The Northumbria League winter season gets under way this week with 50 teams taking part in five divisions. There should be strong competition in the Premier Division

following the demise of NESLC Legends. Cramlington Casuals will now have Andrew Wilkinson in their ranks although young Ryan Richardson may not be available for many matches as he will be at University. Former Northumberland champion Ian(Benny) Robertson is making a return to league competition and will be turning out for Cramlington Trojans who have come up from the first division. Last year’s Northumberland Champion Dave Robson is in the Tigers line up and as usual Saint Chads will be a force to be reckoned with and they open up with a home match against the Trojans. The other newcomers to the Premier Division are Byker TTC and they begin with a visit to Cramlington Reivers (formerly Venture Portraits) but they will be without Adam Curran who has now taken up residence at Grantham College.

Seaburn Dene and Blaydon A will be looking for a quick return to the top flight after their relegation to Division One. The Dene start the new season by entertaining North Fire B but Blaydon have to wait until the following week to get they campaign under way. Newly promoted Newcastle Community start in the first division with a visit to Whitehouse Lane A.

Matfen B, in the league for the very first time, begin life in the fourth division with a visit to near neighbours Newton D.

The Summer League ended with Cramlington Casuals winning the first division and St.Chads runners up, North Fire and Newton being relegated. Newcastle Community and Mortimer A are promoted from division two with Whitehouse Lane B and Mortimer B dropping down to division three. Their places will be taken by Sacriston A and Old England Crocks. NESLC and Cramlington Ravens gained promotion from from division four and will replace Cramlington Dragons and Whitley Chapel.

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