Bateman leads the way again as Durham celebrate promotion

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DURHAM CA B are celebrating a swift return to the top flight of the Sunderland and District League following their fine 9-1 win over St Gabriel’s B.

Going into the match, Durham required one point to guarantee their promotion alongside current league leaders St Gabriel’s C.

However, in a game in which they dominated throughout, Durham picked up a maximum four-points win to seal the promotion they so desired.

Brian Bateman was once again voted man-of-the-match – for the 12th time this season –having finished the night undefeated and after also pairing up with team-mate Billy Upton to win the doubles set.

With Upton winning his three singles and Stuart Anderson picking up a further two sets, Durham sealed a comfortable win.

The Saints avoided a 10-0 whitewash when Stephen Young dug deep to come back from 2-0 down against Anderson to win the next two ends to level the game and take the set into the fifth and deciding end before narrowly defeating his opponent 11-7 in a very entertaining game.

Having guaranteed their promotion, Durham can now turn their attention to the Division Two title and now require just five more points from a possible 16 to overhaul St Gabriel’s C’s 55-points total.

St Gabriel’s C rounded off another promotion-winning season with a fine 7-3 win over Redby CA B, a defeat that sadly confirms their relegation to Division Three.

The second relegation spot can come from any one of three teams; Sacriston Bombers, West CA A and St Gabriel’s B who have seven, six and two games to play, respectively.

In Division One, St Chad’s moved a step closer to securing the runners-up spot with a powerful 9-1 win over Sacriston Aces.

Man-of-the-match Jimmy Scope (3), Adam Curran (3), Dave Bissett (2) did the damage for the Saints with Scope and Bissett also combining to win the doubles set.

Sacriston’s Duncan Fraser picked up the only set for the bottom-placed team with a hard-fought win over Bissett.

Thompson Insurance B’s hopes of retaining their top flight status were dented when they were defeated 8-2 by their ‘A’ team.

Their defeat now means, as with division two, the fight to avoid the second relegation spot is also between three teams; Thompson Insurance B, St Gabriel’s A and Mortimer CA – with the latter appearing to have the toughest of run-ins.

North East Bed Centre can be proud of their first appearance in the top flight – a solid season which has seen them win half of their league fixtures.

With less than a handful of games to play, the newcomers should secure a fourth-placed position – something they would have settled on prior to the season commencing.

In Division Three, West CA B’s 9-1 win over St John C guaranteed their promotion to division two.

The team of Alan Whitwham, ‘Magic’ Mick Redfearn, Vic Austin and Tom Turner have been constants throughout the season and can now look forward to testing their skills at a higher level.

In their win over St Gabriel’s, Redfearn was voted man-of-the-match with Dave Aldridge picking up the only set for the Saints.

West CA B now join St John A (who this week had a comfortable 9-1 over Sacriston Desperadoes) in promotion to the second flight.

The match between Sacriston Chargers and Lanchester CC ended all square.

Lanchester have been one of the surprise teams in division three having achieved good results against top sides, so Chargers were expecting a difficult time.

The team of Anna Kiwitt, Peter Whitfield and Paul Henderson were up against the experienced John Cook, talented Francis Guthrie and Lauren Cook (recently runner-up in the Junior girls’ competition at the Sunderland and Northumberland Championships).

Henderson is still developing his game and gave a very good account of himself despite failing to pick up a set on the night.

Both Kiwitt and Whitfield performed well to take two singles each, only going down to the man-of-the-match John Cook who won all his singles games.

The doubles set went to the Chargers (ensuring the points were shared) in Kiwitt and Whitfield’s 3-1 win.

The match between St John B and Sacriston Chargers saw the Saints only being able to field two players. Nevertheless, the talented Robert Renton and fast-improving Chris Wold put on an excellent display despite their 6-4 to their opponents, who were represented by Kiwitt, Whitfield and Dingwall.

With the Chargers already guaranteed three sets, it was always going to be a difficult task for the Saints to get anything out of the game.

However, Renton lived up to his billing as one of the most consistent and talented players in the division, by winning his three singles sets and with Wold picking up a further set against Dingwall the Saints at least picked up a point for their efforts.

The all-important doubles set was won by the Chargers-Kiwitt and Whitfield teamed up against the two Saints players, with the former playing a more steady tactical game to close out the set 3-1 to guarantee a 6-4 win.

Results, Div One: St Gabriels A 0 Thompson Ins. B 10, Sacriston Aces 1 St Chads 9, Thompson Ins. A 8 Thompson Ins. B 2

Div Two: Durham CA B 9 St Gabriels B 1, Redby CA B 3 St Gabriels C 7, Sacriston Bombers 8 Redby CA B 2, West CA A 6 Redby CA A 4

Div Three: Sacriston Chargers 5 Lanchester CC 5, Sacriston Desperadoes 5 St John C 5, St John A 9 Sacriston Desperadoes 1, St John B 4 Sacriston Chargers 6, St John C 1 West CA B 9

LEAGUE LATEST

Division One

P W D L F A Pts

Thompson Ins A 19 18 1 0 155 35 70

St Chad’s 19 14 0 5 131 59 56

Durham CA A 17 12 0 5 109 61 45

NE Bed Centre 17 8 0 9 83 87 33

St Gabriel’s A 20 8 0 12 76 124 29

Mortimer CA 18 6 0 12 65 115 24

Thompson Ins B 16 6 0 10 62 98 24

Sacriston Aces 20 0 1 19 49 151 11

Division Two

St Gabriel’s C 21 12 4 5 132 78 55

Durham CA B 17 14 1 2 111 59 51

Redby CA A 21 8 5 8 113 97 44

Silksworth IM 19 8 4 7 93 97 38

West CA A 16 8 3 5 77 83 32

St Gabriel’s B 20 5 5 10 80 120 31

Sac Bombers 15 5 3 7 74 76 30

Redby CA B 21 1 3 17 70 140 19

Division Three

St John A 21 18 2 1 169 41 74

West CA B 21 14 3 4 144 66 60

E Boldon Meth 20 13 4 3 126 74 54

Lanchester CC 17 8 3 6 90 80 38

Sac Chargers 21 5 4 12 78 132 30

St John B 17 5 2 10 76 94 27

St John C 18 5 1 12 60 120 22

Sac Desperadoes 21 0 1 20 37 173 7