League Update 25th September
Cramlington Casuals started the defense of their Premiership title in the Northumbria League with a visit to North Shields to play YMCA North Tyneside but were without their number one player Andrew Wilkinson. The family team of Barry Richardson and his sons Ryan and Dean, however, made an excellent start by winning 9 - 1 their only loss being when Dean was beaten by former Cramlington player Paul Baines. Two of Cramlington's other teams Tigers and Stingers also made winning starts with the Tigers side of Dave Robson, Rob Reed and Paul Stead doing well to come away from Saint Chad's with a 6 - 4 victory. Robson won all of his sets with Reed and Stead notching one apiece. Keith Weatherby and Jimmy Scope each won two for the home side. The Stingers team of Iain Wood, David Graham and Bonne Habekost were too good for Newcastle Communities who were making their debut in the top flight but finished on the wrong end of a 10 - 0 scoreline. NESLC Eagles who were runners up last season showed that they will be strong again this time round when Eddie Smith, Steve Penman and Jim Stamas defeated Cramlington Reivers 9 - 1 their only loss being when Stamas was beaten by Gary Sangster. Newly promoted Springwell and Seaburn Dene met at Springwell with the home side of Alex Smith, Mohinder Rawat and Dave Pringle winning 8 - 2.
Byker A will be looking for a quick return to the top flight and started life in division one by beating Matfen 8 - 2, Phil Prady winning all of his sets. Tyne Dock will also be one of the favourites for promotion this year and they started by beating North Fire A 8 - 2.
Unbeaten performances by Duncan Wraight and Alex Guttridge saw Cramlington Cobras to an 8 - 2 victory over Newton B in division two while two each by Wyn Thompson and John Carr helped Newton C to a 6 - 4 away win against Ouston A.
There were a couple of close matches in the third division with YMCA North Tyneside C winning 6 - 4 away to Cramlington Dragons and NESLC Codgers playing a draw with the Swifts.
Newcomers Matfen C and Ouston D both made winning starts in the fourth division.
Author: Dale Aitkenhead via Northumbria Table Tennis League