League Update 23rd April
Cramlington Casuals are champions of the Northumbria League for the second year running. They clinched the title by beating their nearest rivals, NESLC Eagles in a match that featured the top two players in the county  Andrew Wilkinson and Eddie Smith in opposition. This turned out to be a long five game match with Smith coming out on top to avenge his defeat to Wilkinson in the recent Closed tournament. Smith won all three of his matches but the Casuals ran out 6 – 4 winners. At the other end of the table Newcastle Communities, who were without their two star players, went down 6 – 4 to Seaburn Dene despite three wins by Han Ziao and are still in a battle with Newton to retain their top flight status.
Riding Mill A just managed to get the runners up spot in the first division with a 5 – 5 draw against North Fire B, Andrew Firth and Rob Scott getting two singles each and also combining to take the doubles. They finished level on points with Tyne Dock but had the better of the two matches with them to gain promotion. This was a reversal of last season’s Summer League when Tyne Dock edged them out.
Mortimer made sure of promotion to the first division when their side of Dave Cutler, Dave Bannon and Ray Purves came away from Cramlington Corinthians with a 9 – 1 win and at the same time Cramlington Cobras team of Duncan Wraight, John Morton and Alex Guttridge did likewise by defeating Old England Crocks 7 – 3. Mortimer should take top place when they finish the season against Bitley needing only three points.
Cramlington Ravens avoided the embarrassment of losing every match in division three when they drew at Whitley Chapel, Sam Nair and Adrian Barnes winning two sets each and Chris O’Connor grabbing one.
Aubrey Drapkin
Author: via Northumbria Table Tennis League
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