NESLC Legends have strengthened their team in the Tesco Express Northumbria League by playing Eddie Smith in the side and also bringing in Anthony Barella. Both of them played against St.Chads along with Neil McMaster and they ran out 10 – 0 winners. If they are able to field a strong team from now on then they will be favourites to retain the title. Their Eagles team have acquired Steve Penman who has transferred from St.Chads, and he helped them to beat Newton A 7 – 3. Dale Aitkenhead was the man in form when Cramlington Venture Portraits defeated Cramlington Casuals 6 – 4, remaining unbeaten in both singles and doubles. The bottom of the league clash between Blaydon A and Seaburn Dene went the way of the visitors to the tune of 7 -3.

Byker B went top of division one after an 8 – 2 victory over their A team, Steve Dickinson and Adam Curran winning all of their matches. Cramlington Trojans had Phil Prady in form when they came away from Mortimer with a 7 – 3 win under their belt but they are five points behind the Byker sidealthough they do have a game in handChris Kilsby won all of his matches for lowly Matfen when they visited Whitehouse Lane to help his side to a draw.

Division two leaders Newcastle Community A were involved in a very long match when they went to North Shields to play yhe YMCA B team. The home side fought all the way but the Chinese side still won 9 – 1. Ken Hu and Terry Kwong were both unbeaten. The Chinese club B team were also big winners, defeating Old England Crocks 10 – 0.

The Newton C side of Jim Hunter, Wyn Thompson and John Carr strengthened their hold on top place in division three by winning 9 – 1 away to Whitley Chapel and Ouston A remained in second place after a 10 – 0 hammering of Cramlington Magpies. Newton’s D team were strengthened by the inclusion of Julian Manuel for the visit of second placed Cramlington Lions and with John Henderson in form they won 7 – 3 and are now challenging for second place behind Cramlington Swits who beat the Ravens 7 – 3.

The Border Reivers team were hit by injury and illness for their Veterans British League second weekend but the team of   Dale Aitkenhead, Jim  Stamas and Marc Cotton won all of their matches on the Saturday. Two defeats on the Sunday, however, meant that they had to be content with second place in division two but they will be promoted to the first division for next season which was a tremendous performance.

Northumberland Senior Closed is to be held at Sporting Club, Cramlington on Saturday 28th April 2012. Northumberland Junior Closed to be held on Friday evening 27th April 2012 at the same venue.

Other tournaments approved by the County and ETTA are as follows;

Newcastle Grand Prix to be held at Eldon Leisure on 13th/14th October 2012.

Cramlington Junior 2 Star to be held at Sporting Club on  Sunday 4th Noverber,2012.

The County Senior team played all of their matches in the County Championships Second Division A over one weekend with mixed results and finished in third place.  The team was Andrew Wilkinson, Jimmy Scope, Marc Cotton, Christine Burke and Lynsey Storey.

The Veterans played over two weekends in the County Championships Veterans Division Two A but won only one match, drew one and lost the other five. On the first weekend the team was Jim Stamas, Jimmy Scope, Marc Cotton and Karen Henry. They were represented by Jim Stamas, Jimmy Scope, Phil Prady and Christine Burke on the second weekend. The results meant that they are relegated to the third division for next season.

Because of the lack of Junior Girls it has not been possible to enter a Junior team in the County Championships. However teams representing the Northumbria League have been entered in the Junior National and Cadet National Leagues Northern Section.  The Juniors have won all of their matches so far and have been represented by Ellis Cooper, Adam Curran and Ryan Guttridge. The cadets have won four and lostthree of their matches. On the first weekend the team was Chris Jeffery, Arran Kent and Alex Dyter. On the second weekend it was Adam Shafiq, Chris Jeffery and Arran Kent.


Both NESLC teams won their latest matches in the Premier Division of the Tesco Express Northumbria League. Jim Stamas was inbeaten for the Eagles in their 6 – 4 victory over Blaydon A whilst Eddie Smith and Marc Cotton did not drop a set when they gained a 7 – 3 success away to Cramlington Stingers. Newton’s Anthony Ainley was the player of the match when they visited Saint Chads, beating Jimmy Scope, Chris Blake and Keith Weatherby as well as having success in the doubles partnered by John Russell. But with the Saints players winning the remainder of the matches it was not enough to save his side from a 6 – 4 defeat. Cramlington Casuals defeated Cramlington Tigers 7 – 3 with the Richardson family of Barry and sons Ryan and Dean winning two each although none of them could find a way past Dave Robson. In the other Premier League match Venture Portraits defeated Seaburn Dene 7 – 3.

