The senior county first team made a great start in the National Division 1A campaign when they won their first three matches at Rugby in three tough encounters, winning many of the sets in the crucial fifth game on the back of a tremendous team effort.

Representing Leicestershire were Chris Rogers, Dave Gannon, debutant Georgios Briskolas, Karen Smith and Daria Dzierbicka.

Two victories for Dzierbicka and one for everyone else brought a winning start against Essex at 6-4 with Briskolas soon winning his first for the county at 13-11 in the fifth, losing his other deuce in the fifth while Smith did the same in one of hers.

Dzierbicka and Smith proved too strong for the Warwickshire ladies when they picked up all four ladies singles, while Briskolas, Rogers and Gannon all took one in an excellent 7-3 success.

A tough final match against Northamptonshire was expected and lived up to those expectations as the opposition fielded England No 8, Chris Doran, and No 21, Alex Ramsden. The county got off to a great start when Rogers beat Ramsden 11-8 in the fifth before Briskolas outlasted Hungarian, Shandor Czuczor, 12-10 in the fifth game of a real cracker.

Doran won both his singles for Northants but Smith took two for her team while Dzierbicka scored an absolutely crucial win at 11-8 in the fifth before Gannon came back from 2-1 down to defeat Czuczor to nudge Leicestershire over the line at 6-4. The next set of matches are at Wellingborough at the end of March.

In Division One of the Leicester & District League, Holwell Works have performed wonders to help maintain their first division status with some impressive victories, the latest a 9-1 success over fellow strugglers, Knighton Park II for whom George McClurkin beat Martin Brunning to save the full house. For Holwell Tony Fox and Dave Roche were in unbeatable form although the latter only just got the better of McClukin deuce in the fifth.

The other relegation place to join Electricity II in their downward movement involves four teams including the two previously mentioned plus the two Desford Village teams who have put their local Derby clash off until later as it will be vital.

Ironically the Electricity team coming down will almost certainly be replaced with their third team going up from Division Two, and they underlined that with a superb 10-0 victory over Arnesby who are, admittedly, at the bottom of the division. Former county champion, Steve White, will relish a return to the top flight, unbeaten here along with Harry White and Chandresh Sodha.

Top of the second division are Syston Casuals who had Jason Woodfield in great form during their 8-2 victory over Knighton Park IV. John Szostak and Robert Whittaker supported with two apiece, both beaten by Jack Rogers.

At the halfway point Blaby and Whetstone appeared to have Division Four nicely sewn up at the top, unbeaten with plenty of room to spare. Since then they have suffered two defeats and a draw with the most significant setback a 7-3 defeat at the hands of Knighton Park X who had Simon Aldis in tremendous form with a maximum with Kenny Obilaso winning two and Abe Lam one.

KP did a big favour for their own eighth team who have been steadily moving up the table after an uncertain start and now stand three points clear after defeating a two-man Desford Village III 9-1. Dan Pearson, now top of the averages, won his two as did Oscar White with Max Huggins chipping in with one out of two.

Robert Geary scored a splendid match winning maximum for Knighton Park VI in Division Three which included a brilliant success over Bruce Johnson, graded some 51 points higher, equivalent to around 60 per cent in terms of averages, albeit 15-13 in the fifth but crucial in the 6-4 win.