Once again expertly organised by the Leicester & District League’s Chairman, Peter Wilson, the Leicester Closed Championships threw up many absorbing and well contested finals over two days of fierce competition.

There were two or three contestants for the Player of the Tournament title but this must surely go to David Grundy who won three out of three he entered, including the Men’s Singles as well as the Veteran Singles and, with Andy LeButt, the doubles in which the pair defeated the father/son combination of Steve and Harry White 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-5).

LeButt would have been comforted being on the same side as Grundy for a change as the two events won by the latter saw LeButt as runner-up both times but, oh so close, as neither final could have been much tighter.

Grundy won the Men’s Singles 3-2 (11-7, 11-13, 14-12, 11-13, 12-10) in an absolutely nail-biting encounter, and then took the Veteran event, again against LeButt, 3-2 (7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 13-11). To call the two league team-mates well matched is an understatement.

Aman Rashid, with still a good number of years under his belt before he reaches “senior” status, normally has a good time, in this case winning two events when defeating Richard Martin 3-1 in the Boys’ singles and Oscar White 3-0 in the Intermediates.

Harry White gained some consolation for his loss in the doubles by winning the Handicap Singles. Gaining a start of four against Rashid he made it count at 2-1 (21-17, 9-21, 21-18). Shirley Pickering won the Ladies’ Singles, Tony Smith the Over 50s and Clive Stretton the Over 60s.

The other day saw graded events, always popular as it gives players not able to compete at top level the chance to shine against their peers. Results in those were (U = under gradings):

U100: Tony Monteiro beat Maya Dehnen 3-1.
U150: Steve Bessant beat Tracey Smith 3-2 (12-10 in the fifth).
U200: Harry White beat Peter Wilson 3-1.
U250: Richard Hayes beat Les Baker 3-0.
U300: Tony Smith beat Richard Hayes 3-2.
U400: Andy LeButt beat Les Baker 3-2.
Handicap Doubles: Harry White/John Bowness beat Ian Wetherley/Abraham Lam (+4) 21-9, 21-18.

The final result from the Rose Johnson Challenge Bowl which is the county’s four-a-side handicap event when, despite a fine performance from Dan Pearson who finished 82-66 playing against mainly players graded higher, he could not prevent The Ladder Boys beating Knighton Park V 318-292. For the “Boys” Peter Wilson recorded plus 30 and was well supported by Charlie Bateman, Tim Cawston and Stu Jones.

In Division One of the Leicester & District League Ajax Wolvey, who are vying for second place with Knighton Park, lost 8-2 to leaders and defending champions, Unicorn, who had both Jared Patel and Tim Sheppard unbeaten on the night. This means that Ajax must beat the Park in their impending clash to stand a chance of second. The latter defeated Abbots Road 6-4 mainly thanks to three from Chris Rogers who included a three-straight success over Dave Gannon.

At the other end of the chart the two bottom teams clashed when the already doomed Electricity II were thrashed 10-0 by Holwell Works who gave themselves an outside chance of avoiding the drop. Dave Roche, Tony Fox and Martin Brunning were all on form and, while five of the sets needed five games, Holwell prevailed in them all.