Leicester League: Searle hits top rung on ladder

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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An innovation tried this season by players in the Leicester League middle reaches is a daytime ladder competition featuring a maximum of 20 players – 10 tables are available – with everyone guaranteed four sets irrespective of how many actually turn up on the day.

Each set has three games, not best of three, so will finish either 3-0 or 2-1 with points gained and lost each time. So successful has the venture been that full capacity has been reached and a waiting list set up.

With players always opposing others around their own standard, competition is fierce, albeit friendly, with the bulk of the players yo-yoing up and down each time after sessions once a month. The latest batch of results have resulted in the usual movement and has also, for the fifth time in a row, produced a different overall leader compared with the previous month.

Charlie Bateman led by one point coming into this month’s session but he was beaten by second placed Andy Searle who gained four points on the day against Bateman’s two to ease past by one point. The latter also lost a significant 2-1 to Steve Bessant but won his other two 3-0, while Searle won all four by 2-1.

Split into two groups the lower group had three players vying near the top and gaining higher rungs in the ladder, with Rob Price leading on plus seven and two others on plus five in Stu Jones and Chris Parmar-Saville. The first two named will certainly be mixing it with the top boys next time, while Parmar-Saville needs just a few more points.

Click here to view the latest results and table

It must rate as one of the most exciting matches this season in Division One of the Leicester League when Arnesby entertained high-flying Electricity and fought out a thrilling 5-5 draw in which Steve Silk scored a memorable maximum for Arnseby, a magnificent performance.

Matt Hobday and Andy LeButt were equal to the task of securing their other two singles apiece for the Sparks with LeButt finishing the match by partnering Dave Grundy in the doubles to grab a share of the spoils.

Meanwhile, Unicorn were busy cementing their place at the top with a high-class 8-2 victory over Syston Casuals, for whom Jason Woodfield beat Geoff Parsons for their one singles success. For the students, Cavan Tian Van Foo and Joe Lindsay were both at the top of their game to win three each.

Maurice Newman is still a class act as he showed with a terrific maximum for Thringstone over Holwell Works in a 7-3 defeat for his team. Holwell’s trio made no mistake with the rest of the sets with Martin Brunning, Tony Fox and Dave Roche all winning two as well as them notching the doubles.

League chairman Peter Wilson won three for Knighton Park III against Nomads in Division Two to make sure of a 6-4 win, with Mike Lapworth taking two and Patrick Carton one. Zaheer Mohamed was Nomads’ best player on view with two.

Best player for Great Glen against Queens was Alex Mason as he scored a terrific maximum when his team went down 7-3. Dave Daniels, John Winsper and Nick Raynor each won two for the winners as Queens showed their strength in depth.

Similar happenings when Syston Casuals II beat Regent Sports 6-4, this time Ian Wetherley and Terry Hall winning two for Syston, Mike James one, but none of them could get the better of Kevin Sanderson, undefeated and superb for Regent.

Something for all six players when Electricity II beat Abbots Road II 6-4. Sam Radenhurst and Russell Pettitt each with two for the Sparks, Andy Wright chipping in with one while, for Abbots, Fahed Sacoor snatched two excellent successes, Vishal Parmar and Geoff Hancock gaining one each and then Electricity finally took the doubles. Not one of the 10 sets was won in only three games.

John Bowness (publicity officer)

February 9, 2015

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