Newly promoted Newton got off to a good start in the First Division of the Tesco Express Northumbria Summer League when they entertained North Fire. Graeme Bell put them on the right track by beating Barry Hill in the opening set of the night although this was quickly cancelled out when Dale Aitkenhead defeated Mark Kimberley. Chris Walton then got the better of Frank Lasek and Kimberley won against Hill to put Newton three one up. The doubles pairing of Aitkenhead and Lasek pulled one back for Fire but Bell restored the two set lead with victory over Lasek in the singles. It was reduced to one set when Aitkenhead beat Walton but wins by Kimerley over Lasek and Walton against Hill gave victory to the home side even though Aitkenhead completed his hat – trick in the final set by defeating Bell. In the same division the reigning champions, Cramlington Stingers made a winning start with a 7 – 3 win over Cramlington Eagles.

In division two North shields YMCA, Newcastle Community and Old England Jacks all started on the right foot with victories over Whitehouse Lane B, Mortimer A and Blaydon Y.C. respectively.

Third division Whitley Chapel lost at home by seven sets to three to Cramlington Casuals for whom Alan Hedley was unbeaten but the feature of this match was the clash between the two lady players, Linda Pinkham and Cramlington’s Lynsey Storey. Storey won the first end 12 – 10 but Pinkham did likewise in the second set. Storey then again won the third 12 – 10 but the fourth end went Pinkham’s way with another 12 – 10 score. The set was eventually decided in the fifth which Storey won 11 – 6. Hedley was again undefeated when the Casuals won 8 – 2 against Sacriston B.

In the fourth division Lanchester made the long journey to Longbenton to play NESLC and came away with a share of the spoils thanks mainly to John Cook who won two singles and helped Frank Clarke to success in the doubles. Pat Thomas was undefeated for the home side.

 

A lot of young players have had a successful season in the Tesco Express Northuumbria League and also in the Northumberland Tournaments and  representing the Northumbria League in National Competitions. Ryan Richardson, in his last season as a junior, became the County Junior Champion and winner of the Norman Moore Memorial Cup for the fourth year running as well as winning the Band One Singles at Senior level. His younger brother, Dean, won the Cadet ( under 15 ) title and the Harry Dignan Cup for the third successive year. Both of them played in the Premier Division of the league along with their father, Barry, and did extremely well to finish as runners up.

Perhaps the performance of the season was that of Adam Curran who won all sixty of his matches in the first division and helped his side, Byker B, to gain promotion to the first division. This was a really magnificent effort and Adam hopes to progress his Table Tennis career when he goes to Grantham Academy in September where he will be under the tuition of former England international, Alex Perry.

Ellis Cooper was successful in the Senior tournament, winning the Handicap Singles, Akshay Pabary , playing for Cramlington Trojans, helped his team to win division one of the league and young Jack Quinn won the Under 13 title for the second year in a row. The Cramlington side that won division four  was made up entirely of youngsters

Tomasz Orzechowski, Greg Boijke and Dominic Byrne.

Curan, Cooper and Ryan Guttridge represented the league at Junior level and they comfortable won the Northern Section of the Junior National League. The cadet team was represented by inexperienced players in Adam Shafiq, Chris Jeffery, Arran Kent and Alex Dyter and they did extremely well to finish in the top half of the Cadet National League.

Next week sees the start of the Tesco Express Northumbria Summer league in which twenty nine teams are playing in four divisions. Last year’s champions, Cramlington Stingers start with a home match against Cramlington Eagles ( previously Venture Portraits) who finished in third spot last season. St.Chad’s who were last season’s runners up have a strong squad this time round and they commence with  a home match against newcomers Whitehouse Lane A. The Whitehouse Lane side is made up of  the players who represented Byker B in the Winter League, Adam Curran, Steve Dickinson and Dean Eadington and they should do well in their new surroundings in the Summer.

North Fire have the services of Dale Aitkenhead during the summer season and they entertain newly promoted Newton whilst the other promoted team, Cramlington Lions visit Seaburn Dene for their first match.

In the second division North Shields YMCA will be looking for a quick return to the top flight and they get their campaign off to a start by entertaining Whitehouse Lane B who have come up from the third division. Blaydon will be a force to be reckoned with in this division but they will be tested in their first match by Old England Jacks who have come back into the league this term. Newcastle Community take on Mortimer A.

Whitley Chapel and Cramlington Dragons have moved up into the third tier and both start with away matches, against Sacriston A and Old England Crocks respectively. Saints entertain Cramlington Tigers and Cramlington Casuals meet Sacriston B.

