The first week of the new Clacton and District League season saw an early clash in Division Three between last season's two relegated sides, Brotherhood E and Walton D. Both teams expect to be title-contenders this time around and, in a close encounterwhere no-one stayed unbeaten, Brotherhood E emerged 7-3 victors.
Duncan Dunne, Rodney Betts and Tony Edmonds all won twice for the winners whilst John Long took a couple for the losers. Dunne was involved in the two closest scraps of the evening, beating Lynette Sparks 11-7 in the decider but going down 11-4 in the fifth to Long.
Elsewhere, three for Alan Dockerill, two for Dave Harris and one for John Bowers was good enough for Nomads Pumas to defeat the new Windsor Merlins side 7-3. However, the Merlins showed a deal of promise, Sharon Gowlett winning two and Bradley Henshaw one on their Clacton League debuts.
Two each for Norman Jacobs, Dominic Joannou and the returningMike Vilka gave Nomads Lynx the points 7-3 against another new Windsor side, the Falcons. But none of them could get the better of Kayley Rodriguez who stayed undefeated.
And there was a third defeat for a third new Windsor side as the Robins went down 9-1 to Brotherhood J. Dan Still and Harley Wood were unbeaten, and Maci Harvey won twice.
But the old hands of the Penguins kept the Windsor flag flying, opening their account with a comfortable 10-0 victory over Nomads Ocelots who were forced to field a guest player.
In Division One Nomads Panthers began where they left off with a resounding 10-0 win over newly-promoted club-mates NomadsTigers. John Hatley, Colin Webber and Gill Locke all recorded hat-tricks. Webber's 11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-9 win over the unlucky Daryl Lott the was the only match which went to five.
It was also 10-0 for Windsor Condors against the other promotedside, Lawford. Greg Green, Martin Hogg and Colin Stallwood were the maximum men for the Condors.
The most heart-warming event of the League's first week was Gavin Price's surprise appearance for Walton C against Brotherhood D, his typically gutsy performance earning him an unbeaten three. Graham Buxton and John Rankin also stayed undefeated although Rankin had to battle hard to beat Russell Hillier 11-7 in the fifth and Scott Campbell 11-9 in the fifth.
Trebles for Felipe Rodriguez and Andy Vincent saw the Hawks home 8-2 against Windsor club-mates, the Eagles. Vincent was involved in the closest individual match of the first week's matches, edging past Phil Smith 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 4-11, 17-15.
The tightest tie in the Division was between two likely mid-table teams, Walton B and Nomads Lions, Walton's experience eventually gaining the day against the youth of the Lions, winning 6-4. Every player picked up a point and no-one stayed unbeaten, Colin Dearman and Derek Willis taking two apiece for the winners and Adam Cuthbert two for the losers. Back in Clacton League action after a spell abroad, Adam Wilkin enjoyed a 9-11, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9 victory over Willis.
In Division Two title favourites Brotherhood I began with a 7-3 win over Windsor Harriers. Graham Parkes starred with a treble, Paul Alden and Fred Gallone contributing a pair apiece. Windsor's Isabel Barton had an excellent 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11 win over Alden, and shared a doubles victory with Jenny Higgins against Parkes and Gallone.
Three for Frank Burbidge, two for Woody Fitzpatrick and one for Mark Salter gave Brotherhood H a 7-3 success against a Brotherhood F side depleted by injury. Lee Allen with two and Barry Allen with one were the points-scorers for the losers, who welcomed back Shaun Beckham, acting as a reserve, after a spell out of the game through injury.
Windsor Magpies were 7-3 winners against a Nomads Jaguars' sidefielding a guest. Dave Martin won his two legitimate matches for the Magpies whilst Caroline Page played well to take a couple for the Jaguars.
There was a fourth 7-3 score-line in the Division as Windsor Buzzards defeated Brotherhood G. The newly-promoted Brotherhood side made the Buzzards fight all the way, four of the matches going the distance, and were rewarded with John Gallagher, Mark Beckham and Paul Metcalf each winning a point. John Harvey took his three for the winners, his tightest victory an 11-6 in the decider win against Beckham.
The fifth result from the Division ended 6-4 in favour of the new-look Walton E against Windsor Kestrels. Mark Ratcliffe with three, Mark Gale with two and a shared doubles success earned the points for Walton. Colin Beaumont picked up two for the losers.
Nomads Panthers 10 Nomads Tigers 0;
Windsor Condors 10 Lawford 0;
Brotherhood D 0 Walton C 10;
Windsor Hawks 8 Windsor Eagles 2;
Walton B 6 Nomads Lions 4.
Windsor Kestrels 4 Walton E 6;
Brotherhood I 7 Windsor Harriers 3;
Brotherhood H 7 Brotherhood F 3;
Windsor Buzzards 7 Brotherhood G 3;
Nomads Jaguars 3 Windsor Magpies 7.
Windsor Penguins 10 Nomads Ocelots 0;
Windsor Falcons 3 Nomads Lynx 7;
Walton D 3 Brotherhood E 7;
Nomads Pumas 7 Windsor Merlins 3;
Brotherhood J 9 Windsor Robins 1.