Windsor Kestrels, considered by some to be one of the pre-season relegation favourites in Division One of the Clacton and District League, upset the odds this week with a tight, hard-fought and ultimately impressive 7-3 victory over Walton C.
Dave Martin, John Harvey and Bob Sawyer all won twice, Harvey defeating Paul Newbould 11-8 in the fifth, Martin beating the same player 11-4 in the fifth and John Rankin 11-9 in the fifth whilst the Kestrels also won the fourth match which went the distance, Martin and Sawyer taking the doubles 12-10 in the fifth against Newbould and Peter Burrows.
Burrows, predictably, took his three singles in three-straight but the match-result leaves the Walton side with just six points from their first three matches.
The meeting of last year's top two teams ended in an 8-2 victory for champions Nomads Panthers over a Stallwood-less Windsor Condors. Sam Hume and James Denyer both took maximum points for the winners, with Greg Green and Mel Rampton, on his Clacton League debut, taking one each for the losers. The closest matches saw Denyer defeat Rampton 11-4 in the decider, and Denyer and Hume edging the doubles 11-8 in the fifth against Green and Rampton.
Brotherhood B have started their season strongly and they made no mistake in winning 8-2 against club-mates Brotherhood C who were forced to field a guest. Gracie Edwards and Andy Warner took their two legitimate matches. Oli Reynolds won a point for the losers and, with Alan Burgess, recorded an unexpected 10-12, 15-13, 13-11, 12-14, 11-7 doubles win over Edwards and Warner.
Walton A are another team who've started the season well and they continued their good run with an 8-2 success over Windsor Eagles, Gary Young taking three, and Kevin James and Gavin Price two each. The Walton team won three of the four matches which went the distance. Both James and Price scraped past Gary Cattermole 11-9 in the decider whilst Cattermole also had the misfortune to go down in five to Young. Phil Smith and John Pattrick took a point apiece for the Eagles who, after a tough opening trio of matches against the Panthers, Brotherhood B and Walton A, sit uncomfortably just above the relegation places in the embryonic League table.
Hat-tricks for Colin Dearman and Derek Willis saw Walton B home 8-2 against Brotherhood D, although it was a tight 11-9 in the decider for Willis against Lee Harvey. Jason Gale won once for Walton but twice lost close in five, 11-7 to Grant Sharpe and 11-8 to Russell Hillier.
Andy Vincent took his maximum for Windsor Hawks but it couldn't prevent his team losing 6-4 to Nomads Lions, who thus made it three wins out of three. Adam Cuthbert and Jason Lloyd won two each for the Lions, and Ethan Lloyd one.
Brotherhood F are the early leaders of Division Two, this week winning 10-0 against a Walton D side minus Rivhu Khan. Barry Allen, Lee Allen and Laurence Torr stayed unbeaten with only John Long, whose three matches all went to a fourth set, providing any significant resistance.
Lawford's Paul Hewitt, Ian Sherwood and Richard Spence also maintained their team's unbeaten start to the season with a 10-0 victory over Brotherhood E who, in Crystal Palace-like fashion, have yet to chalk up a point.
In their defence, Brotherhood E have faced three difficult opponents in their opening three fixtures, a similar scenario which has faced Windsor Buzzards who have now lost 7-3 three times. This week it was to Nomads Tigers, for whom Daryl Lott took a treble, and John Hockley and Phil Wolski two each. For the Buzzards, Ray Chillingworth beat Hockley and Alan Rutledge played well to defeat Wolski whilst the two players combined to take the doubles against Lott and Hockley.
It was a little closer in the all-Brotherhood clash, the 'H' team edging it 6-4 over the 'I' side, with no player staying undefeated but every player picking up at least one point. Frank Burbidge and Mark Salter each took two for the winners, as did Paul Alden for the losers. But it was an unpredictable match where everybody seemed capable of defeating anyone else - Graham Parkes beating Burbidge who beat Alden who beat Salter who beat Parkes, whilst Fred Gallone defeated Woody Fitzpatrick who then defeated Parkes.
Isabel Barton was the best player on show in the Windsor Harriers v Nomads Jaguars fixture, winning her three singles in three-straight, and sharing a three-straight doubles victory with Jenny Higgins, to lead the Harriers to a 7-3 victory. Andy Cawley, Andrew North and Caroline North all picked up a point for the Jaguars.
The stand-out result in Division Three was Brotherhood G's 8-2 win over pre-season title favourites Nomads Pumas, the third 8-2 success of the current campaign for the Brotherhood side. Mark Beckham and Graham Healey both remained unbeaten although it was a close 11-8 in the fifth for Healey against Brian Friday and an even-closer 11-9 in the fifth against Lionel Goddard. Friday and Goddard picked up the Pumas' points.
Brotherhood J also chalked up an 8-2 victory, this against Nomads Ocelots. Dan Still recorded a hat-trick whilst there were two each for Maci Harvey and Olexsandra Klymenko. Dominic Joannou took the two Nomads' points whilst Barbara Rogers will feel unfortunate not to have got on the score-sheet, going down 11-8 in the decider to Klymenko.
Windsor Penguins were largely untroubled in beating Nomads Leopards 10-0 with only one game extended to a fourth set and only one to a fifth, Sue Chillingworth's 11-5 in the decider win over Dave Wright. Debra Found and Alan Charman also stayed unbeaten for the Penguins.
Finally, Robbie Strutt of the Swallows took his three in the all-Windsor clash with the Kites but they were his team's only wins, the Kites taking the match 7-3.
Windsor Kestrels 7 Walton C 3;
Nomads Panthers 8 Windsor Condors 2;
Walton A 8 Windsor Eagles 2;.
Brotherhood B 8 Brotherhood C 2;
Walton B 8 Brotherhood D 2;
Windsor Hawks 4 Nomads Lions 6.
Brotherhood F 10 Walton D 0;
Lawford 10 Brotherhood E 0;
Windsor Harriers 7 Nomads Jaguars 3;
Brotherhood I 4 Brotherhood H 6;
Nomads Tigers 7 Windsor Buzzards 3.
Brotherhood G 8 Nomads Pumas 2;
Windsor Swallows 3 Windsor Kites 7;
Nomads Ocelots 2 Brotherhood J 8;
Windsor Penguins 10 Nomads Leopards 0.