Last weekend the Northumberland County table tennis team of Andrew Wilkinson, Dave Robson, Chun Yin Yu, Christine Burke and Lyndsey Storey came incredibly close to being promoted from Division 2A. Having won both of their matches on the Saturday, Northumberland were top of the table, 1 place above Lancashire on difference of games won. Unfortunately on the Sunday, with only 1 match left to play, Lancashire won their game and Northumberland were only able to tie. Chun Yin Yu, stalwart of the campaign, was unable to find his usual form and lost both of his matches. The draw put Northumberland 1 point behind Lancashire, just missing out on promotion. A considerable highlight for the area however was Andrew Wilkinson’s untouchable performances as he won 14 matches out of 14 playing in the top slot and therefore repeatedly playing against the other teams’ best 2 players.
The winter league recommenced after its Christmas break and was host to a great set of games in the Premier division. Cramlington Stingers kicked off with a 5-5 draw against Mitford A. Mitford’s Lee Eadington took Player of the Match when he beat Iain Wood and Alistair Colin in 3 straight ends but was also unfortunate to miss out on a win against Kevin Wilson as he lost 11-9 in the fifth and final end. Cramlington Tigers took an important 6-4 win over Riding Mill A who were without their star players John Williamson and Geoff Salter. Michael Boyce won a hat-trick for the home team and Peter Stempcyzk did well to win 2 matches for the Mill. Mount A beat Old England Jacks comfortably 8-2 but Lynne Herrington deserves a mention as she picked up 2 wins for the Jacks against veterans David Pringle and Anthony Ainley.
In division 1, the two Mount teams faced off against each other but Mount B were too powerful in the end as they beat Mount C 7-3. Mohinder Rawat took his hat-trick for the losing team and Player of the Match with it. Newton A did well to scrape a draw away to Mitford B as they were only able to field 2 players. John Russell continued his recent run of form when he won his hat-trick and combined with Graeme Bell to win the doubles. Matfen Centurions won 6-4 at home to Byker B with Chris Kilsby and Malcolm Aitchison winning 2 each. Mark Kimberley won 3 for Byker but only teammate Mark Patterson was able to chip in with a win to help out.
Northumberland County team
Only four catch-up matches were played last week as the league enters its Christmas break. In the Premier division, Old England Jacks accomplished an excellent 8-2 win against Riding Mill A. Lynne Herrington took Player of the Match as she won her hat-trick alongside Alan Atkinson whilst Mark O’Connor was the only player to win a singles match for Riding Mill as he beat Jake Helm. Riding Mill’s usual stalwart John Williamson wasn’t able to help the team out in singles but did combine with O’Connor to win the doubles in the deciding end. Bottom team Byker A faced league leaders Cramlington Casuals but there was no David and Goliath story this time as the Casuals’ Marc Cotton, Steven Penman and Peter Smallcombe dropped only 3 ends in a comprehensive 10-0 victory.
In division 2, Brian Bateman won all 3 of his singles matches as Old England Crocks salvaged a 5-5 draw away to Matfen Senators. Alex Holliday won 2 matches for the home team with David Swan and Stephen Oxley chipping in with 1 win each. Holliday and Swan combined to beat Colin Robson and Kenneth Clark in the doubles too.
Another draw was to be found this week as Cramlington Dragons faced Cramlington Falcons in division 4. Sreeraag Kanakala continued his recent run of form as he took a hat-trick, teammates Mick Sursham and Paul Athey chipping in with a win each too. The Falcons’ Alfie and Archie Stokes both took 2 wins and combined to win a close-fought doubles.
