A good way of giving people an introduction to the sport of table tennis is through the Ping Festival which will be launched in Newcastle on the 10th June between 11am-2pm. There will be 5 tables situated at both Grey Monument and Grainger Street and another 14 in other locations, such as parks, public squares, markets and shopping centres.
Anyone wishing to do so can have a try at ping pong. Bats and balls will be provided and there will be no charge for participants.
The event will be organised by Newcastle City Council who have enlisted Melissa Marshall as PING! Newcastle Activity Officer. She is looking to recruit a team of volunteers (must be aged 16+) to bring the programme to life and make Ping Pong irresistible to the Newcastle Public.
PingNewcastle volunteers will:
- Play ping pong! (social players)
- Encourage other people to play
- Help set up and run events
- Monitor tables
- Chat to players to find stories and quotes
- Capture some action on their camera phone
- Check on tables
- Talk about Ping!Newcastle and the social ping pong scene to anyone who’ll listen!
Anyone who can spare a few hours to look after tables is requested to contact Melissa on 0191 278 3348 or Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to give more information. A Volunteer/Minders night is to be held on the evening of 6th June at Northumbria University.
Northumberland’s Dave Robson is now a National Champion. At the weekend he won the over 50’s Mens singles title held at Wolverhampton beating Cheshire’s Nigel Eckersley three nil in the final and surely must move to number 1 in the ranking list when its published at the end of the month. A great achievement and just reward for all his hard work. In recognition of this he’s just been selected to Represent England in the 6 nation’s competition in September.
Kimblesworth Rockets in division 1 further enhanced their reputation by drawing with last year’s champions Cramlington Stingers in a hard fought match. Andrew Wilkinson getting three for the home side and supported by Steve Penman and Dale Aitkenhead with one each. Dave Godbold made a welcome return to league play after an absence of over 10 years for the Rockets winning two. St Chads having had a bye last week won their first match of the summer away at mount TTC 6-4 with Chris Blake leading the way with 3 wins, Paul Baines 2 and Jimmy Scope 1.
In Division 2 Cramlington Casuals have now recorded two wins from two matches beating Sacriston Aces 6-4 with Alex Hinchcliffe getting man of the match with three wins, Adam Webster two and then combining for the doubles. Sacriston drafted in Peter Whitfield from the second team and he won one as did Jon Mawson, Duncan Fraser getting two.
In Division 3 Brandon Anacondas have made a great start winning 10-0 last week and 7-3 this week against Matfen B. They have a strong squad and so far have used 6 players in the two matches. Paul Dale getting 3 along with Jamie Lupton against Matfen. Byker B another team with a bye last week won their match against Cramlington Trojans 8-2, John Carr getting 3 supported by Mark Patterson and Chas Robertson with 2 each.
Last week saw the first round of matches played in the Northumbria Summer League and in the top division new team Kimblesworth Rockets took full advantage of Byker A not fielding any of their registered first team players to win 9-1 with Peter Smallcombe and Max Duffin winning three each and Dan Hutchinson two as well as the doubles. Steve Dickinson for Byker saving the whitewash winning one.
Mount TTC which is last years Sringwell playing at a new venue also recorded a 9-1 win against Riding Mill with Tony Gelder, Lee Eadington and Duncan Wraight being unbeaten and only losing the doubles. A point of note was that Gelder had to play his wife Shirley who is a member of the Riding Mill squad in this match!!
Last year’s Champions Cramlington Stingers only won 6-4 against The Chinese Community team NECA which included the talented student currently at Newcastle University Chun Yin Yu who won his three, Robin Francis another student at the university getting the other for NECA. Dale Aitkenhead played his first match for the Stingers after a nine-month absence having had a knee replacement last August winning two.
In Division 4 it’s good to see Cramlingtons policy of blooding young players in the Summer as all three of the winning Falcons team had never played a league match before. They won 7-3 against NESLC and Israel Shodeinde was man of the match winning three supported by Jack Cairns with two and Alfie Davies one.
Next week sees several Veteran players from the North East heading off to Alicante to take part in the World Championships from the 23rd to 29th of May. Eddie Smith, Jim Stamas, Geoff Salter, Paul Stead, Dave Godbold and Karen Henry all playing in age categories for the chance to be World Champion
A quiet week for table tennis this week as the Winter League is now over and no matches were played.
However the Summer League starts this week and there are 5 divisions and 36 teams entered. Last seasons champions the Cramlington Stingers face a tougher challenge this Summer as several of the teams have strengthened squads and there is a new team of up and coming juniors also entered ensuring that the title race will certainly be an interesting one.
In the lower divisions we have two new teams from Backspin Table tennis Club which is in Oxhill near Stanley and they will be looking to make their presence felt though their first match is away to Old England who should have won Division 2 last summer had they not had player shortage issues at the end of the season.
