It was crunch time at the top of Division One of the Leicester League when the top two clashed in what was to all intents and purposes double points.  Unicorn, with two high class players from the Nottingham area and Ajax Wolvey, new to the league last season when they topped the second division and now challenging for something that had never before happened, a team topping Division Two and Division One in successive seasons.

Tim Sheppard gave Unicorn the ideal start by defeating Mick Allsopp in three and then Trevor Kerry made it 2-0 with another comprehensive victory over Aidan Walsh before Jon Williams pulled one back by beating Geoff Parsons, 2-1 to the students.

Kerry beat Allsopp in three and then Williams took a game off Sheppard before the latter got home to make the score 4-1.  This became 4-2 when Walsh beat Parsons and it became obvious that at least one of the students’ top two had to be breached – but it was not to be as both Sheppard and Kerry were in superb, and unbeatable, form.  Allsopp beat Parsons to bring the score to 5-3 but that was it with the final score 7-3 to Unicorn.

The Unicorn players were all extremely complimentary about the conditions at Ajax and attributed their brilliant form very much to that enjoyment and now sit atop the top division with a match in hand.  But the large lady is still at the tuning up stage and there is still time — just.

One of the most significant decisions the Leicester League made over the years has been to use the excellent local grading system by introducing knock out events below certain levels of expertise.  One such competition is the Frith Trophy in memory of a former long standing chairman, Cyril Frith, for players under 140 which is pitched around the middle of Division Four and below as a mark.

In the semi finals Blaby and Whetstone overcame Leicester Electricity 5-3 when Phill Hinson won an excellent maximum for the winners, backed by two from Jack Angrave.   Fast improving junior, Alex Jefferis, won two for the Sparks.

The other semi was a success for Regent Sports who beat Great Glen 5-1 with both Allan Clarke and Tim Cawston taking two out of two and Stu Jones the other.  Dermot Whelan won Glen’s solitary set.

The Lillian Williamson is for those below a 115 grading and is always keenly fought for.  Great Glen were successful in this and beat new club to the league, White Eagles, 6-3.  Phil Tomlin won three for GG and Terry Highton two.  Eagles have been dogged by injuries just lately and did not have their best team out but fought well and had Zoran Djuckovic winning two.

In the other semi Knighton Park overcame a spirited Abbots Road by 5-2 which became 5-4 when it was played out.  Sigourney Ducksbury, having a break from university studies, won all three for the Park with Jim Burdett and Simon Aldiss one each.

John Bowness (February 24, 2014)