Derek Willis

Clacton & District: Derek digs for victory

Tony Oswick

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There can be fewer more gritty, resolute or determined players in the Clacton & District League than Derek Willis and he showed all those qualities this week in the all-Walton Division One clash between the ‘B’ and ‘E’ teams.

Willis took his three singles in three-straight for Walton B and then shared a tense doubles win with Jason Gale, 3-1 (7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 16-14), against Paul Woolnough and Gary Stallwood.

Gale took two and Colin Dearman one for the winners whilst, for the losers, Woolnough took a couple and Stallwood edged a tight match, 11-7 in the fifth, against Dearman.

Brotherhood A chalked up their second 9-1 win in successive weeks, this time against Walton C, Alan Burgess and Kevin Gowlett unbeaten. Peter Burrows defeated John Andrews in three-straight for the Walton point and took Burgess close before going down 11-5 in the fifth.

James Denyer with three, and John Hatley and Liam Harris with a couple each, saw Nomads Panthers to an 8-2 victory over Windsor Eagles. Mel Rampton took both Eagles’ points but Phil Smith will feel unfortunate not to have taken at least one point, losing 11-9 in the decider to Hatley.

Brotherhood B’s unhappy start to the season continued, going down 10-0 to Windsor Hawks, with only two of the matches extended to a fourth set. Andy Vincent, Felipe Rodriguez and John Barton all remained unbeaten.

In Division Two Lawford chalked up another 9-1 win with success over Windsor Harriers. Charlie Denholm and James Tindle recorded trebles and there were two for Ian Sherwood, although both were nail-biters, 12-10 in the fifth against Ferdy Rodriguez and 14-12 in the fifth against Jenny Higgins.

Kevin Pryor won his three singles for Brotherhood E in the encounter with club-mates Brotherhood C but it was not enough to prevent his side losing 7-3. Pryor’s closest win was an 11-7 in the fifth success against Frank Burbidge. There were two each for the ‘C’ team’s Burbidge, Russell Hillier and Mark Salter although it was a narrow 13-11 in the decider for Salter against Tony Edmonds.

Martin Scarfe made his Clacton League debut for Brotherhood D alongside regulars Barry Allen and Lee Allen, and it proved a successful start, Brotherhood winning 10-0 against Windsor Magpies. The only match which went the distance was Lee Allen’s 11-9 in the fifth victory over Dave Sweetland.

Every player picked up at least one point in the meeting between Windsor Kestrels and Nomads Bobcats. The Kestrels emerged 7-3 victors, with Graham Bunce taking three, Bob Sawyer two and Debra Found one. For Nomads, there was a win each for Mike Wellum, Caroline Page and Andrew North, North having an impressive win in four against Sawyer.

However, the most eye-catching result in the Division was Brotherhood G’s unexpected 6-4 win over Windsor Buzzards. There was a treble for Mark Beckham and two for Paul Metcalf, with the pair combining to take a crucial doubles, 11-8 in the decider, against Ray Chillingworth and Alan Rutledge. For the Buzzards, John Harvey won two, Chillingworth and Rutledge taking one apiece.

Pre-season title favourites Nomads Jaguars have started their Division Three campaign like a steam train, this week winning 9-1 against one of the other fancied sides, Windsor Penguins. Mike Vilka and Kevin Hume took trebles, although Hume was taken all the way by Paul Dale before winning 3-2 (11-4, 9-11, 12-14, 15-13, 11-7), as well as edging past Jackie Bunce 11-8 in the decider. Bunce denied Nomads’ Harry Hawkes his treble, winning their individual match by the tightest of 3-2 (12-10, 11-13, 11-9, 6-11, 13-11) margins.

Nomads Leopards set out their promotion credentials with an outstanding 9-1 victory over Walton D, Bob Jillins, Dave Wright and Stuart Wilkinson all unbeaten. Four matches went the distance, Jillins beating Tony Sharman 11-5 in the fifth, Wilkinson beating Sharman 12-10 in the fifth and Lynette Sparks 11-5 in the fifth, whilst Sharman and Sparks combined to take Walton’s sole point, a 12-10 in the decider victory against Jillins and Wright.

Sharon Gowlett again stayed unbeaten for Windsor Merlins but again finished on the losing side, Nomads Pumas taking the match 7-3. Her closest encounter was a 3-2 (11-9, 6-11, 13-11, 11-13, 11-5) victory over Tony Rayner, making a welcome return to League table tennis. Rayner, John Bowers and Lionel Goddard all won two for the Pumas, Bowers and Goddard also taking the doubles, 11-6 in the decider, against Gowlett and Barbara Rogers.

Finally, Brotherhood F swept past a two-player Windsor Robins 10-0. Maci Harvey’s 11-7 in the decider win over newcomer Mick Coker was the only match which went to five.


Division 1
Windsor Eagles 2 Nomads Panthers 8
Brotherhood B 0 Windsor Hawks 10
Walton C 1 Brotherhood A 9
Walton E 3 Walton B 7

Division 2
Windsor Magpies 0 Brotherhood D 10
Windsor Harriers 1 Lawford 9
Brotherhood G 6 Windsor Buzzards 4
Nomads Bobcats 3 Windsor Kestrels 7
Brotherhood C 7 Brotherhood E 3

Division 3
Windsor Merlins 3 Nomads Pumas 7
Brotherhood F 10 Windsor Robins 0
Nomads Jaguars 9 Windsor Penguins 1
Nomads Leopards 9 Walton D 1
Nomads Lynx 2 Nomads Ocelots 8

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