Cramlington Stingers, leaders of the Tesco Express Northumbria Summer League, retained their unbeaten record when they visited North Fire although they were made to struggle for their victory. Frank Lasek won two for the home team and combined with Dale Aitkenhead to win the doubles and Aitkenhead also won one of his singles sets.

But Ryan Richardson got a hat-trick for the Stingers who got home 6 – 4. Barry Richardson won two and Dean Richardson one.

Three sets from Dave Pringle and two each by Dave Bannon and Alex Smith helped Mortimer A to an 8 – 2 success against Old England Crocks , Alan Atkinson winning both of the losers sets. This victory takes Mortimer to the top of the table.

Sacriston A and Old England Crocks still have 100% records in division three. Sacriston are ahead on points and the racked up another nine when they went to Saints. Vince Killen got one for the home side but hat-tricks from Ian McAllister and Duncan Fraser, two from Paul Dale and victory in the doubles completed the scoring for Sacriston.

Old England won by the same margin when they entertained Whitley Chapel with Ken Clark and John Matthews both unbeaten and Colin Robson only dropping one set when he was beaten by Stefan Sobell.  Cramlington Tigers also ran up a 9 – 1 score as they defeated Sacriston B.

NESLC  were another team to score nine when they beat Ouston in a fourth division match with Dave Swan and Russell Roper both unbeaten and they now lead the way in that division. There was another 9 – 1 result when Cramlington Dynamos’ team of Mick Sursham, Allan Mann and Diane Cartmell crushed Sacriston C.

Adam Curran did well in the Northfield Junior tournament, reaching the semi finals before being beaten by Cleveland’s Alec Ward.

The third division match in the Tesco Express Northumbria League featured the longest game of the week when Stefan Sobell  of Whitley Chapel took on Cramlington Tigers’ Moise Coulon. The Tigers player won the first game easily but Sobell hit back to win the next two. They got to ten all in the fourth and from thereon each player gained the advantage but were pulled back by their opponent until it reached 20 – 20. Sobell then managed to take the next two points to edge out the Frenchman.

Kit Robinson, however, was the star player of the night winning all three of her sets to help the Tigers to an 8 – 2 victory.

In the same division the  Old England Crocks team of Ken Clark, John Matthews and Nigel Coe beat Saints 6 – 4 and followed this up with a 7 – 3 defeat of Cramlington Casuals, with Colin Robson playing instead of Coe.

The first division clash between Cramlington Lions and Whitehouse Lane ended up all square with Adam Curran winning all three of his sets for the Lane although he was pushed all the way by Ellis Cooper only getting home 12 – 10 in the fifth end. The Stingers team of Andrew Wilkinson and the Richardson brothers Ryan and Dean crushed Seaburn Dene 10 – 0 to go top of the table and Saint Chads moved into second spot with a similar scoreline over North Fire. Dave Pringle was in fine form winning all of his sets for second division Mortimer A as they defeated Whitehouse Lane B 8 – 2, being backed up by Alex Smith and Dave Bannon with two singles wins each. North Shields YMCA defeated Blaydon 9 -1, Nigel Rodgers and James Bradbury both getting hat-tricks.

Fouth division NESLC were too good for Sacriston C, Pauline Long and Rusell Roper not dropping a set and Pat Thomas getting two as they romped home 9 – 1. The all Cramlington clash in the division four league cup went the way of the Ravens who beat the Dynamos 7 – 3 with young Arran Kent unbeaten.

Newton made a flying start in their Tesco Northumbria Summer League first division match against Whitehouse Lane A with two victories for Graeme Bell one by Mark Kimberley and success by Bell and Chris Walton in the doubles giving them a 4 – 1 lead. The visitors, however, hit back with Adam Curran defeating Kimberley, Steve Dickinson just getting the better of Walton and Curran then overcoming Bell to level matters. Walton got the next set against Dean Eadington but Dickinson defeated Kimberley as the match finished all square at 5 – 5.  Saint Chads got back to winning ways with a 9 – 1 win over Seaburn Dene, Cramlington Eagles defeated North Fire 8 – 2 with Bonne Habekost winning all of his games and the Stingers defeated the Lions 8 – 2. Andrew Wilkinson was unbeaten in this one.

