Clacton & District: Hawks take game of two halves

Tony Oswick

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This week saw the first group matches in the Clacton and District League’s new Handicap Doubles Challenge competition. And it was Group B which produced two of the most intriguing encounters.

The all-Division One tie between Brotherhood B and Windsor Hawks was a classic game of two halves, with Brotherhood racing away to take the first four matches but the Hawks fighting back to snatch the remaining five to win 5-4.

Four of the five Hawks’ points came from matches which went the distance, with Andy Vincent and skipper John Barton involved in three of them. Barton was the most successful player on the night, winning four of his matches.

An all-Windsor clash saw the Kestrels defeat the Buzzards 8-1 but, despite the scoreline, it was one the closest of all the Group matches played. Six of the individual matches went to a third set, with the Kestrels taking all six, the closest being the 2-1 (9-11, 11-8, 13-11) victory for Graham Bunce and Deborah Found (0) over Ray Chillingworth and Andy Cawley (0) in the first match of the evening.

Found ended with the honour of winning all of her six matches, with Bunce and Kayley Rodriguez slipping up just once, losing (-1) 11-6, 11-7 to Cawley and Alan Rutledge (+1).

There was another tight tussle in Group A where Brotherhood C emerged narrow 5-4 winners over Windsor Magpies. Five of the matches went to a third set, the tightest seeing Russell Hillier and Mark Salter (-5) scrape past Dave Sweetland and John Plummer (+1) 2-1 (12-10, 8-11, 13-11). Brotherhood’s Salter and Windsor’s Sweetland ended with four wins apiece.

Nomads Pumas led Windsor Robins 3-2 at one point but thereafter everything went the way of the Robins who finished 6-3 winners. Mick Coker shared in five of the six victories. The hardest-fought encounter was the final one of the evening where Bob Bales and Oleksandra Klymenko (+1) defeated Lionel Goddard and Alan Dockerill (-3) 2-1 (11-5, 9-11, 11-9).

The top-flight clash in Group C between Walton E and Nomads Lions ended 7-2 in favour of Walton, Mark Gale and Paul Woolnough each being successful in five of their six matches.

The Woolnough/Gary Stallwood combination (+1) was involved in three of the four matches which went the distance, the pair defeating Adam Cuthbert and Ethan Lloyd (-3) 11-5, 10-12, 11-6, and Cuthbert and Jason Lloyd (-1) 11-5, 10-12, 11-8 but losing to the two Lloyds (-1) who won 11-6, 7-11, 11-6.

Phil Smith and John Hobson of Windsor Eagles won all three matches they played together as a pair but it was not enough to prevent their side losing 6-3 to Brotherhood E. In a good team effort, Kevin Pryor, Tony Edmonds and Rodney Betts all won four times.

The Group D tie between Brotherhood G and Nomads Jaguars finished in a 7-2 victory for Brotherhood but, once again, the scoreline disguised a much harder-fought encounter.

With little to choose between all six players, the Brotherhood trio won one match 11-7 in the third and no less than four other matches by an 11-9 in the third scoreline. The two Jaguars’ points came from an 11-7 in the third win and an 11-9 in the third win. Paul Metcalf stayed unbeaten on the night for Brotherhood.

Windsor Penguins beat Nomads Ocelots 6-3 in an all-Division Three clash, Paul Dale being another player to stay unbeaten. The Penguins won three of the five matches which went the distance. The two closest were the 2-1 (8-11, 12-10, 12-10) victory for Dale and Jackie Bunce (-6) over Sue Lee and Barbara Rhodes (+1) whilst Lee and Hazel Blanche (+1) enjoyed a narrow 11-9, 2-11, 13-11 success for the Ocelots over Bunce and Alan Charman (-8).

In Group E Nomads Lynx of Division Three won the first match of the tie but that was their sole success as Nomads Bobcats of Division Two cruised to an 8-1 victory. Caroline Page stayed unbeaten for the winners. Only one match was stretched to a third set, David North and Mike Wellum (-11) defeating Dominic Joannou and James Horsler (+2) 0-11, 11-6, 11-8.

Brotherhood F edged past Nomads Leopards 5-4 in an all-Third Division tie. Harley Wood and Zac Coates were successful in all three doubles they played together, each ending the evening with four wins.

Finally, Windsor Harriers edged past Walton D 5-4 in Group H, winning three of the four matches which went to a third set. Ferdy Rodriguez for the Harriers, and Lynette Sparks of Walton, were the two most successful players, each winning four matches for their respective teams.

The remaining group stage matches take place during weeks beginning 16th December and 6th January. The top two teams from each group go through to the knockout stage of the competition.

* The draw has been made for Round One of the Knockout Handicap Cup. Matches are to be played during week beginning 13th January. Grades, score-sheets and further details will be circulated in mid-December.

The draw is: Windsor Kestrels v Windsor Merlins; Nomads Bobcats v Nomads Lions; Brotherhood F v Nomads Jaguars; Brotherhood A v Brotherhood B; Windsor Magpies v Brotherhood G; Brotherhood D v Walton D; Walton A v Brotherhood E; Windsor Buzzards v Walton C; Walton E v Walton B; Brotherhood C v Nomads Ocelots; Windsor Penguins v Lawford; Nomads Pumas v Windsor Harriers; Nomads Panthers v Windsor Eagles; Windsor Robins v Nomads Leopards. Nomads Lynx – bye to Round Two; Windsor Hawks – bye to Round Two.

Handicap Doubles Challenge
Group A
Windsor Magpies 4 Brotherhood C 5
Windsor Robins 6 Nomads Pumas 3

Group B
Brotherhood B 4 Windsor Hawks 5
Windsor Buzzards 1 Windsor Kestrels 8

Group C
Walton E 7 Nomads Lions 2
Windsor Eagles 3 Brotherhood E 6

Group D
Windsor Penguins 6 Nomads Ocelots 3
Nomads Jaguars 2 Brotherhood G 7

Group E
Nomads Bobcats 8 Nomads Lynx 1
Brotherhood F 5 Nomads Leopards 4

Group F
Brotherhood D 9 (w/o) Brotherhood A 0

Group G
Nomads Panthers 0 Lawford 9 (w/o)

Group H
Walton D 4 Windsor Harriers 5

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