Press release 1 Jan 12

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.