League Update 7th January
With the second half of the Northumbria League season about to get under  way four teams are still in the hunt for the Premier Division title. With ten  points at stake in every match the holders, Cramlington Casuals, are only four  points ahead of Cramlington Reivers with NESLC Eagles just another four points  behind. Byker are also still in the picture having only been beaten once and  they play the Casuals in the first match after the Christmas break.
At the other end of the table the relegation spots are currently filled by  Riding Mill and Cramlington Tigers with North East Chinese Association only one  point above them and much will depend upon the availability of their top players  as to whether they keep out of the bottom two.
Newton appear to be certain to return to the top flight as they are  unbeaten and Nineteen points clear of Seaburn Dene at the top  of division one. North Fire B are 3rd a point behind the Dene with everything to play for in the second half.
It does not look as if anybody will halt the march of Springwell B in  division two but it is very tight for second spot with four teams all in  contention. Any one of YMCA N.Tyneside B, Ouston, Birtley or Newton B could  eventually be promoted while Saints and Old England will have a battle on their  hands to avoid dropping to the third.
Matfen B and C teams occupy the top two places in Division Three with the  Chinese Association C side also in contention. The Chinese could well upset this  division if they continue to turn out Premier Division standard players.
YMCA N.Tyneside C and Brandon and Byshottles are well ahead of the field in  Division Four and both teams should be playing at a higher level next time  round.
Aubrey Drapkin
Author: via Northumbria Table Tennis League
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