In the first division Frank Lasek and Clive Dewison were unbeaten against Mortimer as North Fire A won 7 – 3. Second division Birtley came from 3 – 2 down to defeat Newcastle Community B.  Mauge Hou and Alan Lam got the Chinese side off to a good start with victories over John Rowell and Mike Bradley before Bob Dodds beat Terry Kwong and Rowell levelled matters by getting the better of Lam. The Chinese pairing of Kwong and Lam took the doubles set but from thereon Birtley took control with Dodds completing his hat – trick as they ran out 7 -3 winners.

Peter Scott was in good form for Ouston A when they entertained Whitley Chapel in a third division fixture when he won all three of his singles. With Norman Badger and Bill Turnbull backing him up with one set each the match ended in a 5 – 5 draw, Stefan Sobell and Noel Bell getting two each for the visitors. Another man in form in this division was Steve Todd with three wins against Cramlington Knights. One each by Ray Pini and Colin Lancaster meant this was another drawn match, John Morton doing best for the Knights with two singles wins.

Richard Carlton was unbeaten for fourth division Dynamos in a 6 – 4 win over Ravens and Harold Young won all of his matches for Maccabi as they drew 5 – 5 away to Ouston C. Greg Bojke and Tomasz Orzechowski were two other players to complete hat- tricks when Cramlington Swifts swept to an 8 – 2 win over Falcons.

Saint Chads and Cramlington Venture Portraits both took advantage of NESLC Eagles not having a match to move closer to them at the top of the Tesco Express Northumbria League Premier Division.  The Saints team of Chris Blake, Keith Weatherby and Dave Godbold visited Seaburn Dene and came away with a resounding 10 – 0 victory whilst Venture Portraits won 9 – 1 away to Blaydon A.  Dale Aitkenhead and Gary Sangster were both unbeaten with Blaydon’s only set coming when Maurice Cheek defeated Ellis Cooper. Cramlington Tigers moved into fourth spot with a 7 – 3 win away to Newton A and the Cramlington derby match between the Casuals and Stingers ended up all square at five all.

In the second division Byker B had a 6 – 4 win over Tyne Dock with Adam Curran again winning all of his sets. He has now won all thirtysix that he has played this season.

The win takes his side to the top of the division, one point ahead of Cramlington Trojans but the Cramlington team have a game in hand. Mortimer and Byker A fought  out a 5 – 5 draw with Byker’s Mark Kimberley getting a hat-trick.

Cramlington’s Gareth Pearson was the man in form when the Cobras entertained the Corinthians, winning all three of his matches and also helping Alan Hedley to success in the doubles. Hedley and Kit Robinson won one singles each  as the Cobras took control of the second half of the match to win 6 – 4 after the teams had been level at three all.

The Corinthians sets came from Bernie McCardle (two), Mike Dunn and Forood Rainie. In the same division Old England Crocks won 6 – 4 away to Saints and Blaydon B easily defeated Spartans 9 – 1.

Jim Hunter and John Carr were both unbeaten in the third division clash between Ouston B and Newton C as the latter ran out 8 – 2 winners and Steve Todd was again in form for North Shields YMCA C to help his side to a 6 – 4 home success against Cramlington Magpies.

The performance of the week came in division four when young Arran Kent, playing for Dynamos, beat Tomasz Orzechowski of the Swifts as well as winning against Dominic Byrne. Greg Bojke, however, won all three of his matches to make sure that the Swifts remained unbeaten this season with a 7 – 3 victory. Three from Adam Shafiq  helped Ravens to beat Newton D and a hat- trick by Wally Ray gave Jaguars a share of the spoils with Ouston C.

Most teams in the Tesco Express Northumbria League are back in action this week after the Christmas break. In the Premier Division Cramlington Venture Portraits will be hoping to close the gap on the current leaders NESLC Eagles when they visit lowly Blaydon A. With the Eagles not having a match St.Chads will also be looking to challenge them as they are away to the bottom team Seaburn Dene.

In the first division Byker B will hope to claim top spot with a home fixture against Tyne Dock as Cramlington Trojans match with Old England Jacks has been postponed. Matfen and Mortimer have a chance to move away from the basement spot with matches against North Fire B and Byker A respectively.

