This week saw the eagerly-awaited return of the Northumberland League winter season. In the Premier division, Byker A were unable to field a full-strength team leading to a 10-0 loss against St Chads. The Mount A were too strong for Old England with Graeme Barella, still recovering from a knee injury which kept him away from the summer league, not dropping an end as they won 10-0. Kevin Wilson was the star of the show against new team Mitford A when he won all 3 and the doubles with Gareth Pearson but unfortunately the Cramlington Stingers couldn’t field a full team and they lost 6-4.
Division 1 was host to a raft of tight games which could have gone either way. Cramlington Reivers drew against Riding Mill and Newton A drew against Mitford B whilst The Mount B and Matfen Centurions beat The Mount C and Byker B 6-4 respectively. Allan Thompson for the Mill, Caron Guthrie for Mount C and John Russell for Newton all received Player of the Match awards as they picked up 3 wins each for their teams.
Matfen Senators, led by Alex Holliday, clearly showed their intent to win Division 2 as they beat Birtley 9-1, only losing the doubles. Byker C got a walkover as Old England Crocks were unable to field a team but the Old England Fatts drew 5-5 against Cramlington Trojans.
No less than four Cramlington teams played in Division 4 this week as the Knights beat in-house rivals Magpies, the Falcons lost 9-1 to Newton C and the Dragons lost 8-2 to Brandon Bravehearts, who surely win the award for best-named team this year. Ryan Morton was the Player of the Match in that affair, winning his hat-trick of games.