It is all change at the top of the Tesco Express Northumbria League Premier Division with last year’s champions back in the lead. The NESLC Legends team of Eddie Smith, Marc Cotton and Steve Penman were too good for bottom team Blaydon A. Blaydon’s John Williamson and Mark O’Connor both came close, Williamson losing out in five ends to Cotton and O’Connor doing likewise against Penman but the Legends ran out 10 – 0 winners. Cramlington Casuals moved up into second place by defeating another team in trouble at the foot of the table. Three sets each from Ryan Richardson and his father Barry together with two from his brother Dean gave them an 8 – 2 success against Seaburn Dene. Chris Dixon got the lone singles set for the losers who also won the doubles when the pairing of Dixon and Ken Bowman defeated the Richardson brothers. Dave Robson was unbeaten for an understrength Tigers team who went down 6 – 4 to the Saint Chads trio of Keith Weatherby, Jimmy Scope and Chris Blake.

Blaydon B team’s promotion hopes are gaining ground in Division two after they beat Corinthians to keep on the heels of Newcastle Community A and open up a big lead over the rest of the field. Maurice Cheek was unbeaten with Rob Scott and Eddie Coxon only losing out to Bernie McCardle as they triumphed 8 – 2.

John Carr and Jim Hunter won three sets each and also combined to win the doubles as division three leaders Newton C had an 8 – 2 win away to Ouston A. Dennis Sparke got their other set but was beaten by both Allen Tarn and Norman Badger. The defeat pushed Ouston down into third spot as Old England FATTS leapfrogged above them by handing out a 9 – 1 beating to NESLC Codgers. All of the singles sets in this one went to the FATTS players, Ben Darcy, Steve Martin and Barry Matthews but the Martin/Darcy partnership lost out to Russell Roper and Pauline Long in the doubles encounter.

Joe Tron and Jeff McKenna were both too good for Cramlington Falcons in division four as they helped Ouston C to an 8 – 2 home victory. Grandfather and grandson Norman Bell and James Brown got the two sets for the visitors.

Northumbria League players Dave Robson, Anthony Barella, Chris Blake and Andrew Dryden were all in Hartlepool TTC’s squad that won promotion from the British League fourth division.



The holders of the Tesco Express Northumbria League Handicap Cup, second division leaders Newcastle Community A, reached the quarter finals of this season’s competition at the expense of Premier Division Saint Chad’s. Rixian Hu made the most of his starts under the handicap system to win all three of his sets to put his team on the way to a 5 – 2 victory. Jimmy Scope and Barry Cuthbertson got the two sets for the Saints. The Chinese side will now be at home to Cramlington Spartans.

Last year’s runners up, Whitehouse Lane, crashed out at home to Ouston A despite two wins by Charlie Mouzon. Pete Scott gave Ouston the lead by beating Mike Hope before Mouzon levelled matters with a victory over Allen Tarn. Norman Badger then put Ouston ahead again but Mouzon once again levelled matters by defeating Scott. But that was all that the home side were to get as Badger remained unbeaten and Tarn won one more to see  their side home.

Ouston B team, however, went out when they visited Cramlington Dragons. Alastair Johnson beat both Mark Rodgers and Joe Tron, Ryan Guttridge  also got the better of Tron and Steve Ralph, after losing to Neil Rodgers completed a miserable night for the visitors by defeating Mark Rodgers.

Cramlington Venture Portraits were additionally handicapped at the last minute when Gary Sangster had to pull out of the team because of illness. Young Ellis Cooper got three sets and Dale Aitkenhead one, but it was not quite enough to beat the Newton C team of John Carr, Jim Hunter and Dennis Sparke who triumphed 5 – 4.

Cramlington did get another two teams through to the last eight when the Spartans with Robert Swinburn unbeaten won 5 – 2 away to Newton B despite both Lynsey Storey and Joe Swinburn losing to Graeme Bell and the Casuals were too strong for the Cobras

The Byker B team made the most of their points start to defeat their first division rivals Trojans 5 – 1 and the NESLC Codgers side of Russell Roper, Pauline Long and Pat Thomas easily beat the Ravens. The quarter final draw is as follows: Byker B v Cramlington Dragons, Newton C  v Ouston A,  Cramlington Casuals  v NESLC Codgers

Newcastle Community A  v Cramlington Spartans.

In the Premier Division of the League Seabun Dene featured in two rearranged matches but lost out in both going down  8 – 2 at home to Casuals and by the same score away to Stingers

Please remember that Dale Aitkenhead has moved house and his new address is Larkspur Cottage, East Fenrother, Morpeth, NE61 3DS. Telephone 01670 788747. Please send all scorecards to his new address. If Dale receives the results online or preferably scanned to him then the results are normally on the website and the league tables updated the same day.

Those of you who do not have access to do this could always ask one of the team members to do so.

The following matches require to be rearranged and the home clubs involved are asked to do so as soon as possible.

Premier Division:   NESLC Legends v Cram.Stingers    NSYM A v Cram Tigers   Seaburn Dene v Casuals St. Chads v Tigers    Legends v Seaburn Dene   Legends v Casuals   Stingers v Seaburn Dene.  Tigers v N.S.Y.M. A.  Newton A v Stingers.

Division One:        Tyne Dock v O.E.Jacks   Tyne Dock v North Fire B.  Matfen v Whitehouse Lane O.E.Jacks v Newton B  Tyne Dock v Whitehouse Lane.  Newton B v Mortimer.  Matfen v O.E.Jacks.

