It is impossible to imagine a scenario in Division One of the Leicester and District League anything other than Unicorn defending their championship title. Currently they lead the table by seven clear points with Knighton Park second who have to hope, against hope, that the leaders lose two matches before they can think about overhauling.
The table has a very déjà vu look about it as Ajax Wolvey are in their customary third position while Electricity hang on to fourth place as they have done in recent years. Both teams are solid in depth without a potential average topping leader to spearhead the way.
Individually Chris Rogers, Knighton Park, tops the averages having lost one (29-28: 96.5%) with Unicorn’s Tim Sheppard officially second (23-20: 87%) and KP’s Reza Kiani (23-18: 78.3%). Two others have lost only once but have not played enough to appear in the averages: Lois Peake (Unicorn) and Abbots Road’s Dave Gannon, having played six and seven matches respectively.
What a difference a year makes, especially in Division Two where Holwell Sports are making lots of hay. Last season they finished bottom of Division One with their players all around the 20% mark, plus or minus one or two. This season, having won ten out of ten, things feel rather different as Holwell are a full 12 points ahead of the next team, Syston Casuals II, albeit having played one match more because they pulled in the first match from the second half because of potential New Year celebrations.
Martin Brunning, spearheading Holwell, is top of the averages and yet to be beaten in 24 sets, while team mate James Morley is second having won 87% thus far. Not to be undone, Dave Roche is up there on 78%. Arnesby’s Rhys Emery is third individually (17-14: 82%).
There’s a good battle for second team spot in this division with, as well as Syston, Knighton Park III, Arnesby, Regent Sports and Abbots Road II all very much in the mix and any one of the five could join Holwell in the top sphere next season.
There had been a good individual tussle in Division Three before Alex Mason (Great Glen) eventually rose to the surface, at least at half time, having lost just once and that was early on to Electricity’s Andy Searle. Searle is now neck and neck with the Winstanley Wizard duo of Himansu Mishra and Dan Andrews, all three players having lost three so far.
The Wizards have a four points lead at the top with Great Glen next and both Abbots Road and Goons poised for any slip ups less than a victory down the table.
Pritesh Nakeshree has made a good impression in his first League season for Syston Casuals IV in Division Four, currently leading a tight individual average chart with 85.2% (27-23). This echoes his team’s top position in the table.
Parked on his doorstep are Luke Blair (Desford Village III) and Laszlo Kocsis (Normads II), both old stagers at this level. Blair has 84.8% (33-28) while Kocsis is lower only by virtue of one match less at 83.3% (30-25). Goons’ Scott Robinson who played in Five last term is fourth on 80%.
Jason Prescott is undefeated in Division Five and would be more at home in at least Division Three, but is keen to get Fleckney, a new club in the league, up and running. In any case he has not played the required two-thirds of matches to qualify individually. Currently Fleckney firsts and Syston Casuals V are absolutely all square at the top of the team table, both on 40 points.
Individually, two Syston players rule the roost in Tony Burns with 85% and Nick Bishop on 83%, both were in this division last term, Burns moving from Desford Village, and both have improved impressively up the averages. Dave Rana of Abbots Road is third on 80%.