With the Leicester League done and dusted, activity turned to the various cup finals, of which four of the five are now settled. Most are graded events in that there is an upper limit to a players’ grading which means many players get a good chance of winning something unless they are particularly unlucky in “chinning” just over a competition’s mark.
The Rose Johnson Cup is the open one that allows any grading and, in this, the two clubs with the most teams through all the events faced one another, each having won one against the other in the league. The result depended upon two aspects: Could anyone beat Park’s in-form Chris Rogers who finished second in the averages? If Rogers won three, could Karen Smith and Les Baker win two between them to supplement his successes enough for victory?
Smith put Park 1-0 ahead with a five-game win over Mat Hobday after the latter had been 2-1 up, before David Grundy levelled the scores by beating Baker. Possibly the most crucial set came next when Rogers defeated Andy LeButt in three and looked in tip-top form. Smith then put her team 3-1 ahead with a splendid win over Grundy with Rogers defeating Hobday in three for 4-1.
There was a glimmer of hope for the Sparks when LeButt beat Baker, but Rogers sealed the match by beating Grundy, albeit losing one game along the way, for Park to take the title 5-2.
The Corrall Cup is for players under 210 and featured the same two clubs, although six different players. Once again Knighton Park prevailed and included a very good performance by Zack Moss who struggled a little in the top division this year. He won both sets he played in, beating Andy Wright and Sam Radenhurst to spearhead his team’s 5-3 success.
Tomas Oravec was also undefeated for Electricity – a shame the ninth set was not needed – beating both George McClurkin and Aman Rashid to give his team a glimmer of hope, while Radenhurst also beat Rashid in five. McClurkin made no mistake with his other two sets, however, scoring relatively easy victories.
Will Regent Sports be able to keep the Frith Trophy for those players graded under 140? The same three players won for the third time in a row when defeating Leicestershire Police 5-1. Both Tim Cawston and Rob Price won two from two for Regent. Only Chetan Tailor was able to offer any resistance for the Police, as he at least arrested a landslide, by beating Allan Clarke. Clarke won his other over Min Gupta, while Wes Glauds had no luck with his two sets.
Regent Sports won their second piece of silverware when they defeated Knighton Park in the final of the Lillian Williamson Trophy for players under 115, and it was by the same 5-1 margin their Frith Trophy trio managed.
John Dewsbury had, for him, a poor season for Regent in 2013/14 and dropped under 115 as far as gradings are concerned. This season, however, he had come back to form with gusto, gaining 50 per cent in Division Three which will almost certainly take him over the Frith Trophy line of 140 let alone 115 for this event.
Dewsbury won both he was featured in against Bill Walmsley and Eddie Kwok, while his brother Dave also won two out of two. Gary Featherstone beat Paul Ducksbury to supply Regent’s fifth set while Kwok defeated Featherstone for the Park’s lone success.
The highly successful Afternoon Ladder League had its penultimate session this season when Andy Searle sewed up top spot with three 3-0 victories, although he did lose 2-1 to Steve Bessant in his fourth match. Charlie Bateman looks to have secure second position with one session remaining. This time there was one group of 10 players as holidays begin to bite.
John Bowness (publicity officer)
April 20, 2015