NESLC, who narrowly missed promotion from the fourth division last year, are favourites to win that division this time round and they should get off to a good start when they entertain the Durham side, Lanchester. The other match at this level sees the two Cramlington teams, Dynamos and Ravens up against each other.

The season is now complete and congratulations to all division winners and to the handicap cup and division four league cup winners. A summary of the ups and downs is as follows:

                                                  Winners                           Runners Up

Premiers Division              NESLC Legends                  Cramlington Casuals

Division One                     Cramlington Trojans              Byker B

Division Two                      Newcastle Community A      Blaydon B

Division Three                   Newton C                            Old England FATTS

Division Four                     Cramlington Swifts              Cramlington Lions

Division Four Lge Cup       Cramlington Jaguars            Cramlington Lions

Handicap Cup                   Newcastle Community A     Byker B

 

                                                  Relegated

Premier Division                Seaburn Dene and Blaydon A

Division One                     Old England Jacks and Matfen

Division Two                      Old England Crocks and Cramlington Spartans

Division Three                   NESLC Codgers and Cramlington Magpies

 

Representative side

The Cadet team finished in a creditable top half position in the National Cadet League Northern section.

 

Northumberland Closed Tournament

The winners and runners up were as follows:

 

                                        Winner                             Runner Up

Open Singles                     Dave Robson                     Graeme Barella

Womens Singles               Lynsey Storey                  Kit Robinson

Veterans Singles                     Eddie Smith                          Dave Robson

Handicap Singles              Ellis Cooper                     Dave Craddock

Doubles                           Graeme Barella/               Nigel Rodgers/

                                                  Adrian Barnes                   Steve Robinson

Band 1 Singles                 Ryan Richardson              Graeme Barella

Band 3 Singles                 Moise Coulon                   Alan Hedley

Band 4 Singles                 Pauline Long                    Angus Poole

Junior Singles                  Ryan Richardson                      Adam Curran

Cadet Singles                   Dean Richardson              Jack Quinn

Under 13 Singles               Jack Quinn                      Arran Kent

 

There were no entries for Band 2 Singles.

 

Tesco Express Summer League

This will start on 21st May and 29 teams will take part in four divisions.

The Chinese team, Newcastle Community A have won the Tesco Express Northumbria League Handicap Cup for the second year running, being the first team to do so since Newton A in 1997. They met Byker B in the final and ran out 5 – 2 winners after at one stage being all square at two all. The first match on was between Terry Kwong and Adam Curran.  Kwong had an eight point start but this was not enough to stop the young Byker player from taking the first end but Kwong did take the second before Curran narrowly won the decider at 21 – 18. Next up was the Chinese top player Rixian (Ken) Hu who did not need his three point advantage over Steve Dickinson, winning 21- 13, 21 -6. Ben Yu then had to give two points start to Dean Eadington and this turned out to be a very close encounter with the Chinese player just edging home 27 – 25, 21 – 18 to give his side the lead. The best match of the night followed when Hu took on Curran and he again had a three point start. After falling behind in the first game he came back strongly to win it 22 – 20. Curran, however, was in no mood to be beaten and the next two ends went his way after some excellent play to level the match score.

Kwong then defeated Eadington but needed three ends to do so and Yu did likewise against Dickinson to give the Chinese a 4 – 2 lead. Eadington was the next Byker player to come to the table to play Hu but he was unable to save the day for Byker and the Newcastle team retained the trophy.

Ellis Cooper won the Handicap Singles in the recent Northumberland Tournament when he defeated Dave Craddock in the final. In the Junior tournament the under 13 event went to Jack Quinn who beat Arran Kent in his final match.

With the Winter League now complete a number of teams are looking forward to the start of the Summer League on 21st May.

 

Dave Robson, who plays for Cramlington TTC in the Tesco Express Northumbria League, is the new Northumberland County Champion. He claimed the title in the County Closed by defeating Graeme Barella (NESLC) in the final of the Open Singles. After coming through his group Robson defeated Geoff Salter, Jim Stamas and Steve Penman to set up a meeting with Barella in the final. He took the first game with an 11 – 3 scoreline before Barella got into his stride to fully extend him in the second which went Robson’s way 16 – 14. Barella then took the next two games but Robson won the decider 1 1 – 5 to claim the title and the Alan Morpeth Memorial Cup. On his way to the final Barella put out Phil Prady then the holder and favourite Eddie Smith  before disposing of David Graham in the semis.

