Although it is in the top division where the very best of players fight out their battles, the lower rungs of the ladder have their moments, with some seriously useful performers delivering their best as they ready themselves for higher things to come.

In Division Five of the Leicester League, for instance, Lutterworth Rotary have just signed Mike Eastell, who moved to the county only recently from the Chester area. Eastell, who is a spritely 71, has played table tennis all his life and has regularly played in higher reaches. His comfortable-looking maximum set up a 7-3 victory for his team against Eagles, with good support from Barry Price who won two while David Jarvis took a humdinger against Luka Zelenovic in five games. Zoran Djurkovic won two for Eagles and Zeljko Koncarevic the other.

Another playing well is Nikki Farrall for Knighton Park X, back after 20 years not playing. She was part of an all-ladies team to beat Electricity VI 7-3 and was unbeaten to maintain that status thus far, while Aga Hirt also won three in this match. Pat Evans was the third KP player and it is many years since a complete team of ladies competed in the same match. Also in this squad is Angela Bowness and Paul Ducksbury, who thinks he is in heaven.

Another player in this division yet to taste defeat is Jack Kermode who helped Winstanley Wizards to a 7-3 win over Regent Sports IV. Gary Featherstone almost got the better of Kermode in the first game of the tussle before the latter squeezed home 3-2 (11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 13-11).

The stage is certainly set for when the star players begin to oppose each other over the coming weeks.

After only three weeks none of the 12 teams in Division Four is unscathed, all having dropped at least one point in what looks to be one of the potentially closest tussles for many years with the top eight teams all within one win of taking over in top position.

Desford were top until they came up against Abbots Road IV, who had Jeffrey Jarvis and Dave Rana in top form, the latter playing up from five. Crucial set was Rana’s win over Steve Arscott at 15-13 in the fifth to set Abbots on the right road at a crucial time in the middle.

Just top on sets average now are Leicestershire Police after beating Goons II 6-4 in a thoroughly contested encounter in which no-one won three. Lucky Obi and Chetan Tailor each won two for the Bobbies, while Graham Cutler and Steve Harrison did the same for Goons. The game swingers were a singles win from Wesley Glauds and the doubles to give Police the six sets.

One of the best individual performances came from John Henshaw who won all three for Syston III against Nomads III in a 6-4 defeat although Raju Rahul of Abbots Road III ran him close with a maximum against Electricity V to set up a 6-4 victory.

Goons maintained their unbeaten tag at the top of Division Three thanks to a 6-4 team win against Knighton Park VIII when Dave Tanner and Barry Robinson both picked up two. Dominating, however, was Park’s Richard Martin, who scored a tremendous maximum in defeat. Jack Rogers (KP) and John Jacques (Goons) each won one.

Regent Sports II are the team to watch having gained promotion from Division Four. They carried on their winning ways with a splendid 10-0 thrashing of Knighton Park VII, with Rob Price, Tim Cawston and John Dewsbury all in good form.

Regent have won two out of two, as have Unicorn II who defeated Electricity IV 7-3 when all three of their players, Andrew Padgett, Ron Forster and David Green gained two successes. Main opposition came from Harry White who won two, losing only to Green 13-11 in the fifth, the latter having lost to Alex Jefferis in five earlier in the match.

John Bowness (publicity officer)
October 6, 2014