Leicester & District: Dramatic win for Goons

John Bowness (publicity officer)

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Needing to find some way of revitalising their flagship team handicap competition after falling entries the County Association did a survey and, as a result, changed the format so that all matches in a round would be played on a pre-ordained date under the same roof.

It doubled the entries and received enough positive endorsements to promise an even bigger entry next season.

Round two was also played on the same day with the perfect result in one match when Goons faced Abbots All Stars and found their team handicaps exactly the same, so they started level, and then finished level at 283-283 after a terrific tussle.

Steve Harrison was Goons’ leading player. After losing the first game 21-13 to Steve Pratt, Harrison went on to win his other three to score 76-63, not only gaining 13 points but his score against par, his four individual games, amounted to plus 12.

Kevin Edwards also had a good match with a score of 75-65. With his team losing by 16 shots and playing the final game, he dramatically defeated Kishen Mistry 21-5 to level the overall scores. Normally there would be a one game sudden death play-off but this was not needed as going through were the three winners and best loser and this satisfied that latter qualification.

Eiz Eddin Al Katrib was Abbots’ leading player on 77-63 while Ketan Patel was close behind with a 74-64 return. An ideal match to show that, in this competition, every point counts.

The other two results were more straightforward with KP Greatest Hits beating Bright Sparks 331-287 after giving away 76 points initially. For KP, Dave Mountain was in good form with a return of 84-43 and a plus 25 par score, the best of the round, while Ruben Dehnen scored 84-39.

Positive returns also for Chris Parmar-Saville and Steve Adams while Dave Cox, although finishing on minus 17, played very well and was the Sparks’ leading player.

The other result saw Knight On The Town take advantage of a 116 start against club mates, KP4, to win 355-312 when all four players recorded similar negative, but all within bounds, Michael Parker, Martin Pember, Simon Aldis and John Bowness.

Osman Bawa was KP4’s most successful player on 84-39 while Zia Malik was also undefeated with 84-60. The crucial game might well have been the first of the match when Parker defeated fellow junior, Jacob Cadman, 21-17. It might seem a slim margin but it was actually worth 12 points and set the tone of the match.

While we have a week away from league matches it is interesting having a look at some of the individual averages, particularly in the top division which, certainly at the upper quarter, is stronger than ever this season.

Top of the averages on 90% is Craig Witheford of Unicorn second team who is playing his first season in this league so there is no comparison with which to judge his improvement if, indeed, there has been one as he took the league by storm immediately. He has seven out of 14 Man of the Match awards and has lost four but never more than one in a match.

Knighton Park have two juniors making their marks. Jack Rogers is steadily making his way higher and is now at 84% for the club’s first team while Oscar Bentley in his first season at the top is at 43% and still steeply climbing the gradings for the thirds.

The top five players whose gradings have improved this season are spread around the league and, perhaps not surprisingly, three of them are from Knighton Park.

1)  +42 at 180 Simon Aldis (KP Div 3)

2)  +37 at 140 Abe Lam (KP Div 5)

3)  +34 at 241 Oscar Bentley (KP Div 1)

4)  +31 at 163 Kevin Jones (Lutterworth Div 4)

5)  +29 at 139 Kishen Mistry (Abbots Rd Div 5)

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