The Womens’ title went to Lynsey Storey who won a round robin event with Kit Robinson taking second place. 

Robson also got through to the final of the Veterans Singles but found Eddie Smith waiting for him  and all out to make up  for losing his Senior Title.  Robson did push him close but Smith won a tight match 11 – 6, 11- 8, 10 – 12, 13 – 11. Ryan Richardson won the Band 1 event with victory over Barella in the final, the Band 3 was won by Moise Coulon who defeated Alan Hedley whilst the Band 4 winner was Pauline Long with success against Angus Poole.

The Fun Doubles went to Barella and Adrian Barnes with victory over Nigel Rodgers and Steve Robinson.

The County Junior Tournament saw Ryan Richardson win the Norman Moore Memorial Cup for the third successive year, beating Adam Curran in the final. Ryan’s brother Dean claimed the Cadet Title and the Harry Dignan Cup for the third time with victory over Jack Quinn and Quinn  beat Christopher Jeffery to win the Under 13 event.

If you are not currently playing table tennis but are reading this item out of interest for the game why not take a trip to the Sporting Club Cramlington on Saturday 28 April where you can observe the Northumberland Table Tennis Closed Championships. There will be around 45 players competing at various standards and an opportunity for you to see the game in a live situation, and at no cost. Spectators are welcome any time during the day.

Teams in the Tesco Express Northumbria League 2011 to 2012 have now completed all their fixtures and the league tables are available.   Among  the matches completed last week were some from the Premier Division and third divisions. Additionally the final of the Division 4 League Cup took place.

View the Final league tables

In the Premier Division NESLC Legends found themselves short of a player when Eddie Smith and Marc Cotton played the team’s outstanding fixtures against Cramlington Casuals and Cramlington Stingers. Legends lost 4-6 to Casuals but managed a draw against Stingers thus consolidating  their position as top team in the Division with Casuals ending in second place.

In Division 3 Cramlington Knights played out a 5-5 draw against Ouston B. John Morton won his 3 matches which with 2 wins from Angus Pool made up the Knights score for the match. Mike Lyons and Neil Rodgers each won 2 games plus the doubles to ensure the points were shared equally between the two teams.

The tightest match of the week was the League Cup final which saw a Cramlington Lions team of Jim Broadbent, Ken Brown and Terry Duff competing against their Club companions    Mick Sursham, Wally Ray and Allan Mann for Cramlington Jaguars.   Mick Sursham, Wally Ray and Allan Mann. In a drawn match Broadbent won his 3 with the other 2 games coming from Brown and the doubles combination of Broadbent and Brown. Jaguars proved stonger in the singles with Ray and Mann each winning 2 games and Sursham gaining one victory. Jaguars had drawn their game the semi finals and progressed to the final on a count back. The count back was necessary again in the final and again Jaguars had the best ends won record to make them the winners of the Division 4 League Cup.

The Tesco Express Northumbria Table Tennis League for 2011 – 12 is almost completed with only a few outstanding games and the Handicap Cup and Division 4 League Cup finals to be completed.

The semi finals of the Handicap Cup saw Byker ‘B’ at home to Ouston ‘A’ and Newcastle Community ‘A’ hosting Cramlington Casuals.

The Byker team of Adam Curran, Steve Dickinson and Dean Eadington proved too strong for the Ouston team securing a 5-3 victory over  Allen Tarn, Peter Scott and Norman Badger. After 4 games the scores were level then Byker took the next 2 games to put pressure on their opponents. Badger kept Ouston in the match when he beat Eadington in 3 ends but Dickinson ended the match in Byker’s favour with over Scott.

Ken Hu, Paul Cheung and Ben Yu fought a tight match against Ryan and Dean Richardson and Moise Coulon in the Newcastle Community V Cramlington semi final.  The first game saw Hu beating Richardson D. In the second game Cheung lost to Richardson R. Victory came to Newcastle Community in the third when Yu defeated Coulon. And so it continued with each team taking it in turn to win. With the score at 4-4 all rested on the final game, Hu against Richardson R, and the alternating cycle continued with Hu taking the game and Community emerging winners with the overall score of 5 games to 4.

The 4th Division League Cup semi finals were contested between Maccabi and Cramlington Jaguars and Cramlington Lions against Cramlington Ravens.

Maccabi were only able to field 2 players, Harold Young and Derek Marcus, but still held Mick Sursham, Wally Ray and Allan Mann to a 5 all draw.   On a count back of ends won Jaguars are through to the final.

