Clacton & District League: Ocelots have title incentive in thrilling finish

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Paul Stimpson

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With the just a week of the 2014/15 Clacton & District League season remaining, the destination of the Division Two title is still in doubt.

Buoyed by the absence of Richard Spence from the Lawford line-up, current leaders Brotherhood C completed their programme with a 6-4 victory over the out-of-town side. There were three wins for Gary Stallwood, two for Kevin Pryor and one for Lawrence Torr, whilst Paul Hewitt’s two for Lawford included a 3-2 (11-5, 15-13, 13-15, 6-11, 11-7) win over Torr. Hewitt and Ian Sherwood shared a five-set (10-12, 12-10, 5-11, 13-11, 11-4) doubles win against Stallwood and Pryor.

The win moves Brotherhood C on to 179 points, ahead of Brotherhood D – who, on 175 points, had already played all their matches – and confirms they will be promoted.

But with Nomads Ocelots on 170 points, and a match still to play, the title and second promotion place have yet to be decided.

This week the Ocelots did their cause no harm when they beat bottom side Windsor Magpies 9-1. Brian Parish and Peter Giles were undefeated but Windsor’s Dave Sweetland sneaked a 3-2 (11-9, 11-4, 5-11, 9-11, 11-9) win against Harry Hawkes – a point that could yet prove vital.

It means the Ocelots go into their final match against mid-table Brotherhood I knowing that six points will guarantee them promotion – but only a full 10 points will see them crowned as champions.

In their second match of the week, Lawford – who will definitely finish fourth after another solid season – beat Windsor Harriers 8-2. Spence and Hewitt were both unbeaten although Hewitt had two tight wins, 11-6 in the fifth against Ferdy Rodriguez and an even closer 14-12 in the fifth against Isabel Barton. Lawford skipper Ian Sherwood won one but lost out 11-5 in the decider to Rodriguez and 16-14 in the decider to Jenny Higgins.

Windsor Owls were 7-3 victors over Nomads Jaguars. Frank Burbidge and Adam Jackson stayed undefeated although it was a narrow 11-8 in the decider for Jackson against Roger Hance. Jackson and Sue Watson took the doubles 3-2 (9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7) against Andrew North and Caroline North, but Caroline had revenge in her singles against Watson, winning 3-1 (11-9, 16-14, 8-11, 11-7).

Nomads Tigers faced a Brotherhood H team which fielded both a reserve and a guest, and not unexpectedly they won 9-1. But the match was closer than the scoreline suggests, with Darryl Lott beating Brotherhood captain James Smith-Daye in five (11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 16-18, 11-5) and Eric Lemke defeating the same player 3-2 (12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9). Lott and John Marshall also took a tight doubles in five (11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5) against Smith-Daye and reserve Graham Parkes.

In Division Three the top four teams all recorded convincing wins.

Windsor Buzzards have already been confirmed as champions and they showed their superiority in a 10-0 win against Nomads Pumas. The only match that went to a decider was Dan Malinowski’s 11-4, 13-11, 11-13, 7-11, 11-9 victory against Andrew Cousins – which meant the Pumas failed to register a point in a match for the first time this season.

Nomads Lynx’s final match was a comfortable 10-0 victory over Walton D and, after a season-long battle, they must be content with the runners-up spot behind the Buzzards.

Nomads Leopards look almost certain to finish third and they ended with a 9-1 win against Windsor Penguins, only Mike Monschau’s victory over Tom Collins preventing the whitewash.

Windsor Swallows fielded two guests against Brotherhood G and, although they went down 9-1, Kayley Lamb had the satisfaction of a 3-2 (11-8, 9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4) success against Vicki Edwards. Lamb and Iris Howlett, who only played in the doubles, put up a good fight against Edwards and Graham Parkes before going down 11-5 in the decider. Alas for the Swallows, it means they finish bottom of the table.

The Nomads Club has swept the board in Division One with the Panthers taking the title for a third year running and the Lions finishing in a well-deserved second place.

The Panthers, who this week included reserve Harry Beezer in their line-up against already-relegated Windsor Ravens, took the match 7-3 with regulars Colin Webber and Gill Locke both remaining unbeaten.

Nomads Lions were 6-4 winners against a Walton A side that fielded a guest player. The most notable result was Paul Hume’s 3-1 (12-10, 12-10, 1-11, 11-7) victory over Kevin Gowlett.

Although the top two places are settled, there are still three teams who are battling it out for third place – Walton A on 125 points, Walton C on 124 points and Windsor Eagles on 123 points.

Walton A lost ground following their defeat by the Lions but Walton C boosted their chances of a top-three position with two good victories, Derek Willis winning a treble and Paul Meikle a couple in both matches.

Their first victory was a 6-4 success against Windsor Hawks. John Barton won two for Windsor, with Ian Fielder and Andy Vincent taking one each. The closest match of the evening – and the only one that went the distance – was Meikle’s 3-2 (10-12, 12-10, 12-10, 5-11, 11-7) victory over Vincent.

Then, in a non-handicapped rehearsal of next week’s Cup final, the Walton C trio defeated Brotherhood B 8-2. Mark Gale contributed two tight wins for Walton in this match, 11-5 in the fifth against David North and 12-10 in the fifth against John Owen. Martin Edwards took the two Brotherhood points.

Windsor Eagles were also 8-2 winners, Gary Cattermole and Mark Smith taking hat-tricks in their success against Walton B – although Cattermole was tested by Gavin Price before taking the match 3-2 (11-5, 11-13, 11-8, 16-18, 11-8). There were a couple for Windsor’s Phil Smith but he failed to convert it to a treble, losing 11-7 in the decider to Paul Newbould. Walton’s second point came from the doubles, Gavin Price and Graham Buxton beating Cattermole and Mark Smith in five (3-11, 12-10, 11-5, 12-14, 11-8).

So with just two points separating the three teams, Walton A take on Windsor Hawks in their final match, Walton C face champions Nomads Panthers, whilst Windsor Eagles host runners-up Nomads Lions.

The only other match played in the division saw Brotherhood A defeat Windsor Condors 7-3, a win that means they finish in sixth position. Newly-crowned Men’s Singles champion Colin Stallwood stayed unbeaten for Windsor, with John Andrews, Greg Green and Martyn Green each recording two wins for Brotherhood. Andrews and Greg Green took the doubles in the closest match of the night, defeating Stallwood and Annabelle Rodriguez 11-6 in the decider.

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* Team Secretaries are reminded that all matches must be played, and all results cards delivered to the Press and Records Secretary, by Friday May 1.

* The Handicap Knock-Out Cup Final between Brotherhood B and Walton C will be played on Tuesday May 5 at the Brotherhood Hall. Play starts at 7.30pm. It promises to be a tightly-fought and entertaining encounter and all spectators are encouraged to attend. Admission is free.

RESULTS

Division 1
Windsor Hawks 4 Walton C 6
Windsor Condors 3 Brotherhood A 7
Walton C 8 Brotherhood B 2
Nomads Lions 6 Walton A 4
Nomads Panthers 7 Windsor Ravens 3
Walton B 2 Windsor Eagles 8

Division 2
Nomads Ocelots 9 Winsor Magpies 1
Nomads Jaguars 3 Windsor Owls 7
Lawford 4 Brotherhood C 6
Windsor Harriers 2 Lawford 8
Brotherhood H 1 Nomads Tigers 9

Division 3
Walton D 0 Nomads Lynx 10
Windsor Buzzards 10 Nomads Pumas 0
Windsor Swallows 1 Brotherhood G 9
Nomads Leopards 9 Windsor Penguins 1

Tony Oswick
April 27, 2015

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