After experimenting with balanced/equal strength teams in the Premier Division last season, we reverted to 1st and 2nd teams this season. Our 1st team, lead by Liam Gutcher, finished 2nd (behind Tynemouth 1, who retained the Championship) and were runners up in the Northumbria Cup (the end of season Cup for the top four teams).
Notable individual performances in the 1st team came from Liam Gutcher (playing at number 1 and losing only twice in 13 matches), and teenagers Michael Mattimore (12 wins out of 16; and Alex Robertson (11 wins out of 14).
Unfortunately, after 4 seasons in the Premier Division, our 2nd team lost their relegation battle and will play in Division 1 next season, where they should be strong enough to come straight back up.
Men’s 3rd team finished comfortably mid table in Division 1, winning 8 out of 16 matches. Best individual performer was Lewis Wake with 7 wins out of 13 matches.
Elsewhere in the Men’s Leagues, Junior 1st team finished above the relegation zone in Division 2, but Men’s 4th team weren’t so fortunate (despite Mike Paul winning 7 out of 11 matches). Men’s 5th team and Junior 2nd team were also relegated from Division 4. Men’s 6th team survived in Division 5.
We have continued with the equal strength/balanced teams in the Ladies 1st Division, and this season Tynemouth have done the same, which has generally led to more competitive matches. Our Ladies 1A and 1B teams are have finished 2nd and 4th respectively –with the Tynemouth teams finishing 1st and 3rd. Top individual performer in the division rankings for Northern was Helen Dowson (who won 7 out of 8 matches), closely followed by Emma Gregson (6 wins out of 8) and Karen Heron (5 wins out of 5).
In Division 2, our Ladies 3rd team won the Division again and also retained the League Cup. Erin Vitty (with 7 wins out 9) is the highest placed Northern lady in the Division Rankings.
Thanks to the team captains/managers who have given up their spare time to ensure we fulfil our match commitments (Lesley Vitty; Emma Richards; Liam Gutcher; Neil Mason; Chris Hull; Tim Barker; Chris Seal; Dave North; Dave Shipley; Jem Stach; Richard Vitty)
Men’s 1 2nd Premier Division and Northumbria Cup Runners up
Men’s 2 8th Premier Division
Men’s 3 5th Division 1
Junior 1 6th Division 2
Men’s 4 8th Division 2
Men’s 5 7th Division 4
Junior 2 8th Division 4
Men’s 6 6th Division 5
Ladies 1A 2nd Division 1
Ladies 1B 4th Division 1
Ladies 3 1st Division 2 and League Cup Winners