A few players from the Northumbria Table Tennis League also took part in the national league recently. Under the guise of Mount TTC, Northumbria Premier division players Chun Yin Yu, Duncan Wraight, Peter Smallcombe and Dean Eadington came together to battle it out in British League division C-3. This weekend they faced the division’s two top teams, Drumchapel Glasgow III and Halton III, and performed very well to snatch two 5-5 draws. Chun Yin Yu, the highest rated player in the division, had little difficulty winning all 4 of his matches – though he did have a small scare against Zaid Khalid from Drumchapel as he found significant fortune in the form of nets and edges to take the match to a fifth and deciding end. Peter Smallcombe also did well to win 3 out of his 4 matches playing at number 3, including an excellent game against Halton’s highly-rated number 2 player Bethany Farnworth who he lost to in straight sets earlier in the season. The doubles proved important for Mount as Wraight combined first with Yu then with Smallcombe to win important matches against Drumchapel and Halton to salvage an overall draw and 2 important points.
In National A-1, top Northumbria league players Andrew Wilkinson and Graeme Barella faced each other for the second time this season. Wilkinson, playing number 1 for Barrow Tornadoes beat Barella, playing number 2 for Scarborough Premier in three straight sets, only the second going to deuce. This win helped Barrow take the overall game 8-2 with only Barella winning any singles matches for the home team.
Round 3 draw is now available on the KO Cup page.
Two of the North Easts unsung heroes picked up awards this week at the Table Tennis England Conference at Durham County cricket ground this weekend. Alan Hedley from Cramlington TTC was winner of the contribution to North East Table Tennis award and Steve Dickinson won Club Volunteer of the year for his work at Byker TTC.
It was the last full week of the first half of the season in the Northumbria League this week and the two top teams in the Premier Division both had away matches and came away victorious. Last year’s champions the Cramlington Casuals won 10-0 at Old England who could only field two players and the team hot on their heels NESLC Eagles won 7-3 at Mitford A. Gary Sangster making a rare appearance for Mitford winning two. The two other teams in the division with title aspirations The Mount A won away at Cramlington Tigers 9-1 and The North East Chinese association team also won 9-1 away at Cramlington Stingers. Its still all to play for in the second half which starts on the 9th of January.
In Division 1 its very much looking like a two-horse race with Newton A top on 61 points who had played all their first half matches and The Mount B with 58 who this week played The North East Chinese Associations B team winning 8-2 with Rod Roberts getting the man of the match award winning all of his games. There’s quite a gap back to third placed Mitford B.
Division 2 is headed by Ouston A at the half way stage with Byker C in second spot. They played each other this week and Ouston ran out 9-1 winners although Byker lost Bob Sanderson to injury whilst he was playing his first match of the night and this may have affected the overall result. The only blemish on the night was Ouston losing the doubles in five close fought ends.
Division 3 sees Brandon Anacondas lead at halfway by a good margin and in Division 4 Cramlington Ravens are flying high in 1st position
On a sad note, we learned that Ian Moore from the Unionist club lost his fight with Illness this week and passed away. His funeral will be at South Shields Crematorium, John Reid road on Friday 16th of December at 11-30am
Alan and Steve
Northumberland’s Senior County team of Andrew Wilkinson, Dave Robson, Chun Yin Yu, Christine Burke and Lyndsey Storey ventured to Draycott this weekend to compete in Division 2A of the County Championships. On Saturday their first opponents, Lancashire, proved to be the toughest of the weekend as the team played well to draw 5-5. Wilkinson opened the scoring for Northumberland as he beat top junior Amir Hussain in the 5th end. Wilkinson and Chun Yin Yu both won their 2 games but Dave Robson, playing in the number 2 position, lost in the 5th end to Joel Webb.
The Northumberland team then went on to record solid wins against South Yorkshire, North Wales and Leicester with Andrew Wilkinson and Chun Yin Yu both winning 8 matches out of 8. As things stand, these results put the team joint-top of Division 2A at the half-way mark meaning they’re in with a strong chance of promotion.
In Round 2 of the Handicap Cup, Byker B beat Old England Fatts 6-3 with Byker’s Donnelly, Patterson and Manuel each winning 2. Cramlington Cobras narrowly beat club rivals Cramlington Spartans 5-4 thanks in no small part to young player John Hogg’s 2 wins against the experienced team of Barnes, Long and Nair. Cramlington Dragons suffered a similar fate as they lost 5-4 at home to NECA A despite Sree Kanakala running the show as he won his 3 matches including a strong win against friend and County Cadet teammate Adam Webster. Byker A won comfortably against Cramlington Dynamos, as did Cramlington Reivers against Cramlington Falcons. Mount beat Byker C 7-2 and Old England Jacks beat Ouston C by the same score.