Newcastle Community A are well clear at the top of division two but Blaydon B have a good chance to get closer to them when they visit Cramlington Spartans who are bottom of the division. Old England Crocks will be looking to take advantage of the Spartns having a tough match by picking up valuable points away to Saints.

Leaders Newton C are away to Ouston B whilst their nearest challengers, Old England FATTS and Ouston A clash at Great Lumley. In the fourth division Newton D will be looking to keep in contention with the two leading teams, Lions and Swifts, when they travel to take on Cramlington Ravens.

The draw for the third round of the Handicap Cup sees the holders Newcastle Community A at home to Premier Division side St.Chads and last year’s runners up Whitehouse Lane have a home tie against Ouston A. The full draw is as follows; Venture Portraits v Newton C, Whitehouse Lane v Ouston A, Byker B v Trojans, Newton B v Spartans, Dragons v Ouston B, Newcastle Community A v St.Chads, Cobras v Casuals, NESLC Codgers v Ravens.

North Shields YMCA C team played hosts to Cramlington Knights in a rearranged Tesco Express Northumbria League third division matchand Steve Todd got them off to a good start with a convincing win over young James Morton. Morton’s father, John, hit straight back by beating Brian Pierce then Colin Lancaster beat Adrian Barnes to put the YM back in the lead. This was short lived as James edged out Pierce over five ends in the next match. The doubles combination of Todd and Lancaster restored the home side’s lead with victory over John Morton and Barnes and Todd then gave them a two set cushion when he saw off Barnes. John Morton then put the visitors back in the match with an easy win over Lancaster and Barnes levelled things again with a straight games defeat of Pierce. Young Morton was next at the table to face Lancaster and won in five ends to give the Knights the lead for the first time and leave the home team facing defeat for only the second time this season. All depended upon the last match of the night between Todd and Morton, Senior. The first two ends went the way of the home team player but Morton narrowly took the next two to take the match to a decider which Todd won 11 – 7 and secured a draw for his team.

NESLC Eagles ended the year on top of the Premier Division with a nine point lead over Cramlington Venture Portraits. St. Chads are only two points adrift of the leading two but have a game in hand whilst Cramlington Tigers, Cramlington Casuals and NESLC Legends all have games to make up and could all be in contention to win the division come the end of the season. Much will depend upon the availability of Andrew Wilkinson for the Legends and Eddie Smith for the Eagles if NESLC are to retain the title.

At the other end of the table Seaburn Dene are currently bottom but could start to move up when they play their outstanding matches. Blaydon A look to be in trouble as they have yet to win. Although they do have two draws to their name, they are eight points behind Newton A and have played one game more.


The County Seniors were represented by Andrew Wilkinson, Jimmy Scope, Marc Cotton, Christine Burke and Lynsey  Storey for the County Weekend in the Second Division of the County Championships. The players all played extremely well but had mixed results, finishing in third spot.

It has now been decided to issue ranking lists on a quarterly basis.

Northumbria League

There is still concern at the number of postponed matches. Clubs are once again urged NOT to accept postponements except in exceptional circumstances.

IMPORTANT – NESLC  have now got a serious problem in that they are on a final warning that if they do not vacate the building by 10 – 00 p.m. they will lose the use of it completely. Visiting teams are requested to try to get an early start and to help the NESLC club by playing on two tables if necessary.

Dale Aitkenhead is doing a tremendous job in getting the results on the 365 website but he needs to have accurate results on the cards. If a game is shown as  8 – 11 instead of 11 – 8 then the computerised system will produce an incorrect match result. Please make sure that your cards are completely correct before sending them to Dale. Also,please get the results in quickly so that tables can be kept up to date.

League Representative Matches

The Junior team representing the Northumbria League continue to do well. Ellis Cooper, Adam Curran and Ryan Guttridge again won all of their matches at the second weekend at Ormesby and are well clear at the top of the Junior National League Northern Section.

The young cadet team of Adam Shafiq, Chris Jeffery and Arran Kent won one and lost two at the Cadet National League Northern Section held at Billingham. This means that they have now got 31 points from seven matches and lie in fourth position.

Newcastle Grand Prix.

Eldon Leisure have again agreed to fund the event next season over the weekend of 13th/14th October.

Congratulations to Geoff Salter who recently added another over 60s title to his collection with a win in Norwich.


