We have waited a long time but at last a home fixture for us at the Northumberland Club for the 055 inter-counties between Northumbria, Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire 2.
On this occasion we were able to involve 9 players who had previously supported the team on various trips over the past 5 years. First match was an encounter with Cumbria which resulted in a 3-2 win with comfortable 3-0 wins for John Thompson, Jim Douglas and Steve Atkinson. Derek Collins at no 1 played England International Ronnie Bell who proved too strong losing 3-0 and Steve Blake at no 3 lost a close 5 setter.
For the 2nd match against Lancashire, 3 new players were brought in namely Colin McNestrie, John Smith and Mike Cherryman. Unfortunately Mike went down 3-0 at 5, John just lost 3-2 at 4 and John Thompson at 2 lost 3-0. Relatively easy wins for Colin and Derek Collins mean’t we lost the match 3-2 overall.
The final match against Yorkshire 2 was therefore critical and with a 3-2 win, it put us in the promotion group for the 2nd Half. It didn’t look possible after 2 initial losses from Jim 1-3 and Stan Brown 2-3 but 2 wins from Derek Collins 3-1 and Steve Atkinson 3-0 levelled the scores. Steve Blake going down 2-0 didn’t look good but after a massive effort, he finally won the match 3-2.
Overall positions were; 1) Lancashire 49 points 2) Northumbria 41 points 3) Cumbria 26 points 4) Yorkshire 21 points
O55 Squad 1) Derek Collins Northern 2) John Thompson Tynemouth 3) Steve Blake Hexham 4) Jim Douglas Northumberland Club 5) Colin McNestrie Tynemouth 6) Steve Atkinson Northumberland Club 7) John Smith Newbiggin 8) Stan Brown Ashington 9) Mike Cherryman Consett