Old England Crocs lost to NECA B 6-3 but Brian Bateman will be happy to record a massive 21-6, 21-6 victory over the aforementioned top league player Chun Yin Yu. Bateman was also unlucky to lose 28-30 in the third and final end against former Premier player Steve Robinson. Ouston B beat Matfen Senators 7-2 and Riding Mill lost in the same way to Ouston A. Cramlington Trojans beat Cramlington Ravens 7-2 with Blair Carmichael, who is usually a very good player in handicap events, losing 2 of his 3 matches to the Ravens.
In division 2 this week, the only result to be found was 6-4. Firstly, Ouston B beat Matfen Senators by that score thanks to hat-tricks from Neil Wilkinson and Thomas Fowle. The Senators took 1 win each plus the doubles. Cramlington Swifts lost 6-4 against Ouston A as Neil Rodgers did particularly well for the away team to win his hat-trick, even against experienced division 1 and Premier player Ron Scott who won 2 for the Swifts. Brian Bateman, hardbat chopper extraordinaire, won his 3 for Old England Crocks as they visited and beat Matfen Tribunes. Nigel Tree and Keith Hodges took 2 wins each for the home team. Finally, to round off our 6-4 theme, Old England FATTS beat Birtley with Barry Matthews and Nigel Coe picking up 2 wins each plus the doubles.
Brandon Anacondas yet again proved that they should be playing a couple of divisions higher as they stomped a 10-0 win over the Matfen Cohorts in division 3 this week. A strong side of Jamie Lupton, Lee Tinkler and Paul Dale won every single one of their sets but Lupton took yet another Player of the Match award by conceding the fewest points. At the opposite end of the competitive spectrum, Matfen Whitley Chapel drew 5-5 with Cramlington Corinthians. Peter Seago took Player of the Match as he won 2 of his matches for the home side, along with Stefan Sobell. Philip Smith won 2 for the away team, backed up by 1 win each from Jamie Hall and Steve Ralph, but the Corinthians won a tightly-fought doubles to eke out a draw. The other Cramlington teams in this division both managed 7-3 wins as the Lions beat Ouston C, Sowerby and Hastings with their hat-tricks, and the Spartans beat Byker D, Rob Lee taking Player of the Match in that one.
In division 4, only two games were played. Brandon Bravehearts lost at home to Cramlington Ravens despite Stephen Pattinson taking 3 wins and Player of the Match for the home side. Backspin’s Debbie Irwin won the same accolade as they beat Cramlington Magpies 7-3, Bob Cook chipping in with a hat-trick plus the doubles to support his teammate.
The Premier division was host to three fairly one-sided games this week. Title contenders NESLC Eagles maintained their run of form as they beat St Chads 9-1, the only blemish being Jimmy Scope’s surreal comeback against Paul Baines. Baines was 2 games up and had 7 match points to see off the veteran defender in 3 sets but Scope somehow clawed his way back to win 3-2. NECA beat Cramlington Tigers 10-0 on the Tigers’ home ground and Cramlington Stingers beat Old England Jacks 8-2, division 2 player Blair Carmichael doing well to win against Alan Atkinson.
In contrast, division 1 saw five very close games. Newton B lost 6-4 to Newton A with John Russell winning his hat-trick and Player of the Match. Russell also put in another Player of the Match performance when Newton A travelled to Riding Mill B in the same week as they once again won 6-4. Mount B’s players all won 2 games plus the doubles as they beat Cramlington Reivers, Hinchliffe picking up 2 wins and Jamieson chipping in with a third. NECA B drew 5-5 with Byker B, Kit Robinson winning her 3 and Player of the Match. Finally, Matfen Centurions played a heavily-contested 5-5 draw with Mitford B when Chris Kilsby and Robert Neil Forsyth for Matfen, plus Barry Hill for Mitford all won 2 games.
