Harry White, who four years ago was playing in division five of the Leicester & District League before rising quickly to division one status this term, showed much of that improvement when he won the Phil Reid Memorial Trophy, the annual individual handicap singles held during the mid-season break.

The eight finalists were placed in two groups of four with White emerging at the top of one while Karen Smith won the other, both groups fairly straightforward.

The top of one group played the second-placed player in the other group in the semi-finals, the toughest of which being Smith’s 2-1 victory over the in-form Mike Lapworth, the latter receiving 10. Meanwhile, White was defeating John Genovese in two after receiving two points.

Smith gave away a deluge of points all the way through, playing 21 games over nine sets altogether and giving an average of 10-and-a-half points each game. The final proved one step too far as White’s power, coupled with his nine points start, proved Smith’s undoing at 21-15, 21-13.

The fifth session of the daytime Ladder League found leader, Andy Searle, in great form as he won all four sets to open up a significant seven-point gap at the top with second-placed Charlie Bateman unavailable this time. There are three sessions remaining for Bateman to attempt to bridge that gap.

Chris Woodward, back after his successful shoulder operation, won all four 2-1 for a positive gathering of four points while Dave Dewsbury had a very good competition to win three out of four.

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Arnesby have moved up the chart in Division One of the league after five successive victories which took them not only way out of the relegation zone after an uncertain start but to a position of challenging to break into the top four.

Much of that improvement is down to them being joined by Abraham Conteh who has lost only one set in six matches, and that to Knighton Park’s Chris Rogers who most are apt to find unbeatable. However, a really good run by Ian Brown has been just as important. Brown has notched four maximums in a row including the latest match against Holwell Works, an 8-2 success in which Darren Bramhall chipped in with two, Conteh his customary three.

Meanwhile, of the top four teams, Unicorn have yet to get going after the break but the other three are all winning. Knighton Park move to the top after defeating Desford Village 9-1 while Electricity went one better against Syston Casual at 10-0 with Mat Hobday, Andy LeButt and David Grundy in good form. It needed a John Fuller maximum before Ajax Wolvey beat Knighton Park’s second string 6-4.

The other divisions are providing their own excitement, not least of all Division Five when two of the top four fought out a thrilling 5-5 draw with Syston Casuals’ fourth team thanking Scott Morris for his splendid maximum against three graded slightly higher than himself for Goons II. Wes Glauds provided one singles while Morris combined with Tony Monteiro for the crucial doubles success.

For Goons Kevin Edwards and Scott Robinson each won two while Steve Harrison took the other singles.

The top of Division Four has been thrown wide open with the defeat of the hitherto unbeaten top two with Nomads III scoring a tremendous 8-2 victory over Regent Sports II when Steph Burley had her best results for some time in winning three, Laszlo Kocsis doing the same, while Roger Burley grabbed one.

Knighton Park X defeated the top team, Winstanley Wizards, 7-3 mainly thanks to Zia Malik’s continued superb form. He won three and had support from both Brajesh Patel (2) and Abraham Lam (1).  Park now join the Wizards and Regent as part of a very tight trio fighting for two promotion places.

Lucky Obi fought a lone battle for Knighton Park V in Division Two against his own fourth team to take three sets, his team having only two players through injury. Rod Pickering combined with Obi for the doubles to make it 6-4 with Adnan Ebrahim, Rayan Kotecha and Shirley Pickering all winning one from two for the victors.

In Division Three Arnesby II are in still championship mode as they scored a 9-1 success over Leicester Taxes with Bruce Johnson preventing the full house when he defeating Dave Wagstaffe. Rhys Emery and Dave Small continued their impressive form this season in winning three apiece.