The Chinese side, Newcastle Community, look to be a team to watch in division two. Ken Hu and Ben Yu both got hat-tricks in an 8 – 2 win at home to North Shields YMCA with Ken Lee chipping in with one and the combination of Hu and Yu winning the doubles. Shields sets came from Nigel Rodgers and James Bradbury. The derby match between Mortimer A and B teams was won 8 – 2 by the A team.

In division three Saints came out on top when they entertained Whitley Chapel with both Steve Dawson and Tom Marley unbeaten in a 7 – 3 victory. Three sets from Moise Coulon helped the Tigers to a similar result against the Dragons whilst Sacriston A beat their B team with a similar score.

The young Cramlington Ravens side of Arran Kent, Adam Shafiq and Alex Dyter won their fourth division encounter with Ouston 8 – 2 , both Kent and Shafiq  being unbeaten whilst Lanchester also had an 8 – 2 success at the expense of Sacriston C, Callan McCabe getting three. Pauline Long was undefeated for NESLC in their 6 – 4 victory over the Dynamos in the fourth division league cup.

 

Ryan Richardson of Newcastle will represent local Table Tennis in the Olympic Torch Relay on Friday.  18 year old Ryan, who  has been Northumberland Junior Champion in each of the last four years and has also represented the County at Senior level, was nominated by his club, Cramlington. He is absolutely delighted to have been chosen and will carry the torch along Tynemouth Road in Howdon, from Lisle Grove to Churchill Street at approximately ten to four.

He was in action for Cramlington Stingers in the Tesco Express Northumbria League and won all three of his matches as they triumphed 9 – 1 away to Newton. Andrew Wilkinson made his comeback from injury in this match and also won all three of his sets.

A strong Cramlington Lions team of Geoff Salter, Dave Robson and Steve Penman inflicted a 10 – 0 defeat on Saint Chads and the Cramlington Eagles beat Whitehouse Lane A 7 – 3. Adam Curran was once again the star of the match, winning all three of the losing team’s sets.

Sacriston A already look as though they will be the team to beat in division three,  winning their third successive match in style when they entertained Cramlington Tigers. Ian McAllister, Jon Mawson and Duncan Fraser only dropped three games all night as they cruised to a 10 – 0 victory. In the same division Cramlington Dragons gained their first success with a 6 – 4 win away to Whitley Chapel, Jim Broadbent, Ron Bain and Tomasz Orzechowski got two sets each but none of them were able to beat the home side’s Stefan Sobell.

Adam Shafiq was on form for the young Cramlington Ravens side in division four, winning all of his matches in a 7 – 3 triumph at Sacriston C. He was backed up by Arran Kent who won two and Jack Quinn with one. Peter Whitfield got two for the home side. The experienced NESLC team of Russell Roper, Pauline Long and Pat Thomas won 10 – 0 away to Cramlington Jaguars.

Saint Chads won both of their opening matches in the first division of Tesco Express Northumbria Summer League. After beating Whitehouse Lane 7 – 3, despite Adam Curran getting three for the losers, they visited Newton and came away with an 8 – 2 victory. Jimmy Scope and Dave Bissett were both unbeaten whilst Andy Dryden got two sets. Cramlington Lions and North Fire were involved in a close match with the Lions starting well, taking a 3 – 1 lead with Jim Stamas, Rob Reed and Paul Baines all on the scoresheet .The doubles went the way of the opposition but Stamas restored the two set lead by beating Frank Lasek. Fire then hit back with wins for Dale Aitkenhead and Lasek to level the score. The last two sets, however, went to Cramlington’s Reed and Stamas to give them a 6 – 4  victory.. Mohinda Rawat was in form for Whitehouse Lane B with three wins as his side defeated Mortimer B 7 – 3 in the second division. Charlie Mouzon backed him up with two wins and Ray Purves did likewise for Mortimer.

The Sacriston A team of John Mawson, Paul Dale and Tony Taylor were far too strong for Cramlington Dragons and recorded a 10 – 0 success in division three. In the same division  Barry Matthews beat Kit Robinson over five ends and Ken Clark completed his hat -trick to give Old England a 6 – 4 victory over Cramlington Tigers after the sides had been level at four all.

Lanchester made the long journey to Longbenton to take on NESLC in division four and came away with a share of the spoils thanks mainly to John Cook with two wins. Pat Thomas was unbeaten for the home side. Ouston started in the same division with a 7 – 3 home success against Sacriston C. Jeff McKennaq was undefeated in this one with Dan Carter getting two, Jim King one and McKenna and Carter winning the doubles.

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.