In two weeks time several of the North Easts top veteran Men and Women travel to Alicante in Spain to compete in the Veterans World Table Tennis Championships from the 23rd to 29th of May. There is a strong British contingent of approx. 300 players making the trip to play in age related categories ranging from 40 year olds up to 90 plus.
The Northumberland Carter Cup team of Junior boys have made it through to the finals without playing a match as in the regional round there were only 3 entries and Hull dropped out leaving Stockton and Northumberland to progress to the finals on the 11th & 12th of June at Wellingborough.
The much anticipated Handicap Cup final took place at the sporting Club of Cramlington between the two club teams of Corinthians and Tigers.
The Corinthians team of Andrew Matfin, Jamie Hall and Adam Webster were the pre-match favourites and the Tigers team of Paul Jameison, Peter Smallcombe and Lee Eadington looking to upset the handicapping though their opponents all had healthy starts.
First up was Matfin vs Peter Smallcombe who was conceding an 11 point start. Matfin playing consistently won in 2 games 21-10 21-15.
Probably the most improved player this season Adam Webster was up next against Paul Jamieson and took full advantage of a 10 point start to win comfortably 21-3, 21-11 making it two nil to the Corinthians.
The 3rd game gave the Tigers some hope as Jamie Hall was unable to cope with the high lobbing, retrieving game of Lee Eadington and lost close in 2 ends despite a 13 point start.
Webster then played Smallcombe who seemed nervous in what was the clash of the two best players. Smallcombe losing 21-14, 21-15 again giving his opponent an 11 point start and not able to overcome the deficit.
Next up Matfin vs Eadington and won the first comfortably 21-8 but then seemed to falter in the second with Eadington pulling out all the stops to get level and then run out of steam and lose 21-17.
Match score now 4-1 to the Corinthians. Jamie Hall was next to the table and could clinch the cup if he could win against Jamieson. He was full of determination and played his best table tennis to win in two straight games 21-14, 21-16 much to the delight of his team mates who rushed onto the court to celebrate the 5-1 victory.
TRophies were presented to winners and runner up by Aubrey Drapkin, Chairman of Northumberland Table Tennis.
The Corinthians, Jamie Hall, Adam Webster and Andrew Matfin
The final few matches of the Northumbria winter league were played this week.
Division 1 runner up spot was decided when the Club Derby between Riding Mill A & B teams completed the fixtues in that division and saw the A team win 6-4. This match saw the return from long term injury of Andrew Firth for the A team who played with regulars Mark OConnor who was man of the match winning three and Peter Stempczyk with two and though rusty Andrew managed to win one of his games. Shirley Gelder getting two and Maurice Cheek one as well as the doubles for the B team. Riding Mill A have dedicated the season to team member Rob Scott who is no longer able to play due to serious illness. He is a very popular member of the club and played in the league for many years. He will be a big miss by all.
In Division 4 Magpies played Falcons both from Cramlington TTC. Twelve year old Alfie Stokes ended the season in fine style following his unbeaten performance last week. He was again unbeaten with another hat trick and in this one and with the help of his brother Archie won the doubles too. Unfortunately it was not enough to stop the Magpies team of Peter and Richard Anderson with Elliot Dorrington from running out with a 6-4 win.
The Handicap cup final takes place at Cramlington TTC on Thursday evening the 28th between The Tigers and Corinthians starting at 7pm.
With the Premier Division having been decided a couple of weeks ago all the interest has been in the lower divisions of the Northumbria League to see who will be promoted or relegated.
In Division 1 the Cramlington Tigers have been promoted to the premier as champions and with only one match remaining against their B team Riding Mill A only need 2 points from the 10 available to join them. Having beaten them 7-3 in the first half of the season its almost a certainty that they also will be promoted. At the bottom of the Division Ouston A are the only team relegated as Seaburn Dene retired earlier in the season.
In Division 2 Sacriston Aces clinched the title by winning their last match against Matfen C 9-1 which means they cannot be caught by second placed Newton B who have one match remaining against NECA on Thursday needing 2 points to be promoted to division 1 as runners up. at the other end of the table Cramlington Trojans and Cobras are relegated.
Division 3 sees Old England Fatts promoted as champions along with Ouston B.
In what has been an interesting season for Ouston Teams their C team in Division 4 have ran away with the division winning 5 more matches than the next nearest team the Cramlington Lions and will be playing in Division 3 next season.
The final of the handicap cup will take place at Cramlinton TTC on Thursday 28 April with the Tigers taking on the Corinthians.
Entries are now open for the Tyneside Summer league which starts on the 9th of May.
