The summer competition organized by the Leicester and District League for the Elbow Tankard has been running for over 50 years and still provides some cracking battles based as it is on the local grading system with players handicapped accordingly.
Abbots All Stars, largely consisting of experience, faced KP Young Ones, a trio of juniors just starting off on their journey who were expected to rule the roost as younger players tend to improve rapidly beyond their handicap number, but Abbots’ had other ideas. Ages ranged from 13 to 73 so there was a good mix of both age and abilities.
After Abbots’ Geoff Hancock shared with Brajesh Patel it was 13-year-old Oscar Bentley showing what sort of prospect he is by defeating Vishal Parmar 21-11, 21-11, admittedly receiving 8 per game but hardly needing it, putting Young Ones 3-1 to the good. The two remaining players, Eiz Eddin Al Katrib and Vishaal Sharda, shared, as did Parmar and Patel with the doubles reached 5-3 to the youngsters.
Al Katrib, playing in both doubles, did well for All Stars to win 3-1, bringing the scores to 6-6 overall. In the remaining four sets All Stars won the first game every time and each time the Young Ones fought back to take the second for the share, the final score at full time 10-10, bringing tie breaks into the picture.
This is the third time in four finals that a match needed extra time, the format for this being a simple one game for each player against their opposite number.
Hancock put All Stars into the driver’s seat by defeating Patel 21-11, making full use of his 4 points start, before Sharma levelled the match with an excellent victory over Parmar by 21-16 with an 8 start.
The decider pitched Al Katrib who played in Division Five last term against Bentley who will be plying his trade in Division Two this coming term. Seven in arrears Bentley caught up to 12-12 but Al Katrib made some excellent returns before Bentley turned on the style with superb hitting to win 21-17 for KP Young Ones to get home 12-11.