Brotherhood I have led Division Two of the Clacton and District League since the end of October and are now within a whisker of clinching the title.
This week, they beat Windsor Buzzards 8-2. Paul Alden and John Owen led the way with trebles, with Graham Parkes taking two. The only matches which went the distance were Owen's 11-6 in the fifth win over Pete Bloomfield and Parkes' fine 11-7 in the fifth victory against John Harvey.
Brotherhood I, in the form of Alden, Owen, Parkes and Fred Gallone, have proved the class team at this level, and are just one of two unbeaten teams in all three Divisions of the League. Now, with just two matches to play, they need a mere nine points to guarantee the title.
One of those final two matches is against second-placed Brotherhood H, the only team which can mathematically catch them. The 'H' team themselves are well-set to take the runners-up spot, needing only four points from their last three matches to confirm that position. This week they were 10-0 winners against Nomads Jaguars, Frank Burbidge, Mark Salter and Tricia Salter all taking hat-tricks. Burbidge was involved in the two matches which went the distance, beating Caroline Page 11-2 in the fifth and Harry Hawkes 11-8 in the fifth.
The result did little to help the Jaguars in their fight against relegation and the same could be said for Brotherhood G who went down 9-1 to Nomads Bobcats. Mike Wellum and Liam Harris were the Bobcats' maximum men. Their Nomads' team-mate, Andy Cawley, had a tiring evening, beating John Gallagher 11-5 in the fifth and Mark Beckham 12-10 in the fifth, but losing 11-8 in the fifth to Paul Metcalf.
The all-Windsor clash between the Kestrels and the Magpies ended 6-4 in favour of the Kestrels, their skipper Graham Bunce defeating Dave Martin on his way to a second hat-trick in as many weeks. Bob Sawyer won two and Debra Found one for the Kestrels, Found having a good win over Dave Sweetland. For the Magpies, Martin won two whilst Malcolm Caley recorded a win over Found.
It was also 6-4 for Walton E against Brotherhood F, a repeat of their early-season score. Gary Stallwood took three for the victors, although it was a close 11-6 in the fifth against Lee Allen. Mark Gale won two and was only denied his maximum by Barry Allen who edged their individual encounter 14-12, 10-12, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9.
Congratulations in Division Three go to Tony Edmonds, Duncan Dunne and Rodney Betts of Brotherhood E who wrapped up the Divisional title with a month of the season still remaining following their 7-3 victory over Nomads Lynx. Each of the Brotherhood trio picked up two wins but none could quite the better of Mike Vilka who remained unbeaten, although it was a tight 11-8 in the fifth against Edmonds and an even closer 12-10 in the fifth against Dunne.
The Lynx found it easier against bottom-team Windsor Robins, winning 9-1. Mike Vilka again, and Doug Green making a welcome re-appearance for the Lynx, stayed unbeaten. Dominic Joannou won two but went down 11-9 in the decider to Bob Bales in the final match of the evening.
Windsor Robins, this time forced to field a two-player team, lost for a second time, 7-3 to Nomads Ocelots. Arthur Wells-Garrett stayed unbeaten for the Ocelots whilst, for the Robins, Oleksandra Klymenko won two and Lee Atkins picked up a debut League victory.
Bob Jillins remained undefeated as Nomads Leopards beat Brotherhood J 8-2. Dave Wright and Stuart Wilkinson contributed two each, as did Harley Wood for the losers.
The draw between Windsor Falcons and Windsor Merlins was a repeat of their early-season encounter. Kayley Rodriguez took a treble for the Falcons, with Mark Lamb and Barbara Rogers chipping in with a point apiece. Rogers was involved in the only match which went to a decider, defeating Viv Rodriguez 11-7 in the fifth. Bradley Henshaw and Sharon Gowlett took two each for the Merlins, and shared a doubles success.
