Cramlington Casuals champions of the Northumbria League for the last three years made the worst possible start to the new season when they were beaten by Cramlington’s Stingers team. With Steve Penman having chosen to play in the Sunderland League and Mark Christie pulling out of the side at the last minute the Casuals had to bring in Paul Jamieson as well as young Peter Smallcombe. The youngster did well to beat Stinger’s Iain Wood and also partner Andrew Wilkinson to success in the doubles over Wood and Kevin Wilson but with Wilkinson suffered a shock defeat at the hands of David Graham as the Stingers ran out 6 – 4 winners.
There were big wins for Saint Chads, N.E.S.L.C. Eagles and Springwell A at the expense of Springwell B, Cramlington Reivers and Unionist Club.
Karen Henry was in form for first division North Fire with a hat-trick in her side’s 8 – 2 victory over Ouston A as was Chen Xuan Ji whose three wins gave the Chinese Association B a draw away to Byker B. Peter Stempczyk and Mark O’Connor were both unbeaten as Riding Mill A recorded their second win at the expense of Springwell C.
Newcomers to Division Two Sacriston Aces had Duncan Fraser in fine form as they defeated Cramlington Swifts 7 –3 whilst a former leading player Steve Robinson was unbeaten for the Chinese Association C team who defeated the Trojans 6 – 4, well supported by his wife Kit who won two.
A lot of young players were in action in the fourth division and unbeaten performances came from Cramlington’s Anna Sowerby when the Knights defeated the Ravens, Michael Laidlaw in the Panthers 8 – 2 success against the Falcons and from Jordan Dove of Brandon Bravehearts whose three helped his side draw with the Lions.