The Lions against Ravens resulted in a victory for Lions. Jim Broadbent, Ken Brown and Terry Duff have already taken the Lions to the runners up position in Division 4 and Jack Quinn, Tony Quinn and Christopher Jeffrey found them too strong.

Cramlington Trojans and Byker ‘B’ in Division 1 have been neck in neck throughout the season and both their games against the other have resulted in 5-5 draws. Trojans finally confirmed first place when their team of Phil Prady, Paul Baines and Akshay Pabary defeated a North Fire ‘B’ team of Barry Hill, Mick Bull and Bob Atwell by  6 games to 4. Baines was man of the match for Trojans with 3 victories followed by Prady with 2 wins. Bob Atwell proved the mainstay of North Fire with 2 victories plus the doubles with Hill. The close competition is evident in the final points tally of 148 for Trojans and 142 for Byker.

The Northumberland Closed will be held on Saturday 28th April 2012 at Sporting Club, Cramlington. Those wishing to enter who have not yet submitted their entries should contact Nigel Coe immediately.   The Junior tournament will be held on Friday evening 27th April, also at Cramlington and entries for this one are to go to Alan Hedley by 23 April.

Newton A assured themselves of Premier Division status for next season in the Tesco Express Northumbria League despite losing their last two matches 7 – 3 to North Shields YMCA and 6-4 to Cramlington Stingers. The seven points that they picked up means that the are now sure to finish above Seaburn Dene and Blaydon.

In the first division Cramlington Trojans beat Whitehouse Lane 8 – 2  and now only need one point form their final match of the season against North Fire B to take the first division title. Byker B are sure to be runners up and move up to the top level. At the other end of the table Mortimer, Old England Jacks and Matfen are all in danger of the drop to the second division but it is not yet clear which one of them will survive. Matfen are bottom but they did pick up four points in their away match at Newton B. In a team effort Chris Kilsby, Keith Hodges and Phil Rainford each won one singles and Kilsby and Rainford combined to win the doubles set. Graeme Bell was unbeaten for the home side who won 6 – 4.

Newcastle Community A lost their first match in division three when they visited Birtley and were without Rixian Yu. Ben Yu won all three of his sets but they went down 6 – 4. Bob Dodds and John Rowell got two each for the winners with Mike Bradley getting one and helping Dodds to take the doubles.

Whitley Chapel managed to preserve their third division place by beating NESLC Codgers and playing a draw with Cramlington Magpies, the two teams to go down.

Stefan Sobell won all three of this singles against the Codgers and got two against the Magpies, losing out only to Angus Poole.

The division four league cup final will be an all Cramlington affair with the Lions taking on the Jaguars.

Chris Blake was in fine form in the Tesco Express Northumbria Premier Division when Saint Chads visited NESLC Eagles with victories over Jim Stamas, Steve Penman and Dave Swan  as his team won 6 – 4. Jimmy Scope chipped in with two singles wins as well as partnering Blake to success in the doubles. Stamas got a couple of sets for the home side. North Shields YMCA virtually assured themselves of avoiding relegation by beating Seaburn Dene 9 – 1 with both Andrew Dryden and Nigel Rodgers winning all of their sets. On the other hand Seaburn Dene look likely to accompany Blaydon in the drop  into the first division as they were also beaten 9 – 1 by Cramlington Stingers.

Cramlington Trojans and Byker B are now both promoted to the Premier Division and the Trojans team of Phil Prady, Akshay Pabary and Paul Baines are favourites to finish on top of the first division after a 10 – 0 home win over Tyne Dock and winning 9 – 1 away to Matfen. Byker were held to a draw by North Fire B which leaves the Trojans one point ahead with a game in hand.

Blaydon B assured themselves of promotion from the second division when they came away from Saints with an 8 – 2 victory under their belts thanks to an unbeaten performance by Rob Scott and two wins each by Shirley Gelder and Maurice Cheek. They will now go up along with runaway winners Newcastle Community A who once again proved to be too good for this division with a 10 – 0 drubbing of third placed Birtley.

Old England FATTS went into their home match with Cramlington Magpies knowing that they needed to get five points to clinch promotion along with Newton C in division three. Barry Matthews, Steve Martin and Nigel Coe made doubly sure by winning 10 – 0. The result also virtually condemns the Magpies to life in the fourth division next season.

The fourth division league cup has now reached the semi final stage with Maccabi due to entertain Cramlington Jaguars and the Lions at home to the Ravens