Leicester is lucky to have someone of the calibre of Mike Smith dealing with the schools’ side of the sport. He has a team of helpers, but he is very much at the hub of a growing concern that culminated in the individual championships from which the champions will represent Leicester schools at the National final stages in April.

Events were staged at both Knighton Park and Leicester Grammar School with an overall entry of 210, the largest so far, with 66 playing in the under 11s, a major increase on the previous year, once again showing the recent upsurge in interest at the younger level.

There was excellent competition play in all eight events, four each for boys and girls and it shows the impact that the Development League is having on local table tennis, Vaughan Allington the organiser of that league is also very much involved in the schools’ event.

Corey Lancaster who won the Under-11s


Under-11 Boys: Corey Lancaster (Glenmere) beat Matthew Halliday (Burbage).

Under-11 Girls: Roma Morjaria (Leicester High School) beat Alice Cleaver (St Peters).

Under-13 Boys: Edward Brown (Hastings) beat Oscar Bentley (Gartree).

Under-13 Girls: Frankie Hallam (Hastings) beat Alana Richardson (Hinckley Academy).

Under-16 Boys: Jack Rogers (Lancaster) beat Adnan Ebrahim (Leicester Grammar).

Under-16 Girls: Sufyaana Dhanji (Sth Charnwood) beat Ella Parmar-Saville (Manor).

Under-19 Boys: Adam Pettitt (Bosworth) beat Aman Rashid (Wigston College).

Under-19 Girls: Shreya Mehta (Beauchamp) beat Kelsey Andrews (Bosworth).

In the Leicester and District League’s Saracen Cup for players graded below 170 Great Glen defeated Syston Casuals 6-3 when Kevin Trueman and Kelvin Herbert spearheaded the success with three apiece. Meanwhile Knighton Park A were beating Regent Sports 5-2 with Lucky Obi three and Adnan Ebrahim two out of two.

In the Corrall Cup for players graded below 210 Knighton Park A beat Electricity while Syston Casuals A overcame their own B team.

The second half of the league season has made a slow start although Syston Casuals lifted themselves away from the Division One relegation zone with a hard fought 6-4 victory over bottom team, Holwell Works. Holwell belied their position with quite a fight, James Morley and Martin Brunning both scoring two but the slightly greater depth of Syston came through.

Jason Woodfield and Robert Whittaker both took two while John Szostak grabbed the all-important singles before the doubles confirmed full points.

In Division Three it is good to see Chris Woodward in action once again for Electricity IV. Woodward has had three months off after a shoulder operation but won two against Syston Casuals III in a 6-4 win to supplement two from Sheriff Makhani while Dave Greasley notched one, just losing in five to Terry Wale. Woodward nearly had three, only going down 12-10 in the fifth to Ajay Lad. Wale won two for Syston.

In the same division Goons must be getting a bit fed up of Knighton Park’s eighth team who beat them 7-3 in the final rearranged match of 2016 and continued with an 8-2 victory against the same team first up in 2017. Patrick Cox and Max Huggins scored three apiece while Kenny Obilaso won two.

Winstanley Wizards moved to the top of Division Four with a splendid 7-3 win over the experienced Nomads IV with Himansu Mishra scoring a maximum which was well supported by brother and sister, Dan (2) and Kelsey (1) Andrews.

The plight of Knighton Park IX does not look quite so bad after they beat Regent Sports III 8-2 thanks to a very good maximum by Eddie Kwok, while Mike Smith and Paul Ducksbury each gained two.