In division 2, Ouston A’s players all won 2 matches each plus the doubles, but none were able to beat Matfen Tribunes’ Keith Hodges who took Player of the Match. Neil Wilkinson took the same accolade for Ouston B as they comfortably beat Old England Fatts 8-2. A difference in styles saw some strange results when Cramlington Trojans beat Byker C 6-4 with all of the Cramlington players winning 2 games and Jim Robertson doing the same for Byker.
In division 2 this week leaders Byker C took on Matfen Senators who are also looking to stamp their authority on this division. Matfen eventually winning 6-4 after Alex Holliday took the last set in the match against John Carr in straight games. Holliday was man of the match winning all of his games and combining with Dave Swan to win the doubles. Swan and Stephen Oxley weighed in with one each supporting Holliday. This leaves Matfen in a healthy position with 2 games in hand on the others. In the same division Ouston A who are currently second lost to Old England Crocks 7-3 and could have narrowed the gap. However Old England fielded their strongest team of Brian Bateman, Colin Robson and Ken Clark which proved too much for Ouston.
Division 3 leaders Cramlington Cobras suffered their first defeat of the season at the hand of second placed Brandon Annacondas with a score line of 8-2. Both Jamie Lupton and Lee Tinkler being undefeated and Paul Dale winning two for Brandon. Bernie McCardle getting the sole singles set and combining with Mike Dunn to win the doubles for the Cobras. Whilst the Cobras still lead this division Brandon are 5 points behind with a game in hand and are looking strong.
Another team to have the first taste of defeat this season are leaders Brandon Bravehearts in Division 4 who clearly missed not having their undefeated player Stephen Pattinson in the team. The Cramlington Knights team of Matthew Mastaglio, John Hogg and Alfie Stokes won 8-2 with only Caroline Lee getting the better of Stokes in 5 games and Paul Henderson with John Parkin winning the doubles getting the 2 for the home team. This moves the Knights up from 6th to 4th in the table and the Bravhearts are still top with second placed Cramlington Ravens not having played yet this week. A good result for them will see the lead change again in what is becoming a fascinating and close division.
Dave Swan and Alex Holliday
Teams involved in the title race for the Premier division swapped around this week as Mitford A lost 9-1 to Cramlington Casuals and NESLC Eagles beat Mount A 7-3. Steve Penman regained some form as he won his hat-trick for the Casuals, Andrew Wilkinson winning his 3 as usual and Peter Smallcombe taking 2. Dale Aitkenhead was the only player to take a match for the home side. Jim Stamas earned a well-deserved Player of the Match award for the NESLC Eagles as he won his 3 against Graeme Barella, Anthony Ainley and Phil Prady for Mount. Ainley did well to win 2 of his matches but it wasn’t enough as Richard Wilson won 2 and Paul Baines won 1 for the Eagles. At the other end of the table, Byker A faced Old England Jacks in a close-fought 5-5 draw. Dean Eadington was the saviour for his team as he won his 3 but Steve Dickinson did well to win 2 too. David Craddock was unfortunate to lose two 5-end matches against his old teammates Alan Atkinson and Jacob Helm.
Craddock also played in division 1 for Byker B this week but found this an even sterner test than the Premier division as he was unable to win any in an 8-2 loss. Paul Jamieson and Alex Hinchcliffe vied for Player of the Match as they both won 3 but the pair couldn’t combine to win the doubles. Mark Kimberley beat Alistair Colin to win the only singles match for his team. Mitford B were unable to field 3 players away to Mount and lost 6-4 as a result. Keming Li from NECA B introduced himself to the league spectacularly with a hat-trick over Newton A to help his team win 6-4 and Newton B lost by the same score to Matfen Centurions.
The draw for the KO Cup 2016-17 was made on Tuesday 1 November. Copies have been emailed to all team captains and can be viewed on this site at http://nctt.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/KO_Cup_2016-17_Draw_Round_2.pdf