One of the closest matches so far in the Leicester & District League’s various graded knockout competitions came in the Saracen Cup for those graded below 170 – roughly under 50% in Division Two – when Knighton Park beat Abbots Road 5-4.
KP started well when Patrick Cox beat Steve Pratt and then Oscar Bentley overcame Bhulesh Rathod, both in three, before Geoff Hancock pulled one back by just squeezing home 13-11 in the fifth against Vishaal Sharda on the way to a superb maximum but, in the end, in vain as Pratt’s win against Sharda was the only other set Abbots could conjure with Cox and Bentley both winning two, Sharda one.
In the open Rose Johnson Cup Knighton Park A were much too strong for Syston Casuals B when Chris Rogers, Reza Kiani and 13-year-old Oscar Bentley who was making his first team debut all emerged undefeated for a 9-0 result.
The Corrall Cup is for players graded below 210 and this saw another close encounter taken 5-4 by Syston Casuals B against Electricity. No-one won or lost all three with two from Syston’s Bob Whittaker as well as Jason Woodfield whose three sets all needed a fifth game, going down (3-2 (12-10, 7-11, 10-12, 14-12, 11- 9) to Andy Wright, with Chandresh Sodha providing the important fifth set. Wright won one for the Sparks as did Preetpal Sangha while Russell Pettitt took two, going down in five to Woodfield. Whittaker won the tense ninth set against Sangha in four.
In the Frith Trophy for those graded below 140 – approximately under 50% Division Three – Knighton Park A defeated Electricity 5-1, Robert Geary and Martin Pember two each and David Mountain one from two. Park’s B team also won, this time 5-3, against Regent Sports for whom Richard Anderson scored an excellent, but in vain, maximum. Paul Duxbury and Abe Lam both won 2 from 3 for KP, Alec Downes one.
The Lillian Williamson for players graded below 115 – below 50% Division Four – is always popular but no really close scores for a change as yet with the closest that of Knighton Park B’s 5-2 success over Regent Sports, KP having Charlie Gilmour-Evans spearheading with an excellent three, Hugh Duffield and Alex Bousbaine one apiece.
KP’s A team were well beaten by Winstanley Wizards for whom Ben Cooke and Elly Bajarias were both unbeaten, while Abbots Road defeated Electricity 8-1 – nice to see all sets played. Three each for Eiz Eddin Al Katrib and Ketan Patel, two for Steve Sullivan.
Some catch up matches in the league included a win for Unicorn II against Electricity II by 7-3 which just about settles who lies second in the Division One table behind Unicorn firsts. Craig Witheford won three to remain at the top of the averages on 92% while Jacques Vander also took three. There are three or four individuals in this division undefeated who have not played the require number for the averages.
Thringstone have a match in hand and could finish second after defeating Knighton Park firsts 6-4 but their outstanding fixture is against Unicorn I. Jack Rogers won a superb maxi for KP but Maurice Newman and Trevor Kerry both scored two for Thringstone, Alastair Hawthorn one, the first two winning the doubles in three. Interestingly the clash between Rogers and Newman settled who was second in the averages.
Goons have been catching up with matches in Division Four and had Anthony Thomas playing his first match of the season and notching up a maximum against Electricity IV in a 7-3 victory. Support was supplied by the father/son Robinson combination of Barry (1) and Scott (2), plus the doubles.
Goons drew 5-5 against Abbots Road III and this time the Robinson family won two apiece and the doubles to secure the share. Neither could get the better of Steve Pratt who took a splendid maximum for Abbots. Meanwhile Regent Sports II were defeating Unicorn III 7-3 with Richard Anderson and John Bowness three each and the doubles.
In Division Four Goons second team were racking up a 7-3 success over Syston Casuals when six of the ten sets needed a fifth game and two of the others four games. Gary Pitts won three for Goons, Steve Harrison two, all in five, and John Jacques one. Nick Bishop took two for Syston.