Unicorn, sitting on top of Division One of the Leicester League for some time now, gave a remarkable display of superiority when they faced second-placed team and defending champions Electricity 10-0. Only one set needed five games when Tim Sheppard defeated Andy LeButt 11-9 in the fifth, the latter also taking a game off Jared Patel, who remains the only unbeaten player in the top sphere. Mark Scutts scored a three-straight maximum. The other two unlucky losing players were Steve White and Mat Hobday.
The leaders would have to lose a very unlikely two matches from now to give third-placed Knighton Park any chance of catching. KP have matches in hand, so should move to second, and had a conclusive 8-2 success over Ajax Wolvey when the brother/sister pairing of Chris Rogers and Karen Smith were undefeated. John Fuller and Jon Williams both overcame Les Baker for Ajax’s two, the latter in a close five-gamer.
At the other end of the table, Knighton Park III are doomed having lost all 15 matches, wracked as they been by injury and unavailability, but they are gamely fulfilling fixtures.
The other relegation place has two teams locked together in Syston Casuals and Holwell Works and, fittingly, these two had a cracking 5-5 draw, with many of the sets needing a fifth game to decide.
John Szostak had a busy night for Syston with all three going to five and he only just lost out to Martin Brunning 13-11 in the fifth, which made it 2-2 at the time instead of 3-1 to Syston. Jason Woodfield also won two for Syston, losing 13-11 in the fifth to Tony Fox. Brunning and Fox took two each for Holwell, with Dave Roche chipping in with a crucial singles. Finally, Syston won the doubles easily to secure a share.
Inroads are being made into the League’s cup matches, for which there are five levels of gradings as well as the “open” Rose Johnson Cup.
Both finalists are known in the Corrall Cup for players under 210, in which Knighton Park A defeated their own B team 5-1. Things looked rosy for the B’s when Peter Wilson beat Shirley Pickering, but Aman Rashid quickly nullified that against John Underwood before possibly the defining set when George McClurkin just got the better of Mike Lapworth 12-10 in the fifth to open the floodgates.
In the other semi, John Szostak scored an in vain maximum for Syston Casuals against Electricity, who had too much strength in depth as they moved forward with a 5-3 victory. Tomas Oravec and Andy Wright both took two for the Sparks, with Sam Radenhurst chipping in with the fifth.
At the bottom end of things, with the Lillian Williamson for those under 115, Knighton Park came through an exciting encounter to beat Electricity 5-4 thanks to the experience of Bill Walmsley, who won three, supported by one each from Pat Evans and Ange Bowness. Six of the nine sets needed a fifth game, with Joe Elton and Keaton Baylis securing two each for the Sparks.
Other results include a 5-1 win for Regent Sports over Electricity in the under-140 Frith Trophy, Allan Clarke and Rob Price scoring two apiece and Tim Cawston one. In the Saracen Cup for under 170, Electricity thumped Knighton Park 5-0, Dave Greasley and Harry White with two each and Sheriff Makhani the other.
John Bowness (publicity officer)
February 23, 2015