Only three points separate Brotherhood F and Brotherhood H in third and fourth places in Division Two of the Clacton and District League and their encounter this week appropriately finished all-square.
Mark Ratcliffe starred for the 'H' side, his maximum including an unusual-looking 12-10, 14-16, 13-11, 2-11, 11-5 score-line in his victory over Lawrence Torr. Woody Fitzpatrick also enjoyed an excellent win in five over Torr to take two for the 'H' team. Barry Allen won a couple for the 'F' side, with Torr and Lee Allen winning one each.
Richard Spence and James Tindle stayed unbeaten as leaders Lawford defeated Windsor Harriers 8-2. Ferdy Rodriguez's 11-5 in the fifth win for Windsor against Ian Sherwood was the only match which went the distance. The victory means Lawford go into the holiday period at the top of the table but only four points ahead of Nomads Tigers who this week recorded two important wins.
It was 6-4 for the Tigers against Brotherhood I, John Marshall and Pawel Szemro each winning two and Daryl Lott one. Lott and Marshall also took a match-winning doubles, 12-10 in the decider, against Paul Alden and Fred Gallone. But none of their players could get the better of Alden who remained unbeaten for Brotherhood.
The Tigers followed this with a 9-1 victory over club-mates Nomads Jaguars. Lott and Marshall both notched up hat-tricks and Eric Lemke won twice, the Jaguars' point coming from a Mike Wellum win over Lemke. Andy Cawley battled hard for the Jaguars without success, going down 11-5 in the fifth to Lemke and 11-9 in the fifth to Lott.
After five consecutive defeats followed by five consecutive wins, Windsor Buzzards were due a draw - and they duly obliged when they met Windsor Magpies, the match finishing 5-5. Ray Chillingworth and Pete Bloomfield won a couple apiece and Dan Malinowski one. Ollie Rampton took all his three for the Magpies and shared a doubles win with Kayley Rodriguez, who chipped in with a vital 11-9 in the decider singles success against Malinowski.
Brotherhood E were unfortunate to come across both Jared Chelski and Daniel Young in the Walton E line-up, and both the young players staying undefeated in their team's 7-3 victory. Rodney Betts, Tony Edmonds and Duncan Dunne picked up a point apiece for Brotherhood.
The all-Brotherhood clash in Division Three saw the 'G' team defeat the 'J' team 6-4 to remain top of the table. Mark Beckham, Graham Healey and Paul Metcalf all took two for the winners but Danny Still stayed unbeaten for the losers, albeit that it was a tight 11-7, 12-14, 12-10, 5-11, 12-10 against Beckham. The 'J' side also inflicted a first doubles defeat of the season on the 'G' team but again it was a close run thing, Still and Maci Harvey edging past Beckham and Metcalf 4-11, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11, 13-11.
The meeting between the second and third-placed teams ended in a 6-4 win for Windsor Penguins over Nomads Lynx. There were three for Debra Found, two for Paul Dale and one for Alan Charman, Found picking up a crucial win in five over Dave Harris. For the Lynx, there were two for Liam Harris and one for Dave Harris, with the pair sharing a doubles success.
Five of the matches went the distance in a second tough fixture for the Penguins but this time they went down 6-4 to Nomads Caracals. For the Penguins, Found won two, Dale and Jackie Bunce one each. For the Caracals, Chris Jones picked up three and Denise Thompson two, the pair combining to beat Found and Bunce 11-5 in the fifth in the doubles. After three unbeaten outings this season, Vic Little failed to get on the score-sheet for the Caracals although not for want of trying, losing 11-5 in the decider to Found and 11-9 in the decider to Dale.
The Penguins' ten points from these two matches moves them just two points behind leaders Brotherhood G - and in with a realistic chance of promotion.
In Division One Walton A moved clear into second place following their 8-2 victory against Nomads Lions. Gary Young won his three, with Kevin James and Gavin Price taking two each. Ethan Lloyd and Adam Cuthbert were the Lions' points-winners, Cuthbert defeating Price 11-4 in the decider in the only match which went to five.
The clash between Windsor's top two teams, the Condors and Eagles, ended with honours even. Gary Cattermole stayed unbeaten for the Eagles, his 11-5 in the fifth success over Felipe Rodriguez being his closest match. Phil Smith took a singles win and, with Cattermole, won the doubles. For the Condors, there were two each for Felipe Rodriguez and Mel Rampton, and one for Annabelle Rodriguez.
Hat-tricks for Martin Edwards and Gracie Edwards were the basis of Brotherhood B's 9-1 win over bottom-team Brotherhood D. John Owen's couple included an 11-5 in the decider win over Russell Hillier but he failed to overcome Scott Campbell who won the 'D' team's sole point.
Windsor Hawks produced a magnificent effort to move clear of the relegation zone with a 10-0 victory over Windsor Kestrels, a defeat that leaves the Kestrels rooted in the relegation zone. Andy Vincent's treble for the winners might have been foreseen but first-of-the-season hat-tricks for both John Barton and Elliott Attrill were less expected.
Windsor Eagles 4 Brotherhood C 6;
Walton A 8 Nomads Lions 2;
Windsor Condors 5 Windsor Eagles 5;
Brotherhood B 9 Brotherhood D 1;
Windsor Kestrels 0 Windsor Hawks 10.
Nomads Tiger 6 Brotherhood I 4;
Nomads Tigers 9 Nomads Jaguars 1;
Lawford 8 Windsor Harriers 2;
Brotherhood F 5 Brotherhood H 5;
Windsor Magpies 5 Windsor Buzzards 5;
Walton E 7 Brotherhood E 3.
Windsor Penguins 6 Nomads Lynx 4;
Brotherhood G 6 Brotherhood J 4;
Nomads Caracals 6 Windsor Penguins 4.