Until last week, 16 teams were still in the draw for the Northumbria League Knock Out Handicap Cup. This format sees teams from all divisions competing against each other, higher-ranked players facing head-starts from lower-ranked players. In some situations, this can see the league’s top players having an 18-point deficit to overcome with each set going to just 21 points in a best of 3 format.
Ouston B travelled down the road to face a Saints line-up of Steve Dawson, Ray Joynson and Ken Greatbatch. Joynson won 2, losing out to Jeff Mckenna, Dawson beat Kevin Richardson but that was all the home side could manage as they lost 5-3 overall.
Prudhoe hosted a young Cramlington Jaguars team as Mark O’Connor, Andrew Firth and Maurice Cheek faced off against Joe Hastings, Jamie Hall and Andrew Matfin. The away team had some sizeable head-starts, with the biggest advantage going to Joe Hastings with a 13-point start over Andrew Firth, but the home side showed their quality and won 6-3. Mark O’Connor won his three, Firth won two (including beating Hastings in the aforementioned match) and Maurice Cheek won one.
It was another 6-3 win for the Cramlington Ravens when they played at home to Mount A. The competition’s youngest side consisting of Israel Shodeinde, Ethan Brown and Jack Cairns did incredibly well to beat the experienced Division 1 line-up of Dave Cutler, Rod Roberts and Jamie Dent albeit with double-digit handicaps. Brown won all three, Shodeinde took two and Cairns helped out with a single win over Jamie Dent – finishing 21-18 in the deciding end.
On the other hand, Mount’s C team were at home to another Cramlington team, the Corinthians. Mount A’s league player Anthony Ainley was registered lower for this competition and he was joined by Rob Lawson and Alan Livingstone as they won a fairly comfortable 5-2 victory. Phil Smith did well for the away team as he beat Lawson and Livingstone but it wasn’t enough, Alan Hedley and Richard Williamson unable to pick up any wins for the away side.
John McKenna did well for the Cramlington Magpies as they faced club-mates Cramlington Trojans. He beat Premier Division player Gareth Pearson with just a 12-point start, narrowly lost by just 2 points in the deciding end against Blair Carmichael and took Adam Hardiman to a deciding end. Despite Aubrey Drapkin’s win over Pearson, the home team couldn’t get the wins they needed and ended up losing 7-2.
Old England Fatts stormed to victory over Cramlington Swifts as after the initial loss of Lynsey Storey beating Barry Matthews, they won 5 matches on the bounce and only dropped a single end. Steve Martin and Joe Perrin both winning two matches each and Matthews recovering to beat Pete Wilkinson.
The only North Tyneside YMCA team, now playing for Tyneside C, managed a good win over their club’s A team when Tom Manuel, Ray Pini and Ron Bain won 6-3 against John Donnelly, Mark Kimberley and Mark Patterson. Kimberley won two of his three and Donnelly beat Manuel, but Mark Patterson wasn’t able to pick up any wins.
The most one-sided game of the week saw Mount B, the artists formerly known as Birtley, take NECA A apart. Chun Yin Yu who has one of the highest grades in the competition found himself on the receiving end of 14, 15 and 16-point head-starts and was unable to overcome these deficits. Bill Edwards, Mike Bradley and John Rowell each won 2 matches leaving Yu, Terry Kwong and Kit Robinson with a 6-0 defeat.
The fourth round matches will be played week commencing 18th March, a week free of league fixtures.