Brotherhood E gave themselves an early Christmas present in Division Two of the Clacton and District League when they notched up their second win of the season, thumping fellow-relegation rivals Windsor Magpies 9-1.
There were hat-tricks for Duncan Dunne and Rodney Betts, his first treble since September 2015, and two for Tony Edmonds.
Brotherhood won two of the three matches which went the distance, Betts defeating Kayley Rodriguez 7-11, 7-11, 17-15, 11-8, 11-4 and, in the doubles, Betts and Dunne winning 11-9 in the decider against Rodriguez and Dave Sweetland. Sweetland took the Magpies' consolation point in the other match that went to five with a tight 3-11, 14-12, 11-7, 13-15, 11-9 victory over Edmonds.
The result moves Brotherhood E eight points clear of the relegation places and leaves the Magpies facing the New Year with a tough fight on their hands to avoid the drop.
It was also a good week for Nomads Jaguars who improved their position with a 7-3 success over Walton C. In a match where no-one stayed unbeaten, there were a couple each for Andrew North, Caroline North and Kevin Hume, whilst John Long won two and John Bonner one for Walton. The only match that went the distance saw Long beat Hume 11-7 in the decider.
There was no such luck for the Nomads Pumas who went down 10-0 to high-flying Brotherhood H. There were trebles for Grant Sharpe, Stewart Murray and, playing his first match of the season, John Wrigley. But the Pumas so nearly sneaked a point, Wrigley defeating Andrew Cousins 11-8 in the fifth and Alan Dockerill 11-9 in the fifth.
Brotherhood F and Windsor Harriers enjoyed a good scrap before the Brotherhood side emerged 6-4 winners, Lawrence Torr unbeaten and Lee Allen winning twice. Jenny Higgins was the Harriers' best player on the night, enjoying success against both Lee Allen and Barry Allen.
It was a similar score-line as a weakened Brotherhood D proved good enough to defeat Windsor Buzzards 6-4. Russell Hillier was the winning side's unbeaten star whilst there were two each for Brotherhood's Lee Harvey and Windsor's Pete Bloomfield. The crucial match of the evening was the doubles, Hillier and Harvey edging out Bloomfield and Ray Chillingworth 11-8 in the fifth.
There was a third 6-4 result in the all-Nomads clash of the Bobcats and Tigers, the Bobcats emerging narrow victors. The ever-improving Ethan Lloyd excelled with an unbeaten three which included an 11-6 in the fifth win over Daryl Lott. Jason Lloyd won two but fell at the final hurdle against Phil Wolski, 15-13 in the fifth. Wolski won two for the Tigers with Lott and John Marshall securing a point apiece.
Walton D moved to the top of Division Three following their 9-1 victory over Brotherhood G. All the matches were settled in three-straight, Daniel Young and Maggie Earle unbeaten for Walton with Paul Metcalf getting the Brotherhood consolation point with a win over Jane Young.
Windsor Penguins consolidated third place with convincing wins over two Nomads' teams.
Debra Found and Alan Charman took maximum points in their 9-1 victory over the Leopards, Dave Wright taking the losers' point by beating Jackie Bunce. And they followed this with a 7-2 success over the Ocelots, the unusual score-line caused by both teams fielding a guest player.
However, a full-strength Ocelots' side fared better in their second match, sharing the spoils with Windsor Ospreys. Arthur Wells-Garrett recorded a maximum for the Ocelots whilst Dominic Joannou won two, as did Jordan Webb for the Windsor team. And there was cause for celebration as Mark Lamb and Viv Rodriguez recorded debut League wins for the Ospreys.
Maximum points for Chris Jones and Denise Thompson saw the experienced Nomads Caracals home 9-1 against the plucky Brotherhood J newcomers. Georgia Ayton defeated Hazel Blanche 11-8 in the decider for the Brotherhood point.
