League Update 11th Feb
The Northumberland Closed Tournament will be held at Sporting Club, Cramlington on Sunday with fifty players taking part. The main event is the Open Singles for the Alan Morpeth Memorial Cup in which Andrew Wilkinson will be defending his title in what promises to be one of the keenest fought events for some time. As well as last year’s runner up Eddie Smith, several other top players will be challenging for the title. Graeme Barella, who won the event two years ago, is joint third seed along with his University team mate Chun Yin Yu who will be taking part for the first time. Dave Robson, another former winner, Steve Penman, Dale Aitkenhead and Matthew Stephens  make up the top eight.
Lynne Herrington will be all out to retain the Philomena Clark Memorial Trophy in the Womens singles which she won last year by beating Lynsey Storey in the final. Storey will be challenging her again this year but her main threat should come from Shirley Gelder who is the top seed. Diane Cartmell and Kit Robinson will also be out to win the trophy.
Smith will also be defending the Veterans title where Robson is the second seed. Penman, Aitkenhead, and Keith Patterson will also be in contention as will a former leading player Steve Coverdale.
There are five graded events, the top one being the Band One Singles  which includes all of the leading players except Wilkinson, Smith, Barella Yu, and Robson. The Bands Two to Five and the handicap singles give the lower division players a chance of glory as well as the fun doubles in which a lesser player may be drawn to be partnered by one of the top players.
The tournament commences at nine o’clockwith the doubles and will go on all day.
Aubrey Drapkin
Author: via Northumbria Table Tennis League
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