Leicester & District: Rare defeat for Unicorn

John Bowness (publicity officer)

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As we neared the end of this Leicester & District League season there was a flurry of matches in Division One including several by the successful defending champions, Unicorn, who did not have things all their own way.

They lost for the first time for four years – being beaten by Ajax Wolvey way back in March 2015 – when this time going down 6-4 to Electricity II who were much deeper in depth.

Lois Peake, who featured in all of the final three matches, took a brilliant three-straight maximum but the Sparks had Marcin Kasprzyk – what a find he has been – and Adam Pettitt both taking two while Harry White grabbed one, the first two picking up the doubles at 11-9 in the fifth.

Next up, Unicorn played against Knighton Park’s first team, this time drawing 5-5 with all six players taking something out of a very tight match.

Chris Rogers beat Peake in this one, but lost his other two to George Briskolas and Garry Knights. Jack Rogers lost to Peake but scored two excellent victories over the other two while Reza Kiani scored one for KP and Knights the one for Unicorn. Unicorn led 5-4 at the end of the singles so KP could not win, but they could lose, until their opponents gave them a Christmas present in the form of the doubles and a free point.

Finally, Unicorn completed their successful season with a routine 7-3 victory over a two-man Arnesby when both Peake and Briskolas emerged undefeated.

Arnesby also lost to the Unicorn second string by 6-4, this time with a full team, James Lancaster taking an excellent brace including the scalp of Craig Witheford who finished second in the averages. He could not get the better of Luke Greenfield, however, who took the division’s individual crown with a customary maximum here. This Unicorn team finished second to show how strong the club is at the moment, although Knighton Park will consider themselves somewhat unfortunate that Chris Rogers was out for about a third of the season with tennis elbow.

As mentioned before, Marcin Kasprzyk has been a wonderful find for Electricity and he completed his first season with a maxi three for the Sparks’ second team against Thringstone in a 6-4 success before another three against bottom team, Abbots Road, in a 10-0 victory, Harry White and Adam Pettitt the other two.

One must hand it to Abbots Road who, expecting to play in division two, found themselves in the top sphere and completed every match despite losing them all with Vishal Parmar, Geoff Hancock, who scored one or two really good individual successes, and Fahed Sacoor turning out week after week.

Holwell Sports had a competitive season, eventually finishing fourth, well ahead of the rest, with Adam Feargrieve and Mark Green finishing off very good individual performances with three each against Electricity firsts in a 6-4 victory.

Knighton Park III just about secured the other promotion spot alongside Winstanley Wizards in Division Two when they demolished a two-man Electricity III by 9-1, Brajesh Patel and Oscar Bentley unbeaten while Vishaal Sharda lost to Steve White. KP need a couple of points from two matches to be absolutely sure.

At the other end of the chart Blaby and Whetstone defaulted their final match to take the one relegation spot which saved Great Glen, who looked odds-on for the drop a few weeks ago.

In Division Five, Winstanley Wizards III heaved a sigh of relief when Knighton Park VIII were held to a 5-5 draw by their own ninth team for whom Alex Bousbaine scored a very good maximum as it gave them the second promotion spot behind runaway leaders, Blaby and Whetstone II.

The Wizards then made absolutely sure by beating KP VIII 6-4 when Ben Cooke and Ian Knight both came away undefeated, so they gained promotion with lots to spare in the end.

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