and Windsor Penguins shared success in the four matches that went the distance but the Ocelots ended up as narrow 6-4 winners. Mike Wellum won three, Tom Collins two and Scott Campbell one, Collins defeating Ron Dacey 11-9 in the fifth and Campbell beating Harry Barlow by the same score. For the Penguins, Alan Charman won two, including a 12-10 in the decider win over Campbell whilst Charman and Barlow took the doubles 11-8 in the fifth against Wellum and Collins.
A maximum for Jason Lloyd and a pair apiece for Ethan Lloyd and Roger McNaughton were good enough to give Nomads Leopards a 7-3 victory over Windsor Kites. Chris Simson's couple for the Kites included a 12-14, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 success over McNaughton. And in a battle of fathers and sons in the doubles, Chris and dad Mick Simson excelled to take it 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-6 against the two Lloyds.
Division One leaders Nomads Panthers suffered a second defeat of the season, going down 6-4 to Walton C. Gary Young was the star of the show, defeating Sam Hume 8-11, 13-11, 11-2, 11-5 in the final match of the evening to clinch the win that moves the 'C' team into second-place - but still fifteen points behind the Panthers. Hume and John Poysden won a couple each for the Panthers , Poysden having the closest of close 11-9, 12-10, 5-11, 10-12, 11-9 victories over Paul Meikle. But arguably the crunch match of the evening was match nine with Walton's Derek Willis edging out John Hatley 13-11, 6-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9.
Windsor Condors lined up their top three players, Colin Stallwood, Greg Green and Martin Hogg, for their match with Windsor Eagles and, unsurprisingly, came away win a 9-1 victory. But it wasn't all plain sailing for the Condors against a resilient Eagles side, Mark Smith beating Hogg 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 to take the losers' sole point with Phil Smith involved in two tight finishes before going down 11-6 in the fifth to Hogg and 11-9 in the fifth to Green.
At the other end of the table, bottom-team Brotherhood D celebrated their first win of the season with a 6-4 success against Brotherhood C. Russell Hillier, Paul Alden and Lee Harvey all took two, with Hillier clinching the victory with a win in five against Kevin Pryor in match ten. Kevin Gowlett, predictably, took three for the 'C' team although it was a narrower-than-expected 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6 against Hillier.
Andy Vincent and Felipe Rodriguez were again on hat-trick form as the Hawks beat the Kestrels 8-2 in the all-Windsor clash. John Harvey and Graham Bunce both enjoyed wins for the Kestrels over Hawks' skipper John Barton but, in his turn, Barton had a fine topsy-turvy 8-11, 11-9, 1-11, 11-9, 11-4 win against Dave Martin.
Paul Hume made a welcome appearance for Nomads Lions and stayed unbeaten in the match against Walton B. But Walton ended 6-4 winners, Gavin Price and Paul Woolnough winning two each, and Colin Dearman one, with Price and Dearman sharing a vital 9-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 doubles victory against Hume and Adam Wilkin. But the closest encounter was the first match of the evening, Wilkin playing well to edge out Dearman 11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9.
There was a clash of two of the title contenders in Division Two and, appropriately, the match between Nomads Tigers and Windsor Owls ended as a draw. But the score-line belies a more interesting story with the Owls securing the share of the spoils despite having to field a reserve. Frank Burbidge picked up a first-rate three and, with Tricia Salter, took the doubles 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9 against Daryl Lott and John Marshall. However, the crucial point came from Salter who excelled to defeat Roger Hance 5-11, 11-8, 1-11,11-9, 13-11.
So the Owls maintain their two point lead over the Tigers but Lawford have moved level with them at the top after a 10-0 whitewash win against lowly Windsor Magpies. Ian Sherwood took crucial points against John Plummer, 11-8 in the decider, and Dave Sweetland, 11-9 in the decider.
Brotherhood F's Lee Allen was the best player on show in his side's mid-table clash with Brotherhood H. The 'F' team edged the match 6-4, Allen staying unbeaten and defeating Graham Parkes 14-12 in the fifth in match ten to secure the victory. There were a couple for Barry Allen and, together, the two Allens beat Parkes and James Smith-Daye 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4 in the doubles - the 'H' team's first doubles' defeat of the season. Gerald Batt failed to get on the score-sheet for the winners but it was not for the want of trying, John Wrigley scraping home against him 11-4, 12-10, 11-13, 13-15, 13-11.
Nomads Bobcats lost 7-3 to Windsor Harriers but the three points keeps them clear of the relegation places. Windsor's Isabel Barton and Jenny Higgins won a couple each but the reigning Ladies Doubles 'champions were unable to add a doubles success to the Harriers' tally, the Beezer Boys - dad Tony and son Harry - coming back well to take the doubles 9-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7.
It was also 7-3 in another Windsor v Nomads clash with the Buzzards beating the Jaguars. Pete Bloomfield took his treble, and there were two each for Ray Chillingworth and Angela Barratt. But the score could've been closer with the Buzzards winning three tight matches, Bloomfield defeating Caroline North 11-5 in the fifth, Chillingworth defeating the same player 11-7 in the fifth whilst Barratt was a narrow 8-11, 4-11, 15-13, 11-9, 11-9 winner against Jaguars' reserve Lionel Goddard. Andrew North won two for the Jaguars and the two Norths took an excellent doubles, 11-6 in the decider, against Bloomfield and Chillingworth.
Brotherhood I were 9-1 winners against a Brotherhood E side who find themselves agonisingly in the relegation battle. Tom Wilkin and Maurice Hardy were the 'I' team's maximum men with Jonathan Found winning twice. Wilkin and Found also took the doubles, only the second doubles success for the 'I' side this season. Tony Edmonds recorded Brotherhood E's consolation point whilst the sole match that went to five saw Wilkin edge past Duncan Dunne 11-5 in the decider.
Brotherhood B 8 Windsor Kestrels 2;
Nomads Lions 4 Walton B 6;
Windsor Kestrels 2 Windsor Hawks 8;
Brotherhood C 4 Brotherhood D 6;
Windsor Condors 9 Windsor Eagles 1;
Walton C 6 Nomads Panthers 4.
Brotherhood F 6 Brotherhood H 4;
Nomads Tigers 5 Windsor Owls 5;
Lawford 10 Windsor Magpies 0;
Brotherhood I 9 Brotherhood E 1;
Windsor Buzzards 7 Nomads Jaguars 3;
Windsor Harriers 7 Nomads Bobcats 3.
Nomads Cougars 3 Windsor Swallows 7;
Nomads Ocelots 6 Windsor Penguins 4;
Nomads Wildcats 5 Walton D 5;
Nomads Lynx 0 Nomads Pumas 10;
Windsor Ospreys 9 Nomads Lynx 1;
Windsor Kites 3 Nomads Leopards 7;
Brotherhood G 5 Nomads Pumas 5;
Walton D 10 Nomads Cougars 0.