Clacton & District League: Buzzards complete perfect season

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Played 22, won 22 – that’s the record of Windsor Buzzards this season in winning the Division Three title of the Clacton & District League.

The Buzzards finished their programme with a potentially awkward fixture against Brotherhood G and, although Graham Parkes stayed unbeaten for Brotherhood, the Buzzards emerged 6-4 winners. Ray Chillingworth and Pete Bloomfield each won a couple for the Buzzards – and Bloomfield came very close to making it a treble, going down 12-10 in the decider to Parkes.

The Buzzards are thus the only team in all three divisions to remain unbeaten and win all their matches, the first time this has happened in the League since 2011.

They finish 17 points ahead of second-placed Nomads Lynx who – as if to emphasise the gap between the top two teams and the rest – were 44 points ahead of third-placed Nomads Leopards, with Brotherhood G having to settle for fourth place.

Elsewhere this week, Rivhu Khan stayed unbeaten for Walton D against Nomads Pumas and Toni Hayhow-Khan defeated John Houghton 3-2 (10-12, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8, 11-5), but the consistent Pumas’ team ran out 6-4 victors. Alan Dockerill and Lionel Goddard won two each for the Nomads’ side and the pair chalked up a crucial doubles win, 11-8 in the fifth, against Hayhow-Khan and Lynette Sparks.

Three for Andrew Cawley, two for Paul Dale, one for Hazel Blanche and a 12-10 in the fifth doubles victory for Cawley and Dale over Mike Monschau and Jackie Bunce gave Nomads Wildcats a 7-3 win over Windsor Penguins. Monschau picked up a couple of points for the losers.

In Division One, champions Nomads Panthers were forced to field a guest against Walton C and so it was no surprise they lost 6-4, only their second reverse of the season. Gary Young beat both Colin Webber and Gill Locke whilst Derek Willis also defeated Webber. But the defeat cannot take the gloss off the Panthers’ excellent season, finishing in top spot by a clear 29 points to make it three title wins in a row.

The victory for Walton C was not enough to elevate them into third place, a position which goes to Walton A, 8-2 winners this week against Windsor Hawks. Kevin Gowlett and Peter Burrows both took trebles for Walton whilst, for the Hawks, Felipe Rodriguez beat Colin Dearman in five but lost in five to Burrows.

Windsor Eagles – who were also harbouring hopes of a third-place finish – must therefore settle for fifth position. They were involved in tough final match against divisional runners-up Nomads Lions which ended all-square, the Lions’ first draw of the season. Sam Hume took three for the Lions, including a close 3-2 (13-11, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6) success against Gary Cattermole. Mark Smith took two for Windsor, in the process denying Paul Hume his hat-trick with a nailbiting 3-2 (13-11, 5-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-9) individual win. Phil Smith’s sole point for the Eagles was an equally narrow 11-3, 9-11, 11-7, 12-14, 12-10 victory against Adam Wilkin. But the closest finish of all was reserved for the doubles, Cattermole and Mark Smith beating the Hume brothers 13-11 in the decider.

For the record, it was the 26th consecutive season that a Windsor Eagles side has finished in the top half of the Division One table, their highest-ever position being second in 1998.

The only other match in the division also ended all-square, Brotherhood B sharing the spoils with Walton B. In an encounter where six of the individual matches went the distance, Martin Edwards beat Graham Buxton 11-7 in the decider, both Gavin Price and Paul Newbould 11-9 in the decider, and shared an 11-9 in the fifth doubles win with John Owen against Price and Buxton. But Owen had little luck in his singles, losing 11-7 in the fifth to Buxton and 11-5 in the fifth to Newbould.

In Division Two, Nomads Ocelots defeated Brotherhood I 8-2. Peter Giles and John Hockley were unbeaten but Brian Parish, who’s been a tower of strength all season, lost to both Kelvin Olano and Mark Beckham in four. So the eight points for the Ocelots were sufficient for them to overtake Brotherhood D and secure second place – but not quite enough to overhaul Brotherhood C who are the 2014/15 divisional champions by just a single point.

Windsor Owls were 7-3 winners over a Brotherhood H side that fielded both a reserve, Graham Parkes, and a guest. But Parkes gave a good account of himself, defeating Tricia Salter and Sue Watson, and just losing out 11-9 in the decider to Adam Jackson. In the only other match that went the distance, Watson edged out James Smith-Daye 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-8.

The two bottom teams of the division, Windsor Magpies and Nomads Jaguars, coincidentally met in their final match of the season. The honours went to the Jaguars who won 8-2, Andrew North and reserve John Bonner taking hat-tricks. So, although both teams are due to be relegated, the result gives the Jaguars the marginal satisfaction of finishing above the Magpies, who end the season in 13th and last place.

Nomads Tigers’ second-half season revival continued with a 7-3 victory over Windsor Harriers, Daryl Lott and John Marshall – an ever-present for the Tigers this season – both staying unbeaten. Isabel Barton took Lott close before losing 11-6 in the fifth but the closest match was the doubles, Lott and Marshall beating Barton and Ferdy Rodriguez 3-2 (11-6, 14-16, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10). This fixture was the only one played on May 1, the last day of the playing season, to give it the dubious distinction – if that’s the correct description – of being the last local League match to be played with a celluloid ball!

Click here to view final league tables

RESULTS

Division 1
Walton A 8 Windsor Hawks 2
Walton C 6 Nomads Panthers 4
Brotherhood B 5 Walton B 5
Windsor Eagles 5 Nomads Lions 5

Division 2
Windsor Owls 7 Brotherhood H 3
Nomads Tigers 7 Windsor Harriers 3
Brotherhood I 2 Nomads Ocelots 8
Windsor Magpies 2 Nomads Jaguars 8

Division 3
Nomads Pumas 6 Walton D 4
Windsor Penguins 3 Nomads Wildcats 7
Brotherhood G 4 Windsor Buzzards 6

Tony Oswick
May 5, 2015

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