Division One of the Clacton and District League witnessed a hard-fought battle between the third and fourth-placed teams and, with only four points separating Walton A and Windsor Eagles in the League table, it was no surprise the match ended as a draw with honours even.
Unbeaten Gary Young was the star player on the night, the Walton number one's closest match an 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 11-4 victory over John Pattrick. Pattrick and Phil Smith took two each for Windsor. It was good to see Eagles' captain John Hobson back in table tennis action and he celebrated with a crucial 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 12-10 win over Paul Woolnough.
In the spirit of squad rotation - or perhaps in the belief that the title is now beyond their reach - it was something of a second-string Windsor Condors which turned out against Nomads Lions. In a rare cameo appearance in the Clacton League, Colchester stalwart Martyn Green won two for the Condors whilst there was one each for Felipe Rodriguez and Annabelle Rodriguez. But a triple from Paul Hume and a double from Lions' skipper Adam Wilkin ensured the match finished all-square.
A third fixture in the Division ended as a draw, mainly due to Windsor Hawks automatically conceding three points to Windsor Owls. There was a hat-trick from the ever-reliable Andy Vincent for the Hawks whilst Elliott Attrill enjoyed a tight 11-9 in the fifth victory over Frank Burbidge. But Attrill had to cede second-best to Tricia Salter who recorded a welcome 11-7 in the decider victory.
Brotherhood C enjoyed an 8-2 win against Walton B with trebles from Kevin Gowlett and Alan Burgess. Captain Kevin Pryor contributed an unexpected point by defeating Paul Meikle 12-10 in the fifth.
In Division Two Brotherhood D's Russell Hillier, Paul Alden and Lee Harvey maintained their promotion momentum with a 10-0 victory over Windsor Magpies. Only three of the ten individual matches were extended to a fourth set.
No-one stayed unbeaten as third-placed Brotherhood F defeated Nomads Tigers 7-3, a result which finally extinguishes the Tigers' already-remote hopes of promotion. Lawrence Torr, Lee Allen and Sandie Isaac won two each for Brotherhood although all three players had a close victory in five, Torr against John Marshall, Allen against Phil Wolski and Isaac with an 11-9 in the decider success over Daryl Lott. Marshall won two for the Tigers and Wolski one, a notable 1-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-8 victory over Torr.
Brotherhood I were 9-1 winners against Windsor Buzzards, Scott Campbell and Mark Ratcliffe taking trebles, with Woody Fitzpatrick winning two. Brotherhood won all three matches which went to five, Campbell beating Dan Malinowski 7-11, 6-11, 13-11, 14-12, 11-2, Fitzpatrick overcoming Alan Rutledge 7-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9 whilst Campbell and Fitzpatrick scraped the doubles 13-11, 9-11, 9-11, 14-12, 15-13 against Malinowski and Pete Bloomfield.
It was a somewhat easier 9-1 for Nomads Bobcats against Brotherhood E, Jason Lloyd and Ethan Lloyd again unbeaten. Rodney Betts took Brotherhood's consolation point with a victory against Andy Cawley.
Windsor Harriers were 10-0 victors against Nomads Jaguars, the third successive whitewash defeat for the Jaguars. But it was far from straightforward for the Harriers, with only two matches settled in three-straight and three of the matches going the distance. The closest was Isabel Barton's 11-7, 5-11, 5-11, 11-4, 16-14 win over Allen Denyer.
Nomads Pumas lost 6-4 to Walton C but the four points enabled the Pumas to move off the bottom of the table for the first time this season. Rivhu Khan, back in action for Walton, took three and John Long two. Eric Lemke won two for the Pumas, and Lionel Goddard and Andrew Cousins one each, Cousins also showing stern resistance against Khan before narrowly going down 11-7 in the fifth.
In Division Three the gap in class between Walton D and the rest was demonstrated as the Divisional champions-elect defeated third-placed Windsor Swallows 10-0 with something to spare. Only two of the matches went to a fourth set.
Second-placed Nomads Wildcats, the only team seemingly able to compete with Walton, were 7-3 winners against Nomads Caracals. Doug Green and Mike Wellum stayed undefeated but both struggled to beat Chris Jones, Green winning 11-6 in the decider and Wellum 11-7 in the decider.
There was another 7-3 score-line as Windsor Kites beat a Nomads Leopards' side fielding a guest. Dave Wright played well for the losers to take a couple and, together with Norman Jacobs, won an excellent 11-9 in the fifth doubles against Jack Haylett and Mick Simson.
Rob Bright was Brotherhood G's unbeaten hero as his side beat Windsor Ospreys 8-2. Dave Hunt and Paul Metcalf won a pair apiece whilst Jordan Webb picked up the losers' two points.
There was a guest on either side of the net as Nomads Lynx took on Windsor Penguins which accounts for the unusual 5-4 score-line. In a tightly-contested encounter, the Penguins finally edged it with Debra Found taking a pivotal 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 13-11 victory over Liam Harris.
* Players will shortly be receiving details about the Closed Championships which are being held on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd April 2017 at the Coastal Academy Sports Hall. The closing date for entries is Saturday 1st April. To qualify players must have played at least seven League matches by the closing date.
* The Windsor Club's Quiz Evening, for teams of up to six people, takes place on Saturday 11th March at St James Hall, 7.00 pm for a 7.30 pm start. Tickets are £5 per person which includes supper, bring your own drink. For details or to enter a team contact Jenny Higgins on 01255 432397 or 07790240566.
Nomads Lions 5 Windsor Condors 5;
Walton A 5 Windsor Eagles 5;
Walton B 2 Brotherhood C 8;
Windsor Hawks 5 Windsor Owls 5;
Brotherhood B v Windsor Kestrels (result card not to hand).
Nomads Pumas 4 Walton C 6;
Brotherhood D 10 Windsor Magpies 0;
Brotherhood F 7 Nomads Tigers 3;
Windsor Buzzards 1 Brotherhood I 9;
Nomads Bobcats 9 Brotherhood E 1;
Windsor Harriers 10 Nomads Jaguars 0.
Windsor Swallows 0 Walton D 10;
Nomads Caracals 3 Nomads Wildcats 7;
Windsor Kites 7 Nomads Leopards 3;
Windsor Ospreys 2 Brotherhood G 8;
Nomads Lynx 4 Windsor Penguins 5.