The Nomads Lynx v Windsor Swallows encounter proved a tighter affair, the Swallows finishing 6-4 winners, Angela Barratt unbeaten. Paul Dale won two and Sue Chillingworth one for the Swallows whilst, for the Lynx, Dave Harris picked up two, Liam Harris one and the pair combining to win the doubles 11-8 in the fifth against Barratt and Dale.
Top met second-from-bottom in Division One with a predictable result, Nomads Panthers beating Lawford 10-0. John Hatley, Colin Webber and Gill Locke all stayed unbeaten. Hatley's 11-7, 13-11, 8-11, 12-14, 11-4 win over Paul Hewitt was the only match extended beyond three sets.
Second-placed Windsor Condors defeated Brotherhood C 7-3, Greg Green taking three, Felipe Rodriguez two and Martin Hogg one. Oli Reynolds won a couple for Brotherhood with Alan Burgess chipping in with a victory over Hogg.
Brotherhood B were 6-4 winners against Walton A, Andy Warner undefeated and John Cleasby winning twice. Gavin Price won two for Walton whilst there was one each for John Rankin, making a welcome first appearance of the season, and Paul Woolnough. The closest match of the evening saw Woolnough beat John Owen 11-7 in the decider.
There were hat-tricks for Phil Smith and John Pattrick as Windsor Eagles beat Windsor Owls 9-1. But Mark Salter proved a tough competitor for the Owls, excelling to beat Gary Cattermole 11-13, 6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 and taking both the other Eagles' players the distance, losing 11-3 in the fifth to Smith and 11-6 in the fifth to Pattrick.
* The draw for opening Rounds of the Handicap Knock-Out Cup has handed holders Windsor Eagles a tough match against fellow-Division One side Nomads Lions in a repeat of the 2016 Cup Final. The full draw is :-
Round 1 : (A) Brotherhood G v Windsor Kites; (B) Nomads Ocelots v Nomads Leopards; (C) Nomads Lynx v Nomads Caracals;
(D) Windsor Ospreys v Brotherhood J; (E) Windsor Swallows v Windsor Penguins.
Round 2 : Windsor Kestrels v Brotherhood D; Windsor Magpies v Walton B; Winner (D) v Nomads Bobcats; Windsor Condors v Windsor Owls; Nomads Wildcats v Walton D; Brotherhood I v Nomads Panthers; Walton C v Windsor Buzzards; Winner (C) v Brotherhood E; Lawford v Walton A; Winner (E) v Nomads Pumas;
Nomads Lions v Windsor Eagles; Brotherhood B v Brotherhood H;
Brotherhood C v Windsor Harriers; Windsor Hawks v Nomads Tigers; Winner (A) v Winner (B); Brotherhood F v Nomads Jaguars;
Round One matches are to be played during week beginning 12th December and Round Two matches in week beginning 2nd January.
* Clacton's Super-Veterans team will meet Becontree B in an Essex Inter-League fixture on Sunday 11th December at the Brotherhood Hall, Clacton-on-Sea. Play starts at 2.00 pm.
Nomads Panthers 10 Lawford 0;
Walton A 4 Brotherhood B 6;
Windsor Eagles 9 Windsor Owls 1;
Brotherhood C 3 Windsor Condors 7.
Brotherhood D 6 Windsor Buzzards 4;
Brotherhood H 10 Nomads Pumas 0;
Windsor Harriers 4 Brotherhood F 6;
Nomads Jaguars 7 Walton C 3;
Windsor Magpies 1 Brotherhood E 9;
Nomads Tigers 4 Nomads Bobcats 6.
Nomads Caracals 9 Brotherhood J 1;
Windsor Ospreys 5 Nomads Ocelots 5;
Windsor Penguins 9 Nomads Leopards 1;
Brotherhood G 1 Walton D 9;
Nomads Ocelots 2 Windsor Penguins 7.
Nomads Lynx 4 Windsor Swallows 6.