Division Two:       Birtley v Cram Corinthians   Blaydon B v Newcastle Community B  Cram Spartans v   O.E.Crocks   Newcastle Community A v Corinthians  Birtley v N/c Comm A  Birtley v O.E.Crocks

Division Three:     Whitley Chapel v Cram Dragons  NESLC Codgers v Whitley Chapel   Knights v Ouston B   Ouston B v NESLC Codgers  NESLC Codgers v O.E.FATTS

Division Four:       Newton D v Maccabi   Maccabi v Cram Falcons.

The above are all shown as not having been received by Wed. 15th February. It may be that some have been played but the result not yet submitted. Please ensure that all outstanding matches are rearranged as soon as possible and remember that it is the responsibility of the home team to make the bew arrangements even if they were not the team that postponed the match in the first place. In the case of matches remaining unplayed  by April 20th the AWAY team will be awarded a 10 – 0 win and the home team will incur a fine under regulation 10.2.

Clubs in division 4 please note that Harold Young is now acting as secretary of Maccabi and his address is as follows: 38 Kenton Road, Gosforth, Newcastle on Tyne, NE3 4LY. Phone: 0191 2852871


National Junior and Cadet Leagues

Our Junior representative side of Ellis Cooper, Adam Curran and Ryan Guttridge still have a 100% record in the Northern section of the Junior league.

The cadet team of Adam Shafiq, Chris Jeffery, and Arran Kent found Northfield A and Ormesby A too strong for them in the latest weekend of the Cadet League but the are still in third place which is relly good for this young side.


Border Reivers

The entirely independent team of Dale Aitkenhead, Jim Stamas, Richard Wilson,and Geoff Salter found themselves a man down for the final session of the Veterans British League because of the illness of Geoff and injury to Richard.  Marc Cotton was a late replacement and the team did exceptionally well to gain promotion to the first division



I have made a deal of progress with the archives and a good number of old facts and figures can now be seen on the County website ( I have also put together a collection of handbooks from 1934/35 to date. Unfortunately there are a few gaps and if any of the more senior players in any club can help I would very much appreciate it. The missing books are for the following seasons: 1946/47, 1971/72, 1976/77 and 1977/78.



I have been informed by the Chronicle that the Grassroots Sport is going to expand to a daily basis instead of twice weekly. It may be that Table Tennis will be moved from a Wednesday to another night. I will let you know as soon as I am told. I have, however, been told that it will mean greater coverage. At present I supply copy and Alan Hedley sends in photos where possible. It would be of great assistance if clubs could take photos of their players and then email them to Alan in order to build up a collection for future use.


Aubrey Drapkin (Chairman)

Gary Sangster

NESLC Legends have moved up to third place in the Premier Division of the Tesco Northumbria League and have matches in hand over the two sides above them. They were at full strength for the visit of Cramlington Venture Portraits and Eddie Smith won his usual three sets. Neil McMaster got two but was beaten by Gary Sangster who also defeated Marc Cotton. The only other set dropped came when Cotton went down to Aidan Ranftler.  NESLC Eagles, who are still the leaders won 6 – 4 away to Cramlington Casuals. At one stage they led 6 – 1 but the Casuals took the last four sets. Jim Stamas and Steve Penman won two for the Eagles and Ryan Richardson did likewise for the home team. The highlight of the match, however, was the contest between young Dean Richardson and Penman which the youngster won 15 – 13 in the fifth end.

In division one, Byker B and Cramlington Trojans now look certain to be promoted to the top flight but the battle for top spot continues. Whilst the Trojans were beating Old England Jacks in a rearranged fixture to the tune of 7 – 3 the Byker side took on third placed North Fire A. After leading 4 – 2 they were pulled back to 4 – 4 but Dean Eadington beat Bob Appleby and Adam Curran, who is still to drop a set in this division defeated Clive Dewison to give them  a 6 – 4 victory. Steve Dickinson won twice for the victors as did Frank Lasek for Fire.

The two Chinese sides, Newcastle Community, kept up their good form in division two when the A team were too strong for Cramlington Cobras, winning 8 – 2 and the B team defeated Cramlington Corinthians 7 – 3. In the same division North Shields YMCA B team won 8 – 2 away to the Spartans with Don Catley remaining unbeaten.

Newton C consolidated their position at the top of division three wth a convincing win away to the bottom side, Cramlington Magpies. Wyn Thompson, Jim Hunter and John Carr won all of the singles in a 9 – 1 success. At the same time second placed Ouston A were held to a 5 – 5 draw by the Knights for whom John Morton was unbeaten.

Cramlington Swifts are  seven points ahead of the Lions in division four after beating the Jaguars 6 -4, the rapidly improving young players, Tomasz Orzechowski and Greg Bojke winning all of the sets. The Lions did narrow  narrow the gap slightly with a 7 – 3 victory over the Dynamos, Jim Broadbent winning all of his sets and Ken Brown getting two. Aubrey Drapkin got two for the losing side.

The Northumbria League Cadet team of Adam Shafiq, Chris Jeffery and Arran Kent lost both of their matches in the National Cadet League Northern section but they are still in third place which is very creditable for the young players in their first season.

Arran Kent

Christopher Jeffery

Adam Shafiq

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.