Cramlington Casuals and Reivers both got off to winning starts in the new season of the Northumbria League. Andrew Wilkinson and Ryan Richardson were both unbeaten for the Casuals in a 7 – 3 victory over Stingers, winning all of their singles matches. Wilkinson also tasted success in the doubles partnered by Dean Richardson. The Reivers eased to a 9 – 1 win over Byker with Dale Aitkenhead and Gary Sangster not dropping a set. Byker’s lone win came when Dean Eadington defeated Ellis Cooper. Ian ‘Benny’ Robertson signaled his return to league table tennis with a hat-trick for Trojans when they visited Saint Chads in a match that was closely contested and ended up all square at 5 – 5. Paul Baines got one set for the visitors who also won the doubles when Robertson and Phil Prady beat Keith Weatherby and Jimmy Scope. The latter each won two singles for Saints and Dave Bissett got one.
In the first division Ken Bowman was unbeaten for Seaburn Dene in a drawn match with North Fire B. The Fire A team, however, ran out 9 – 1 winners when they entertained Newton B, Frank Lasek and Clive Dewison both remaining unbeaten and Bob Atwell getting two. Graeme Bell got Newton’s lone set. Mohinda Rawat, Dave Pringle and Charlie Mouzon were all in good form for Whitehouse Lane A as they crushed Tyne Dock 10 – 0.
Second Division YMCA North Tyneside had a match winner in Jim Robertson who was too good for Newton C as his team got home 6 – 4 thanks to his unbeaten performance.
Other players on song in this division were John Morton who got a hat-trick for Cramlington Cobras as they beat Corinthians 8 – 2, and Ray Purves who did likewise for Mortimer who defeated Birtley 8 – 2.
Old England Crocks made a good start in the third division with an 8 – 2 win away to Cramlington Swifts as did Cramlington Knights and Cramlington Dragons who beat Spartans and Lions respectively.
NESLC Codgers will be looking for a quick return to the third division following their relegation to the bottom division last term and they were far too good for a Cramlington
Falcons team of newcomers to league table tennis. Dynamos and Magpies both included new players in their sides and the match between them ended in a 5 – 5 draw.