Division Two title race is starting to hot up

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SACRISTON St Bedes B and North East Bed Centre are leading the way as the race for promotion to Division One is hotting up, writes Chris Blake.

Sacriston top Division One on 28 points, having played eight matches with NEBC currently second on 25 points, with one match in hand.

With NEBC’s players Dave Pringle (21/21) and Alex Smith (18/18) yet to taste defeat this season and Sacriston’s Chris Grant (21/24) and Tony Taylor (14/15) losing only four sets between them, it is hard to see how other teams can overcome them.

Sacriston beat St Gabriels B 7–3 to gain a maximum four points for their victory, but dropped a point away to Silksworth IM B, managing to only win 6–4 in a very close match.

Tony Taylor was man of the match for Sacriston after winning all of his three sets.

Team-mates Chris Grant (2) and Dan Nicholson picked up three singles sets between them and also combined to win the doubles set against Alan Bickle and Graham Brown.

Bickle was the pick of the bunch for Silksworth, winning two out of his three sets against Grant.

NEBC celebrated a hat-trick of wins over Redby CA A (7–3), St John TTC A (8–2) and Silksworth IM A (8–2).

West CA A remain in the hunt for promotion with a fine 7–3 win over Durham CA B.

West’s Rob Kerr was undefeated in the match and combined with Dave Thompson (2) to win the doubles set – with Linda Spensley picking up a set to ensure maximum points.

Durham’s Stuart Anderson played well throughout to pick up two sets, and Paul Wiggins had a good win over Spensley.

However, spare a thought for Durham’s Billy Upton who was desperately unlucky not to pick up a set having twice losing out 11-9 in the final end to Kerr and Spensley respectively.

He was also edged out 11-8 by Thomson in the fourth.

Division Three’s Redby CA B took advantage of closest rivals St John B’s 6-4 defeat to West CA B with a resounding 10–0 victory over St John C.

Redby’s Allan Girdwood was man of the match, but was well supported by Joe Muldowney (3) and Howard Forster (3).

Alan Whitwham, of West CA B, turned back the clock to win all of his sets against a trio of St John B players – Jacob Helm, Sean Gleghorn and Robert Renton.

Whitwham was closely supported by Tommy Turner (2) and Vic Austin to ensure his team gained three points in their 6–4 win.

The up and coming players of St John B have given an excellent account of themselves this season and look to go from strength to strength.

In the only other match in Division Three, Sacriston St Bedes D had a hard fought 6–4 win over local rivals Lanchester CC.

Debbie and Nikki Irwin won two sets each and then combined to win the doubles and with Barry Dingwell picking up the other set.

Lanchester’s Callan McCabe was star of the show for the second week running after winning all of his three sets.

Bob Cook picked up a set to ensure that Lanchester at least gained a point for their efforts.

Bob Russell played well despite failing to register a set in his match against Sacriston’s Dingwall, where he narrowly lost out 14-12.

Durham CA A secured a 10–0 victory over Mortimer CA in Division One.

Durham played a very strong team consisting of John Williamson, Christian Neumann and Robert Reed with the latter being awarded man of the match in his first game of the season.

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