Having previewed the top clash of the week in Division Four of the Leicester & District League seven days ago with Lutterworth marginally ahead of Syston Casuals III and the two facing each other almost certainly for the championship, the reality was spectacular, but in an unexpected way.

Lutterworth came through in fine championship style by completely overwhelming their rivals to the tune of 10-0 with Colin Jones, Mike Eastell and a first appearance of the season by Freddie Jones, all in full fettle to leave Syston not only licking their wounds but now having to find enough resilience to withstand the next test against Abbots Road III who are just behind and challenging for the runners-up spot.

Abbots put in the ideal performance in preparation by thrashing Nomads III 10-0 when Bradley Lapworth, Dave Rana and Ketan Patel put in what they hope will be a dress rehearsal for their battle with Syston next week.

Abbots Road are also performing well in Division Five where their fourth team defeated Fleckney III 8-2 to leapfrog Knighton Park IX to the top of the chart. Sameer Shaikh and Kishen Mistry both recorded maximums while Kushal Mehta supplied one, Tony Burns and Pete Wilson each grabbing one for Fleckney.

The Park’s ninth team could only draw with the fast improving Winstanley Wizards IV when all six players came away with something. Sigourney Ducksbury and father, Paul, both notched two for the Park, Abe Lam one for their five. For the Wizards, Kai Bhakta won two, Kalan Bhakta and Roy Smith one apiece, the latter’s first match and he defeated the previously unbeaten Sigourney. And then the two Bhakta brothers brought their doubles record to played 11, won 11.

Knighton Park X, vying for the third spot that normally gets a leg up because of holes appearing in higher divisions, defeated Winstanley III 9-1 for whom Matt Weedall prevented the full house by beating Mike Smith. Phil Wood and Tony Scarborough both won three for the Park.

Meanwhile the Park’s 11th team could only field two players because of shifts and a late illness but Neal Smith with three and Dave Cooper’s two with the doubles got the better of Desford Village by 6-4.

A spearheading maximum by Rasool Kotadia led Winstanley’s third team to a 7-3 victory over Nomads IV, John Hurst with two and Pete Mason one and Dave Croucher getting two for Nomads, Mick Harvey one.

At the top in Division One, while the top three teams all notched victories attention focussed a little more on the relegation issue when Arnesby did themselves a great deal of good when they defeated a weakened Electricity II 6-4, both teams now in a similar position trying to stay ahead of Knighton Park III.

Ian Brown won all three for Arnesby, Abraham Conteh two and Darren Bramhall one while Harry White notched two for the Sparks and Andy Wright, playing up from three, one.

Knighton Park’s third team were being beaten by the Spark’s first team when Mat Hobday won three, David Grundy and Andy LeButt two apiece. Oscar Bentley won a good brace for the Park, who now have a much bigger gap to bridge for safety.

The battle for second spot in Division Two became even closer when the two teams currently locked in that spot, Knighton Park IV and Abbots Road, drew 5-5. Osman Bawa took three for KP, Zia Malik two. Abbots had more depth with Vishal Parmar two, Geoff Hancock and Chetan Tailor one each before Parmar and Hancock prised the doubles 17-15, 13-11, 12-10 to share.

Desford Village II defeated Electricity III 7-3 to move two points nearer to the other two, just two points adrift, thanks mainly to a maximum by Kevin Parker with Matthew Briggs two and Paul Bumpus one.