Leicester & District: Narrow defeat for Wilmott Cup pair

Author:
John Bowness (publicity officer)

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Please note - this news article was published more than four years ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

One of the Leicester & District League’s forays into the Wilmott Cup, the National Team Championship for men, came to an end when Andy LeButt and David Grundy travelled to Birmingham and had three results all ending at 3-2, two of them the wrong way.

Carrying a slight injury that gradually deteriorated, LeButt beat Andy Ball to start well against Bristol and Grundy did the same against the same opponent later. In the meantime neither could get the better of Anthony Kent while Bristol also won the doubles at deuce in the fifth to inch home.

A win against Birmingham followed with Grundy picking up both of his singles and combining with LeButt for a doubles success. An increasingly immobile LeButt did manage to help win the doubles against Malvern in the third match as Grundy also beat Nigel Foreshaw, but the 3-2 defeat meant that Birmingham progressed through a very close group.

Knighton Park staged their annual club championship finals with Dave Gannon, who actually plays for Abbots Road in the league, retaining his championship title when he defeated Karen Smith 3-0 (11-6, 13-11, 11-6) in the final.

Gannon had beaten Les Baker in the semis, also in three, while Smith had won similarly against her nephew, Jack Rogers, who was understandably nervous but improved to only just go down 12-10 in the third game.

Busiest player on view was the cadet, Jinious Sheth, who contested three finals, winning one when he combined with Max Huggins to take the handicap doubles, defeating Dan Pearson and Martin Pember, who received one point per game, (2-0) 21-14, 21-16.

Sheth had earlier had a tenacious battle with Oscar White in the Junior Boys’ singles. White had taken the first two games 11-8, 12-10 before Sheth fought back and looked better and better in taking the next two 11-8, 11-5 to level things.  White then found something extra to dominate the decider in winning 11-5 in a superb final.

Dan Pearson defeated Sheth in the handicap singles in another excellent final. Either could have won any of the three games before Pearson, receiving three points, just took advantage of his start to win 2-1 (21-16, 19-21, 21-18).

The other final was the veterans’ singles which was won by Karen Smith who beat her league team mate, Les Baker, 3-1 (11-9, 6-11, 11-3, 11-9).

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