Barnard Castle and District 5s & 3s League








25 April 2001

FIVES & THREES: Frank Watson BARNARD CASTLE AND DISTRICT FIVES AND THREES Dennis Sowerby Properties A Division AS the league season moves into its final two weeks, the tension continues to build with much still being in the melting pot and nerves begin to fray. Despite heading the table for the past 22 weeks, and having accomplished a highly commendable 146 points, Royal Oak, unbelievably, find their right to the crown coming under severe pressure from DLI Social Club, as captain Eddie Tinkler urges his phalanx to one last-ditch effort. The Infantrymen’s personal efforts have been given a further boost by a Royal Star team smarting from the recent mauling at the hands of Workmen’s Club, which, barring a miracle, has ended their hopes of the championship. Captain 6-2 Payne, determined to finish the season on a high note, urged his men on to record a battling 5-4 double over the title favourites. DLI found Old Well an awkward handful, when edging through by the odd leg on their own battlefield. However, captain Tinkler, with the support of George Chrystal, led the way to a 7-2 victory with a 3-0 salvo in the return match. This puts DLI just four points behind the league leaders. Royal Oak would appear to have the easier task, as they complete their programme against Workmen’s CIud, who are fighting to preserve their A division status. But here is a potential banana skin if ever I saw one. Royal Star would no doubt testify that DLI quite appropriately finish their season with a clash against old friends and rivals White Swan, and a keen game can be expected. Royal Star wind up things against basement-dwellers George and Dragon, when they will be all-out to win as many points as possible, in the hope of runners-up slot. Beaconsfield have enjoyed a good season, maintaining a top half of the table place throughout, without ever quite troubling the leaders. The last two weeks saw them concede a 6-3, 5-4 double to Edge Hotel, to remain in fourth place with a 129 total, one point ahead of Edge. Two extremely hard-fought games saw White Swan and Cricket Club settle for a division of the spoils, the mature pairing of Don Nichol and George McDonald recording a maximum in the away leg. This leaves Swan in sixth place on 127 points, along with Red Lion, who greatly added to Glaxo Sports and Social Club’s survival worries when they stormed to a 7-2 victory. But yet, once again they crumbled in the return leg when Pork Pie Barwick and Jimmy Searl notched a handy 3-0 as they cantered home by 7-2. Relegation-haunted Cricketers Arms A threw themselves a lifeline when battling their way to a double success over reigning champions Middleton WMC by 6-3 and 5-4. Nevertheless they are still in the relegation zone on 118 points. The other two occupants of the relegation places, Workmen's Club and George & Dragon were in direct opposition. Ana whilst George & Dragon are already doomed, they were nevertheless totally unsympathetic as to the clubmen’s plight. Although the club recorded a double success, they were taken to the wire on both occasions before coming out on top by the odd point. Robert Oliver Sports B Division WITH just two fixtures to complete, Glaxo B would appear to be home and dry. However, following their shock home reversal by pro- motion-chasing Red Lion Darts, captain Kevin Stobbs will make sure there is no resting on their laurels. Indiana Hunter and Sunny Goldsbrough led the assault with a 3-0 blast which gave the Darts a 7-2 victory, and, at the same time, strengthened their own promotion challenge. However, like their counterparts, Dent’s Dynamos, they have a tendency to flatter only to deceive, and once again this proved to be the case when, in the comfort of their own den, they were obliged to bow the knee. A staunch 3-0 effort by S Redfearn and Steve Harrison paved the way for a 6-3 reply by the league leaders. No doubt Montalbo B captain, Fearless Freddy Hodgson, would be disappointed by Glaxo’s revival, as he would have sensed an opportunity to close the gap. However, if he had visions of easy pickings against bottom club Black Horse, he was soon to have his illusions shattered, as Black Horse continued their steady improvement. After two keenly-fought encounters, Montalbo were relieved to emerge victorious by a single point on both occasions. Blue Bell halted the slide which had seen them suffer five consecutive defeats when they edged home by the odd point in the away leg against Middleton WMC B. But a solid team effort by the upper dalesmen saw them turn the tables with a 6-3 reply the following week. Wheatsheaf’s promotion push continued to falter when they succumbed to Cricket Club B by 5-4 and 6-3 on successive weeks, Dave Gulliver and Roly Bowe chalking a 3-0 victory in home leg. A maximum by B Usher and J Hill helped Red Well to a 5-4 victory at Blacksmith’s Arms, despite the fact that Horatio Pud Nelson and Jennifer Juniper Gaskin equalled their achievement. Undeterred, Blacksmith’s stormed back the next week when Winnie Thompson and Gillian Watson notched maximums. Three Horse Shoes added to Coach and Horses’ troubled season when recording a 7-2 away victory. They went on to record the double the following week by the odd point. Colin Thompson and Kath Williams’ 3-0 victory for Bowes WMC proved decisive when they edged nome by a single point at Bridge Inn. However, they proved more decisive on home ground when Colin Thompson again, this time capably aided by Joan Brown, contributed greatly to a handsome 7- 2 triumph. But with three points separating them from the third promotion place it looks like another season in B division.