Both Old England teams cruised to victory in Division 1 this week as the Crocks beat Tyneside A and the Jacks beat Ouston A. Tyneside and Ouston both find themselves in a relegation scrap after the half-way point and desperately need to pick up points if they want to stay in the division.

Colin Robson and Kenneth Clark both won their hat-tricks for the Crocks against Tyneside’s Mark Patterson and James Robertson but David Craddock won the battle of players “playing up” as he beat Division 3’s Joseph Perrin, giving Tyneside just a single point from their 9-1 defeat.

Neil Rodgers marked a notable win against Division 1’s second-highest averaging player Joe Muldowney when Ouston faced the Jacks, but this was their only shining light in an otherwise dismal performance, only Michael Lyons able to win any other ends. Alan Atkinson and Lynne Herrington both won their hat-tricks; Mark Rodgers unable to pick up any wins for the home side.

The other two fixtures, NECA B against Mitford and Matfen Centurions against Prudhoe United Services Club B were closer matches. Mitford’s Barry Hill put in a top performance as he was the only person to win three games against NECA B’s lineup of Kenneth Lee, Barry Li and Kit Robinson. Lee and Li both won their matches against Michael Bull and Robert Atwell but Robinson was unable to pick up any wins leading to a 6-4 victory for the away team.

Mark O’Connor was in a similar position as he was the only player to win three for Prudhoe against Matfen. Malcolm Aitchison won 2 games for the home side whilst both Chris Kilsby and Philip Rainford were only able to beat Maurice Cheek, and both lost to Shirley Gelder. Fortunately for Matfen, an 11-9 win in the deciding end of the doubles allowed them to scrape their fifth point and hold on to a draw.

Matfen find themselves in the relegation places at the moment, just one point behind Tyneside A but with a game in hand. NECA B similarly find themselves just a few points above the drop and the battles between the four relegation candidates will likely prove instrumental in deciding who gets to stay up.

At the other end of the table, a gap has opened up between Mount C and third-placed Cramlington Reivers with Mount having 65 points and Reivers just 58. Old England Jacks are sitting 2 points above Mount in the top slot and their compatriots Old England Crocks are just behind the Reivers in fourth place, albeit with a game in hand.

Mount C’s Dan Dodds and Tony Gelder are top of the averages, with the former having won more games but the latter having a better ratio of games won. Mitford’s Barry Hill is in third place with 21 games won from 29, followed up quickly by Cramlington Reivers’ Paul Jamieson and Tyneside A’s Mark Kimberley, both with 21 games won out of 30 played.

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