Unicorn, last season’s Division One champions, have started this season in much the same way as they progressed through last terms campaign – winning. Their team, however, looks a little unusual at times, with new signing Jared Patel coming in to win all three against Syston Casuals to shade a 6-4 success, Peter Claxton and Geoff Parsons supporting with a win apiece. The doubles made sure of full points while, for Syston, Jason Woodfield won two and Steve Day one.
There is a mouthwatering clash in prospect soon with current leaders, Knighton Park first team, who also have a new signing in Chris Rogers – more correctly a return to the fold as he played many years ago for the club.
Rogers is unbeaten so far but he had to work hard to see off Ajax Wolvey’s Aiden Walsh in five in the Park’s latest 7-3 victory. Karen Smith won two, losing in five to Walsh, while Les Baker scored a terrific win over Jon Williams to make sure of all the points, although KP did ultimately win the doubles.
Abbots Road are making life very difficult for themselves at the moment after losing a key first team player as they have turned up with only two players three times out of four. Dave Gannon is still undefeated for them and this helped towards a 5-5 draw with Knighton Park seconds.
Meanwhile, Electricity are another team so far undefeated, and they scored an excellent 9-1 victory over Arnesby when David Grundy and Mat Hobday emerged unscathed. Ian Brown defeated Andy LeButt 3-2 (5-11, 13-15, 11-8, 11-3, 11-4) to prevent the full house but the Sparks had power switched on high otherwise.
In Division Two only Desford Village II are unbeaten, all the other 11 teams having either lost two or lost one and drawn two, so the gap is already significant.
Desford beat Newfoundpool 9-1 in their latest match. The latter started brightly enough when Steve Pratt beat Thomas Hayes in the first set but then Kevin Parker and Richard Hayes entered the fray to each secure a maximum. Chandresh Sodha fought hard for Newfoundpool, going down twice in five games.
With matches in hand, Knighton Park IV might spring a few surprises in this division. They fought out a terrific 5-5 draw with Nomads and gained a share thanks to a splendid maximum from Mike Lapworth. His clash with Zaheer Mohamed was the highlight as well as being crucial as Lapworth won 3-2 (12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10). Mohamed won his other two.
Division Three is looking really close at the moment with three out of six matches drawn in the latest round and the other three all relatively close.
Unicorn II are looking the pick of the bunch so far as they still have to be beaten, having defeated Knighton Park VIII 7-3 in their latest. Shane Gales certainly looks the part with a maximum, while David Green notched two and Andrew Pagett one. For Park, Jack Rogers won two.
The experimental Individual Ladder League being played during the daytime once a month is proving very successful, with Charlie Bateman taking the honours in the top group during round two. He won his four matches, jumping to the top of the overall table and leapfrogging Chris Woodward in the process. Tim Cawston won the second group by taking all four matches 3-0 and moves into fourth position overall.
John Bowness (publicity officer)
October 20, 2014