Unicorn, defending champions of the Leicester & District League’s Division One, finished their first half of the season with something of a demolition job on their nearest rivals, Knighton Park.

KP hitherto had a perfect record but found the students in top-class form as they rammed home a 9-1 result to top the chart at the mid-season point.

The match was not quite so one-sided as the overall score suggests. Lois Peake started by winning the first two games for Unicorn against Reza Kiani but the latter fought back in tremendous style to level at 2-2 before a fifth game that could have gone either way, Peake just shading it 14-12.

Jared Patel, who along with Peake came into the match undefeated so far, beat Les Baker and then Chris Rogers maintained his unbeaten tag for the Park by defeating George Briskolas to make it 2-1.

From there the scoring was all one way, despite Rogers fighting every inch and losing to both Peake and Patel in five games to leave the latter pair the only undefeated players in the top sphere.

There is still a way to go but Unicorn have a strength in depth widely envied and will take some shifting.

Meanwhile, there is an excellent tussle going on for third spot between three teams, two of whom have just played each other when Electricity beat Thringstone 6-4, but what a strange looking scorecard.

First of all the Sparks only had two players, with Andy LeButt giving them a good start by beating Maurice Newman in five first set up. David Grundy put the team 2-0 up, notwithstanding their three lost sets to come, by defeating Trevor Parry who then had to concede to Lebutt because of injury.

With Newman beating Grundy when the dust had settled it was 5-4 to the Sparks with only five out of nine singles actually played. LeButt and Grundy finally took the doubles against Newman and Alex Brojaka to gain full points.

The other team vying for third spot is Ajax Wolvey who scored a solid looking 8-2 victory over Desford Village when Jon Williams and Aidan Walsh both secured maximums while Mick Allsopp lost to Arun Jogi 11-9 in the fifth but won his other two. As usual, Ajax conceded the doubles.

Ross Adams won three for Abbots Road in a 6-4 success including a relatively easy win over Jason Woodfield who came roaring back to beat Dave Gannon 3-2 (11-7, 2-11, 11-9, 2-11, 11-9), possibly his best career success to date, going on to win two, supported by one each from John Szostak and Mike James who was playing up. Gannon’s two and the doubles gave Abbots full points.

There is still a terrific fight at the top of Division Five between four teams in a neck and neck race for the championship, and any one of the four could do it at this stage. If Syston Casuals IV win the final match left in the section only two points will separate the four teams.

Unicorn III are top on sets average after just getting the better of a fighting Regent Sports IV, for whom Stu Jones and Gary Featherstone each won two. Neither could get the better of Tony Geanta, who emerged undefeated to lead his team to a 6-4 success with Balu Pillai and Guan Zhang supporting with one apiece. The doubles, as so often, clinched full points for Unicorn.

Blaby and Whetstone III are level on points at the top after beating Winstanley Wizards III 7-3 and it was again a maximum leading the way home, this time from Tom Phipps who had support from Jack Angrave (2) and one from Ian Angrave. This was after the Wizards went 2-0 up, Ian Knight taking two for them.

One point behind the top two are Goons II who had rather an easier time against Nomads V when Steve Webb, Steve Harrison and Scott Robinson proved insurmountable in a 10-0 thrashing.

Syston Casuals IV were given an easier task against Knighton Park XI than they expected when the latter hosted with a player short. Wes Glauds, Scott Morris and Tony Monteiro all won two from two while KP avoided the whitewash when John Murray and Phil Wood took the doubles. By winning their match in hand Syston can leapfrog the other three to lead by one point midway.