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.

County

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.

A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

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.

NESLC Eagles had Eddie Smith back in their team for the visit to St.Chads and he won all three of his singles against Keith Weatherby, Steve Penman and Jimmy Scope. With Jimm Stamas beating Scope and Richard Wilson edging out Weatherby the Eagles won five singles matches and Smith and Stamas combined to take the doubles set against Scope and Weatherby to give the Eagles a 6 – 4 success and take them back to the top of the Tesco Express Northumbria Premier Division.

Byker B won 7 – 3 away to North Fire B when Adam Curran and Steve Dickinson were unbeaten and then defeated their A team 8 – 2, Curran again being unbeaten but they stay four points adrift of Cramlington Trojans at the top of the second division. Akshay Pabary was in form for the Trojans as they won 8 – 2 on their visit to Tyne Dock. In the same division Whitehouse Lane moved into fourth spot by beating Mortimer 8- 2. Charlie Mouzon and Mohinda Rawat both recorded maximums.

Blaydon B had to fight hard to win their home match with Saints in division two. Vince Killen and Tony Martin gave Saints an early lead but Blaydon took the next four sets through Rob Scott, Eddie Coxon, Maurice Cheek and the doubles pairing of Cheek and Scott. Martin pulled the score back to 4 – 3 before Coxon and Scott won their respective matches to ensure victory for Blaydon before Martin completed his hat-trick in the final set of the match.

Second placed Ouston A came from behind to beat Cramlington Dragons in the third division. Two victories by Alastair Johnson and one each by Ryan Guttridge and Steve Ralph had put the Dragons 4 – 3 ahead but Ouston finished the stronger with Norman Badger beating Ralph, Peter Scott doing likewise against Guttridge and Allen Tarn then winning the decider with a win over Johnson.

Cramlington Swifts are still unbeaten in division four and have a four point lead over Cramlington Lions at the top of the table. Away to Ouston C the Swifts ran out 7 – 3 winners with unbeaten performances from Tomasz Orzechowski and Greg Bojke. Peter Seago weighed in with one set whilst Joe Tron and Jeff McKenna won one set each for the home side and also combined to beat Orzechowski and Boyke in the doubles. Newton D moved up to third place when the visited Cramlington Falcons and came away with a 7 – 3 victory. Tom Manuel was undefeated with Harry Pickering and Andy Smith getting two each. Young Chris Jeffery played extremely well for the Falcons with wins over Pickering and Smith and also success in the doubles partnered by Norman Bell.

The top two teams in the Premier Division of the Tesco Express Northumbria League were both beaten with Cramlington Venture Portraits going down 9 – 1 to St. Chads  although it was by no means a one sided affair with seven of the ten sets going to a fifth and deciding end. Jimmy Scope and Keith Weatherby were both unbeaten. NESLC Eagles lost at home to Cramlington Tigers 6 – 4,their sets coming from Richard Wilson and Jim Stamas who got two each but two wins each by Rob Reed and Geoff Salter together with one from Paul Stead and victory for Salter and Stead in the doubles saw the Tigers home. Seaburn Dene moved off the bottom of the table after beating North Shields YMCA A 6 – 4, Rod Roberts winning all three of his sets.

Micky Grimes was in form for Tyne Dock in division one, his unbeaten performance helping Tyne Dock to a 7 – 3 win away to Mortimer. Cramlington Trojans team of Phil Prady, Akshay Pabary and Paul Baines stay top of the division with a 9-1 home defeat of Matfen. Newton B and North Fire B shared the points in a 5 – 5 draw and Byker A who had Adam Curran in their side along with Mark Kimberley and John Donnelly defeated Old England Jacks 9 – 1. Mohinda Rawat got three for Whitehouse Lane but hisside, Whitehouse Lane, went down 6 – 4 away to the North Fire A team of Berry Hill, Frank Lasek and Clive Dewison.

The top two teams in division two both had convincing wins in the second division. Newcastle Community A team of Rixian Hu, Ben Yu, and Ken Lee ran out 10 – 0 winners over their B team and the Blaydon B side of Maurice Cheek, Shirley Gelder and Eddie Coxon won 9 – 1 away to Cramlington Cobras. Birtley also had a big win when they visited Saints. John Rowell was undefeated on the night as his side won 8 – 2.

A 9 – 1 win for Ouston A away to NESLC Codgers kept them in second place in division three behind Newton C. Bill Turnbull and Peter Scott were both too good for the opposition with Norman Badger only losing out to Russell Roper. The third and fourth placed teams, Old England FATTS and North Shields YM C were involved in a close match and it was thanks to Barry Matthews with three wins that Old Englandedged home 6 – 4. Ben D’Arcy got two and Steve Martin one with Steve Todd doing best with two sets for the losers. Three sets from John Morton was not enough for Cramlington Knights who were beaten 6 – 4 by the club’s Dragons for whom Alastair Johnson, Steve Ralph and Ryan Guttridge got two each.

Top match in the fourth division was the clash of the leading two teams, Cramlington Swifts and Cramlington Lions. Tomasz Orzechowski was man of the match with three wins for the Swifts. Greg Bojke got two but with Jim Broadbent winning twice for the Lions and backed up by Ken Brown and Terry Duff who got one each the teams ended up all square at 5 – 5, Broadbent and Brown taking the doubles set. The bottom side Cramlington Falcons gave a good account of themselves against Ouston C despite losing 6 – 4. Matthew Walmsley and Chris Jeffery both beat Bryan Ainley and Fred Storey but Ouston’s Joe Tron was undefeated on the night.

To download a copy of the revised regulations click here

Anthony Ainley was the man in form when Newton A entertained St. Chads  in the Tesco Express Northumbria League. His unbeaten performance gave his side a 5 – 5 draw in the Premier Division. Dale Aitkenhead and Gary Sangster also turned in unbeaten performances for Cramlington Venture Portraits as they Defeated their club’s Tigers team 8 – 2.

North Fire A entertained Matfen in the first division and a close match looked on the cards when the score stood at 2 – 2 but the home side had Frank Lasek and Clive Dewison in form and they eventually won 8 – 2. Their B team were up against Cramlington Trojans and although Mick Bull defeated Phil Prady, Barry Hill beat Akshay Pabary and Bob Atwell got the better of Paul Baines they still went down 7 – 3.

The Chinese side, Newcastle Community A, who are leaders of the second division, kept up their impressive form with a 9 – 1 success away to Cramlington Spartans, although the Spartans’ Robert Swinburn did really well to beat Ken Lee. Ken Hu and Ben Yu won all of their sets.

In division three NESLC Codgers recorded their first win of the season when they visited Cramlington Knights. After some close opening matches the score stood at three all with John Morton winning twice for the home side and his son James having just got the better of Pat Thomas. But the Codgers then took charge to run out 7 – 3 winners. Dave Swan won all three of his singles with Pauline Long getting two, Pat Thomas one and the pairing of Swan and Long winning the doubles set.

Fourth Division Ouston C were too good for Cramlington Dynamos thanks to hat-tricks by Joe Tron and Jeff McKenna. Brian Ainley partnered Tron in the doubles which was also won in a 7 – 3 victory. In the same division Cramlington Lions team of Ken Brown, Jim Broadbent and Terry Duff won 9 – 1 against bottom of the table Cramlington Falcons.

In the Veterans British League second division the Border Reivers squad of Geoff Salter, Richard Wilson, Jim Stamas and Dale Aitkenhead made a great start, winning four of their five matches over the first weekend.

A summary of NTT News is available here