Group A of the Leicester League’s summer competition for the Elbow Tankard has been finalised with all matches finished, the two final matches being played side by side and much depending upon the two results.

Knighton Park The Bus lost their first three matches and looked completely out of it, but then reversed every single one of them in the second half, needing to beat The Itinerants in their final fixture to challenge for one of the semi-final spots, something they duly did thanks to excellent form by Simon Aldis who won his four singles as well as helping towards a 3-1 doubles return. With very good backing also from Chris Parmar-Saville, who won five from six, the winners finished with six points in the group.

Playing on the next table were No Parking at home to Abbots All Stars with the latter already on six points, needing a draw to progress through. No Parking, already assured a place in the final four, were keen to see their club-mates join them and it looked on the cards at 10-8 up before John Underwood faced Abbots’ Vishal Parmar and could not quite get a game, the latter winning 21-16, 21-19 to gain the point his team needed. Parmar won four from six while Andy Searle did the same for No Parking.

Meantime, Group B is not yet done and dusted as KP Nutters have two matches outstanding, the only two remaining, and they have a big mountain to climb in needing to win the two by a combined 31-9. Not impossible, but not likely either given their opposition.

This came about after KP Nutters defeated Desford Dynamos 11-9 when the doubles, featuring Alec Downes for KP, proved decisive at 4-0, with Robert Geary winning four and Paul Ducksbury three. For Desford Keith Adams, after losing the first game of the match 22-20, won his other five, while Gillian Wisdish took three.

Playing for The Itinerants in one of the matches was evergreen Derek Butt, who at 84 is now officially the oldest player in the Leicester League after Pat Hine, who last season played alongside Derek at Nomads, decided to hang up her bat.

Exactly 50 years ago this week Butt was appointed Leicester’s Midland Counties League secretary, then a thriving organisation, and he has been an absolute stalwart for the league in a variety of positions since then. Currently he is League President.