But the closest League match of the week saw Nomads Pumas edge past Walton D 6-4, five of the matches going the distance. Dave Harris was unbeaten for the Pumas, his closest win a 10-12, 4-11, 11-7, 14-12, 11-6 victory over Lynette Sparks. The Pumas' Lionel Goddard and John Bowers took one each, Bowers edging past Toni Hayhow-Khan 12-10 in the decider. Harris and Bowers also combined in the doubles to beat Sparks and Tony Sharman 11-6 in the fifth. For Walton, there were two each for Sparks and Sharman, Sparks defeating Goddard 11-9 in the fifth and Bowers 12-10 in the fifth.
In Division One there were hat-tricks for Paul Hume and James Denyer as champions-elect Nomads Panthers beat Windsor Eagles 8-2. The closest match was Denyer's 11-8 in the fifth success over Gary Cattermole. The Panthers are now 17 points ahead of second-placed Windsor Condors and require 14 points from their remaining three matches to guarantee a well-merited seventh consecutive title.
The Condors also enjoyed success this week, defeating Nomads Lions 7-3 for a second time this season. Martin Hogg starred with an unbeaten three, with Mel Rampton picking up a couple and Annabelle Stallwood one. Adam Cuthbert took two for the Lions.
The all-Walton encounter between the 'A' and 'B' teams also ended 7-3, Gavin Price and Daniel Young both unbeaten for the winning 'A' team. There was one each for Paul Meikle, Derek Willis and Jason Gale for the losers although it was a tight 11-7, 12-14, 11-9, 5-11, 12-10 for Meikle against Paul Woolnough.
And it was 7-3 again in a second all-Walton encounter, this time between the 'A' and 'C' teams. Price again took three, with Woolnough winning two and Jared Chelski one. Price and Woolnough combined to win 11-7 in the decider in the doubles against Ant Beckles and Paul Newbould. Peter Burrows won a couple of singles for the losers.
The two wins for Walton A move them into third place but Brotherhood C are now only eight points behind them, with a game in hand, after their 10-0 win over Lawford. There were trebles for Kevin Gowlett, Martin Edwards and Kevin Pryor, Pryor beating Richard Spence 11-6 in the decider on his way to notching up his first top-flight maximum in four years.
Lawford may be almost-certainties to finish bottom but Nomads Tigers have not given up hope of avoiding ending up in the relegation places, this week recording an excellent 7-3 success over Walton C. John Marshall, John Hockley and Pawel Szemro all took two wins each, Marshall and Szemro combining in the doubles to defeat Newbould and Beckles 11-4 in the decider. Beckles took two singles for Walton whilst Newbould won one but went down 11-4 in the decider to Hockley and 11-6 in the decider to Marshall.
* The Closed Championships, sponsored by Paul Newbould Planning and Building Design Services, take place at the Coastal Academy Sports Hall on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April. All players should receive details about check-in times by 6th April. Any player who has not received information by this date should contact Peter White (Tel : 01255 425292) as a matter of urgency.
* The Division Three Handicap Challenge final between Brotherhood E and Windsor Penguins will take place at the Brotherhood Hall on Tuesday 16th April at 7.30 pm.
The Knock-Out Cup Final takes place on Tuesday 30th April at the Brotherhood Hall at 7.30 pm. The final will be between either Windsor Eagles or Windsor Condors, and Brotherhood I or Nomads Lions.
Nomads Panthers 8 Windsor Eagles 2;
Walton A 7 Walton B 3;
Windsor Condors 7 Nomads Lions 3;
Lawford 0 Brotherhood C 10;
Walton C 3 Walton A 7;
Nomads Tigers 7 Walton C 3.
Brotherhood H 10 Nomads Jaguars 0;
Windsor Buzzards 2 Brotherhood I 8;
Windsor Kestrels 6 Windsor Magpies 4;
Walton E 6 Brotherhood F 4;
Nomads Bobcats 9 Brotherhood G 1.
Nomads Lynx 3 Brotherhood E 7;
Windsor Robins 1 Nomads Lynx 9;
Walton D 4 Nomads Pumas 6;
Windsor Falcons 5 Windsor Merlins 5;
Nomads Ocelots 7 Windsor Robins 3;
Brotherhood J 2 Nomads Leopards 8.