Northumberland Veterans narrowly missed out on promotion from the third division of the County Championships when they were held to a draw by Durham. Dave Robson and Jim Stamas were both narrowly beaten by Darren McVitie and John Williamson respectively as Durham got off to a good start before Eddie Smith got Northumberland on the scoresheet by beating Marc Cotton. The mixed doubles pairing of McVitie and Lynne Herrington restored Durham’s two set lead but the tables then turned with Robson defeating Williamson, Karen Henry coming out on top against Herrington and Smith and Robson taking the Mens Doubles to give their side the lead. Cotton then levelled things again with a win over Stamas before Smith got North in front again by beating McVitie. All then depended on the final mixed doubles set which Durham took when Williamson and Herrington beat Stamas and Henry. The Draw gave Durham the third division title but left Northumberland to play in the third tier again next season.
Cramlington Casuals were without the Richardson boys for their visit to Springwell but with Andrew Wilkinson again winning all of his sets they won 7 –3 with Gary Sangster getting two, their father Barry one and Wilkinson and Sangster taking the doubles. NESLC Eagles had Eddie Smith in form when they visited Saint Chads with three victories and with Jim Stamas and Richard Wilson getting one each and Smith and Stamas winning the doubles they came away with a 6 – 4 victory. The Casuals are now one point ahead of the Eagles with a game in hand and the two sides clash this week in what should decide the title.
In the first division Riding Mill A are now well placed to gain promotion along with Byker after their 9 –1 victory over Springwell B which condemned Springwell to relegation with Matfen winning again at Old England Jacks. The Mill now only need to draw their last match against North Fire B to ensure that they go up at the expense of Tyne Dock.
The promotion battle in the second division is also going to the final set of matches. YMCA N.Tyneside defeated a depleted Newton B team to complete their fixtures but Cramlington Cobras demolished Birtley 10 – 0 and only need two points from the match with Old England Crocks to make sure that they go up. With Mortimer still having two matches to play and only needing five points it looks likely that the YMCA will miss out.