League Update 22nd April
Rod Roberts and Ken Bowman won two sets each for Seaburn Dene and combined to win the doubles in a drawn match with Byker B which was enough to ensure that their team finished as runners – up in Division one and make a swift return to the top flight. 
Matfen B clinched the third division title with a 6 – 4 victory over Whitley Chapel. Alex Holliday was in fine form winning all of his sets as well as the doubles with Dave Swan.
Byker A team of Dave Robson, Keith Patterson and Christine Burke triumphed over Ouston A in the semi final of the Handicap Cup. Burke lost the first match to Neil Rodgers and Robson was pushed all the way after giving Mike Lyons  a thirteen point start before winning 23 – 21 in the third end. Patterson then made light of  a ten point handicap to beat Mark Rodgers in straight sets and Robson then defeated Neil Rodgers. Mark Rodgers pulled one back with a win over Burke but victories by Patterson and Robson put Byker into the final.
Cramlington Corinthians triumphed in the other semi with youngsters Blair Carmichael and Alex Creighton getting all five sets between them in a closely fought 5 – 4 defeat of Matfen C. Carmichael started by beating Nigel Tree in straight sets, Peter Seago levelled things by narrowly beating Mike Dunn before two sets from Creighton and another from Carmichael gave the Corinthians a 4 – 1 lead. Keith Hodges and Seago reduced the deficit but Carmichael completed his hat trick by beating Hodges.
Chu Yin Yu, the Chinese player who has been languishing in the third division all season, once again showed his class when he reached the semi finals of the Band Three and also the final of the doubles in the Blackpool Grand Prix.
Aubrey Drapkin
Author: via Northumbria Table Tennis League
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