The Leicester Table Tennis League’s summer handicap team event for the Elbow Tankard has suddenly become a very tight competition as long-time Group A leaders Nomads suffered two successive defeats.

Both were closely contested – 11-9 at the hands of Park Rangers and an identical scoreline against Vicars, with both winning teams putting themselves right back in contention for the title.

Park Rangers looked just out of contention until this result. Andy Searle led the way for Nomads with a splendid six from six and found the normal solid support from Trevor Hawkins with his customary three from six.

However, that was it as Rangers’ Martin Pember, Chris Parmar-Saville and Simon Aldis proved just that bit stronger in depth, while the latter won all four of his doubles.

Vicars went to the top of the chart as a result of their victory and again it was a 4-0 doubles return that swayed the match in their favour, with Shabnam Ahmed featuring prominently in this important department.

She could not quite win any of her singles but Raju Rahul won four and Tosh Singh three to give their team the edge. For Nomads, Cliff Smith won four and Hawkins, inevitably, three.

With two weeks remaining Vicars are two points clear at the top with the two bottom teams to play, although the handicapping system means that anything can still happen.

Nomads and Park Rangers are now locked together two points behind the leaders and all three have two matches to play. Only two from the three can make it to the semi final stage.

In Group B, both semi finalists are known with Park Keepers and Park Attendants still undefeated.

Keepers were gifted eight games when Desford Dynamo’s could only muster two players, with Luke Blair winning three of his six singles for the latter. Keepers, with Dean Jordan, George McClurkin and Eddie Kwok firmly in the driving seat, won 14-6.

Meanwhile, Attendants beat Electric City 13-7, Jack Kermode again showing his potential for the beaten side with three victories. But it was a good performance from Angela Bowness in the doubles, winning all four, plus three of her four singles, including a 23-21 over Kermode, that proved decisive.

by John Bowness
August 11th, 2014