Sacriston Aces – Duncan Fraser, Ian McAllister and Jon Mawson
A night of fantastic table tennis on Tuesday saw both semi finals of the Team Handicap Cup take place at the neutral venue of the Newcastle Badminton Centre. Unusually two Cramlington teams played two Matfen teams. A young Cramlington Corinthians team of which all are under 18 took on the experienced Matfen A side on one side of the hall while Cramlington Tigers took on Matfen B on the other.
The Corinthians got off to a flying start with Andrew Matfin getting the better of Dave Swan and then Adam Webster also winning against Alex Holliday. It was then up to John Henderson from Matfen to get them on the scoresheet with a win against Jamie Hall. Webster then won again and then Swan and Holliday made it three all by winning the next two. Man of the match Webster then won his third and Jamie Hall then took to the table to play for a place in the final in a very close match verses Swan. The Matfen man used all his years of experience to win closely in the third to tie the match at four all. All that remained was for the two number one’s to play the deciding set for one of them to clinch the match. In a very tense opening game Matfin lost 19-21 but then somehow Holliday lost his concentration and lost the next game 8. It was now a one game shoot out for a place in the final with the spectating team mates shouting encouragement .Matfin held his nerve and won 21-16 and then was mobbed by his celebrating team mates.
The other tie taking place simultaneously again was youth against experience with the Tigers facing the Matfen B team. This match was also close but a bit more straightforward for the Tigers winning 5-3. Peter Smallcombe winning his three against Nigel Tree, Steve Oxley and Keith Hodges supported by Lee Eadington winning two and Paul Jameison. The final will take place later in the month at Cramlington Table Tennis club between the two winners.
The league now enters its final phase with only a couple of weeks remaining and several divisional winners and losers will be decided.
The race for division 2 honours in the Northumbria League is hotting up and this week saw Newton B moving up to third place with a win against current leaders Sacriston Aces. Newton played ex county player Neil McMaster who has missed the last few seasons and despite being a bit rusty managed to win 2 sets against Jon Mawson and Ian Mcpherson. and losing to Duncan Fraser. This combined with two wins by Rob Lawson and three from man of the match David Lucas gave Newton an eight two victory and puts them two points behind Old England Crocks with a game in hand. However Old England are not giving up without a fight as they won nine one against Matfen C who are fighting to avoid relegation at the other end of the table.
In division three as reported previously the winner of the division will go to the wire with Ouston B needing to win ten nil away at YMCA North Tyneside B to tie on points with Old England. At the other end of the table its just as hotly contested to avoid relegation with 4 teams in desperate need of points from their last 2 matches. three of the teams involved could only manage draws this week with Bottom team Cramlington dragons drawing with Whitley Chapel. Cramlington Spartans drew with YMCA North Tyneside B which moved the Spartans above Matfen D who could only manage two points against the Saints. This moved the Spartans out of the bottom two but its all very tense and still to play for.
This week sees the two semi finals of the handicap cup take place at the neutral venue of Newcastle Badminton Centre on the same night. Cramlington Corinthians play Matfen A and Cramlington Tigers play Matfen B
NESLC Eagles took another step to securing what is looking very much like second place in the Premier Division with an away win over Springwell A by eight games to two. Jim Stamas leading from the front in winning all 3 of his sets against Alex Smith, Tony Gelder and Phil Prady. Gelder of Springwell got the better of Richard Wilson and Paul Baines to score the 2 points for the home side. With only two fixtures remaining Cramlington Casuals who have the Eagles to play look as if they will retain their League title as they only require six points from their last two games. At the other end of the table the Unionist Club and Cramlington Reivers are relegated.
In Division 1 the Cramlington Tigers kept up the pressure at the top of the table by winning 9-1 away at NECA ‘B’. The other team pushing for promotion to the Premier, Riding Mill A could only win 6-4 at home to bottom team Ouston A as again they are struggling to field a full strength team due to injury of Andrew Firth. This time B team player Eddie Coxon stepped up to fill his shoes. The Ouston trio of Neil Rodgers, Mark Rodgers and Mike Lyons all won against Coxon and Neil Rodgers winning against Mark O’Connor for the other set.
In Division 3 Old England Fatts completed their winter program with a 9-1 win against Cramlington Spartans which puts them top 10 points ahead of Ouston B in second place who have one match left to play. Steve Martin of the Fatts lost to Pauline Long and Barry Matthews and Nick Ng both won their three against Long, Daniel McManus and Adrian Barnes. Ouston B now need to win 10-0 to tie with Old England Fatts against YMCA North Tyneside A in their remaining fixture and then the divisional title will be decided on count back.
The semi finals of the Team Handicap KO Cup 2015-16 will take place at the Tyneside Badminton Centre, Bowness Road, Slatyford, Newcastle, NE5 2TA on Tuesday 5 April from 7.00pm.
Cramlington Corinthians will play Matfen A and Cramlington Tigers will play Matfen B.