Brotherhood E are looking a class apart in Division Three of the Clacton and District League and they head into the New Year with a healthy nineteen-point lead over their nearest rivals with the
title seemingly at their mercy.
They ended their programme for the first half of the season with a comfortable 9-1 win over lowly Windsor Falcons, Duncan Dunne and Tony Edmonds staying unbeaten and Rodney Betts taking two. Kayley Rodriguez was the Falcons' sole point-winner with a victory over Betts.
It was much closer in the encounter between Windsor Penguins and Nomads Lynx, two teams vying for the second promotion spot, and the match appropriately ended all-square. For the Lynx, Mike Vilka took a treble, Jill Canning one and the pair combined to take the doubles - and, in the process, inflicted a first doubles defeat of the season on the Penguins side. Paul Dale and Alan Charman won a couple each for the Windsor side, and Jackie Bunce one.
Lynette Sparks stayed undefeated for Walton D in their 8-2 success over Windsor Robins, with Toni Hayhow-Khan and Tony Sherman winning two each. Angela Barratt, making her first appearance of the season for the Robins, won twice, including an 11-4 in the fifth win over Hayhow-Khan but she couldn't get the better of Sparks, going down 11-5 in the fifth.
Sharon Gowlett of Windsor Merlins enjoyed a good win over Dave Wright of Nomads Leopards, and took Stuart Wilkinson close before losing 11-9 in the fifth, but hat-tricks from Wilkinson and Bob Jillins, and a couple for Wright, were enough to give the Leopards a 9-1 victory.
In Division One Nomads Panthers had two good wins over lowly-placed teams and, at the half-way stage of the League, lead their nearest rivals, Windsor Condors, by ten points.
Gill Locke and John Hatley were unbeaten, and Colin Webber won twice, in the Panthers 9-1 success over Brotherhood D although Locke struggled before getting the better of Russell Hillier 11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 14-16, 11-8. Grant Sharpe took the Brotherhood point, beating Webber 11-7, 14-12, 7-11, 6-11, 11-9.
The Panthers were 10-0 victors over bottom-team Lawford, Locke, Hatley and James Denyer all taking trebles. Hatley's 11-4 in the decider win over Paul Hewitt was the only match which went the distance.
Windsor Condors remain second but are now just one point ahead of Brotherhood C who are looking threatening in third place. The two teams met this week and it was Brotherhood's top trio who came out on top 8-2. There were trebles for Andy Warner and Kevin Gowlett although Warner was given a run for his money by Mel Rampton before winning 11-8 in the fifth. Alan Burgess took one for Brotherhood but lost 11-4 in the decider to Mel Rampton and by an even closer 12-10 in the decider to Greg Green.
It was also 8-2 for Walton A against Walton C, Gary Young the only unbeaten player on the night. There were a couple each for Gavin Price and Paul Woolnough for the winners, as there were for Peter Burrows for the losers, his 10-12, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5 victory over Woolnough the only match which went to five.
Three for Andy Vincent, two for Roger Hance and one for Felipe Rodriguez saw Windsor Hawks home 7-3 against Nomads Lions.Vincent and Hance also won a close 11-9 in the doubles against Jason Lloyd and Ethan Lloyd. For the Lions, Ethan Lloyd won two and Jason Lloyd one, an 11-8 in the decider win over Rodriguez.
Windsor Eagles were 8-2 winners over Brotherhood D, who were playing their second match of the week. Gary Cattermole and Sue Welham each won three, and John Hobson one for Windsor, with Russell Hillier and Scott Campbell taking the Brotherhood points. Brotherhood reserve Duncan Dunne came close to producing a shock, just losing 11-4 in the fifth to Welham and 11-8 in the fifth to Hobson in two tightly-contested encounters.
In Division Two Brotherhood I and Brotherhood H are looking the best bets for promotion.
Brotherhood I enjoyed a 9-1 win over promoted Brotherhood G, with John Owen and Paul Alden taking predictable trebles. Fred Gallone took two but went down in four to Mark Beckham.
The 'I' team are eight points clear of second-placed Brotherhood H who this week beat a Dave Martin-less Windsor Magpies 10-0. Tricia Salter, Mark Salter and Woody Fitzpatrick all took hat-tricks. Two matches went the distance, Tricia Salter's 11-9 in the decider win over Dave Sweetland and an 18-16, 11-3, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 doubles win for Tricia Salter and Fitzpatrick against Sweetland and John Plummer.
The other three matches in the Division were much closer, the closest being Windsor Buzzards' drawn match with Brotherhood F. There were two each for Windsor's Ray Chillingworth and Pete Bloomfield, and for Brotherhood's Barry Allen and Shaun Beckham. Alan Rutledge of the Buzzards enjoyed unexpected success over Lee Allen and went close against Beckham before going down 11-7 in the decider. The tightest encounter of the evening saw Chillingworth edge past Lee Allen 11-9 in the fifth.
Trebles for Graham Bunce and Colin Beaumont saw Windsor Kestrels to a 6-4 victory against Nomads Bobcats. There was a point each for Liam Harris, Andrew Cawley and Eric Lemke for the Bobcats although Lemke had to battle hard before beating Debra Found 11-9 in the fifth. Cawley and Harris had a good doubles winover Bunce and Beaumont.
Bottom-team Nomads Jaguars celebrated a second success of the season, 6-4 over fellow-strugglers Windsor Harriers. Caroline Page and Harry Hawkes each won two, and Andrew North one, with Hawkes and Page notching up a first doubles win of the season for their team. Windsor reserve Kayley Rodriguez was involved in two close matches and will feel unfortunate to have gone down 11-7 in the fifth to Hawkes and 11-9 in the fifth to Page.
* In the first of the Round One matches of the Division Three Handicap Challenge Nomads Pumas beat club-mates Nomads Lynx 5-2, Alan Dockerill staying undefeated in his two singles and one doubles. The Lynx won the closest match of the evening, Jill Canning and Norman Jacobs (+1) scraping past Dave Harris and Lionel Goddard (-1) 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9.
Nomads Panthers 10 Lawford 0;
Brotherhood D 1 Nomads Panthers 9;
Brotherhood D 2 Windsor Eagles 8;
Walton A 8 Walton C 2;
Windsor Condors 2 Brotherhood C;
Windsor Hawks 7 Nomads Lions 3.
Brotherhood H 10 Windsor Magpies 0;
Nomads Jaguars 6 Windsor Harriers 4;
Windsor Buzzards 5 Brotherhood F 5;
Windsor Kestrels 6 Nomads Bobcats 4;
Brotherhood G 1 Brotherhood I 9.
Windsor Falcons 1 Brotherhood E 9;
Windsor Penguins 5 Nomads Lynx 5;
Walton D 8 Windsor Robins 2;
Nomads Leopards 9 Windsor Merlins 1.
Division Three Handicap Challenge
Nomads Pumas 5 Nomads Lynx 2.