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.

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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.

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The Northumberland County Veterans team were in action at Draycott over the weekend and had mixed results. Their first match was against local rivals Durham who, unfortunately were without a lady player, which gave North an advantage. Despite the fact that Jimmy Scope did extremely well to beat Dave Robson the best the team could manage was a draw, their only other set coming when Jim Stamas beat Chris Blake and the match ended in a draw.

Disaster struck in the next match against Cheshire  when Karen Henry had to be carried off with a leg injury in the first mixed doubles game. Scope, Stamas and Marc Cotton did win one each but the match was lost 7 – 3.

The injury to Henry meant that the side had to go into the Sunday matches without a lady player. The men, however, pulled out all the stops in the first match against Bedfordshire when Cotton and Stamas won both of their singles sets with Scope getting one. Scope then combined with Cotton to win the mens doubles to see Northumberland to a 6 – 4 win. They were no match for Nottinghamshire in the final game of the weekend, going down 10 – 0.

There are no Tesco Express  Northumbria League matches scheduled this week but many of the league teams arte playing in the first round of the handicap cup competition.

Youngsters from all over the region are taking part in the Cramlington 2 Star tournament on Sunday which is being staged at the Sporting Club. There are separate events for Juniors, Cadets, Under 13s and under 11s for both boys and girls. Top seed sin the junior boys are Alec Ward of Cleveland and Ryan Richardson of Northumberland whilst Cleveland’s Eleanor Davidson is favourite in the Junior Girls.

Northumberland’s Akshay Pabary and Adam Curran took part in the Stockton 4 Star Junior tournament and both won through their groups in the Junior boys but both fell at the knockout stage.


Aubrey Drapkin


The Tesco Express Northumbria League Cadet representative team made an excellent start in this season’s North Eastern division of the National Cadet League. A completely inexperienced team of Chris Jeffery, Arran Kent and Alex Dyter represented the league and despite losing their first match 7 – 2 to Northfield B, won all of their other three matches. They accounted for Helmsley 5 – 4, Ormesby B 8 – 1 and Hartlepool 8 – 1 to finish the first weekend in third place. Chris won nine of his tweve matches with Arran and Alex getting seven each.

NESLC Eagles are now the leading side in the Premier Division of the Tesco Express Northumbria League, having won all four of their opening games. After beating Blaydon A 10 – 0, Seaburn Dene 7 – 3 and Newton A 10 – 0 they accounted for Cramlington Casuals to the tune of 8 – 2. This match, however, was a lot closer than the score suggests with six of the ten sets going the distance. Jim Stamas and Eddie Smith were both unbeaten but was taken to five ends by all three Cramlington players – Barry, Ryan and Dean Richardson. Barry and Ryan both beat Richard Wilson but again both matches went the distance. In Wilson’s other match Dean extended him to a fifth end.

In division one Cramlington Trojans and Byker B are the early pacesetters. Byker’s latest victory came when the won 6 – 4 away to North Fire A. Adam Curran won all of his sets and had good support from Steve Dickinson who got two. Dean Eadington partnered Curran to success in the doubles match whist Frank Lasek won two for the home side with Clive Dewison and Bob Appleby each winning one.

In the same division Mortimer had Ray Purves and David Pringle on top of their game as they were both unbeaten in an 8 – 2 defeat of Newton B.

Byker and North Fire were also in opposition when Byker A team and North Firte B team fought out a 5 – 5 draw.Mark Kimberly was unbeaten for Byker in this one.

Newcastle Community A are now clear leaders in Division two after hammering Cramlington Cobras 9 – 1. In division three  Ouston A and Newton C are level at the top, both having lost just one match. North Shields YM C, however, although ten points behind have won all three of their matches

The top of the table in division four sees an all Cramlington line up at the moment with the Ravens on 29 points, Swifts on 27 and Lions on 26.

Week commencing 31 October sees the first round of the Handicap Cup competition. The draw has been circulated and clubs are reminded that fixtures MUST be played during that week, which is the week set aside for the first round. Home sides should confirm the night with the visiting team.