Aubrey Drapkin (Chairman)

The Northumbria League fielded a young side in the second weekend of the National Cadet League Northern Section held at Billingham. Thirteen year old Adam Shafiq, 12 year old Arran Kent and 11 year old Chris Jeffery had done extremely well in the first weekend, winning three of their four matches but this time round they were up against the vastly more experienced Northfield A and Ormesby A teams and were well beaten in both matches. It was a different matter, however, when they played Scarborough and they ran out 7 – 2 winners.  This gives them a total of 31 points and fourth place in the table at the half way stage.

Barry Richardson was unbeaten for Cramlington Casuals against Newton A in the Premier Division of the Tesco Express Northumbria League and with his sons, Ryan and Dean, getting two sets each the Casuals won 7 – 3. Anthony Ainley got two for Newton and also was successful in the doubles set partnered by John Russell.

Barry Matthews was the man in form when Old England FATTS entertained Cramlington Knights and his three wins supported by two each from Nigel Coe and Steve Martin saw FATTS home 8 – 2, Matthews and Coe also winning the doubles. John Morton got the two sets for the Knights. Alastair Johnson won the first match of the night for Cramlington Dragons when they entertained Newton C. He beat John Carr over five ends but that was all that the Dragons were to get as Carr won his other two sets and Wyn Thompson and Jim Hunter were too strong for the home side.

The young Cramlington Swifts team who are currently unbeaten and top of the fourth division were involved in an exciting match when they visited Newton D. They made a great start with Tomasz Orzechowski  just getting the better of David Neal and Greg Bojke winning his encounter with Tom Manuel. The next two sets then went the way of the home side, John Henderson being too strong for Alex Dyter and Manuel defeating Orzechowski. After the Cramlington side won the doubles to go into a 3 – 2 lead the home side came back strongly and seemed set to end the Swifts unbeaten run. Neal defeated Dyter, Henderson had a three games victory over Bojke and Manuel beat Dyter to put them 5 – 3 up. But the youngsters were not to be denied as Orzechowski  and Bojke won the last two  against Henderson and Neal respectively. Both of them showed their fighting spirit to come back from being two games to one down in each set.

In the same division Sam Carlton and Aubrey Drapkin won all of their sets for the Dynamos who defeated the Falcons 7 – 3. Matthew Walmsley and Chris Jeffery got one each for the losing side and also combined to take the doubles set.

The Northumberland County Senior team were in action in the second division of the County Championships but despite winning three of their five matches they remain in that division, finishing in third place. The team of Andrew Wilkinson, Marc Cotton, Jimmy Scope, Christine Burke and Lynsey Storey defeated Cheshire seconds 6 – 4, Leicester seconds 9 – 1, And Northamptonshire 7 – 3. A 5 – 5 draw was gained against Warwickshire seconds but North were well beaten 8 – 2 by Cheshire first team.

In the National Junior League the Northumbria League side of Ellis Cooper, Adam Curran and Ryan Guttridge won all of their matches and are sitting pretty at the top of the Northern Section table. Sunderland were overcome to the tune of 8 – 1 as were Hartlepool and an 8 – 2 success was recorded against Ormesby B. Cooper and Curran were unbeaten throughout.

Veteran Geoff Salter notched up another tournament success when he won the Over 60s Mens Singles in Norwich.

There was an exciting finish to the Tesco Express Northumbria League Premier division match between Cramlington Stingers and NESLC Eagles when David Graham faced up to Jim Stamas in the final game with the Eagles ahead at 5 – 4.  Stamas took the first two games but Graham hit back to take the next two and the fifth end could have gone either way but eventually Stamas edged home at 18 – 16 to give his side a 6 – 4 win.

Newcastle Community A team, holders of the Handicap Cup, made progress into the third round when they visited Cramlington Jaguars. Rixian Hu and Terry Kwong were both unbeaten although Kwong very nearly lost to Waly Ray as the Chinese side won 6 – 3. Their B team, however crashed out 5 – 1 away to St. Chads, Ken Lee getting their only set. Two each from Dave Bissett and Jimmy Scope along with one from Keith Weatherby put the home side into the next round. Three sets by Steve Dickinson and two by Adam Curran saw Byker B to success away to Saints for whom Tom Marley and Ken Greatbatch got one each. The all Newton affair between thier C and D teams went the way of the C team who won 6 – 3. John Henderson won all threeof his matches for the D team but Wyn Thompson, Dennis Sparke and Jim Hunter all got two for the winning side.