Barnard Castle and District 5s & 3s League

 
 

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DOMINOES Frank Watson  Wed Jan 31st 2001

Dennis Sowerby Properties ‘A’ Division BY one of those strange quirks of fate which appear to keep cropping up in the Barnard and District Fives and Threes League, the last two weeks saw the first and second placed teams from both divisions locked in combat at the halfway stage of the season. In the case of the ‘A’ Division, the runaway leaders were facing Edge Hotel. As there was a seven points gap between leaders Royal Oak and second placed Edge Hotel, this was obviously a muck or nettles opportunity for the Edge to put themselves into serious contention. However on the debit side for Edge was the fact that star performer, Jean Stoddart failed a late fitness test. This must have been extremely serious as I have known Jean to go into battle with a broken arm. Unfortunately for Edge, Royal Oak are not known for their excessive generosity, as the 7-2 leathering which they dished-out would testify. Once again, the villain of the plot was old stingy himself, Nutty Slack Simpson, with a little help from Alan Elstob, scorching home by 3-0, which spearheaded a 7-2 success. Jean was back for the return fixture, but was obviously not fully fit as Edge crashed again by 6-3 with captain Brian Peart and Monk Robinson this time recording a maximum. This puts Royal Oak onto an amazing 93 points, just one game into the second half of the season. The fact that at this stage last season White Swan were leading the table with a total of 80 points, underlines the excellence of the Butterknowle team's achievement. However whilst the leaders were battling it out, Eddie Tinkler's D.L.I. phalanx continued its ruthless march by totally eclipsing hapless Cricketers Arms ‘A.’ Eddie and George Chrystal, and Bob Henderson and Paula Vitty contributing full houses to record a 8-1 home triumph. The triumph became complete tne following week when a 3-0 salvo from Paula Vitty ana Lollipop Jean Tinkler completed the double with a fine 7-2 victory. This sees D.L.I. climb no fewer than nine places in four weeks to take up second place with 80 points. Royal Star captain 6-2 Payne would be delighted with the outcome of what appeared a tricky task against Beaconsfield, when old timers, Harvey Goodfellow and Willie Waugh defied their creaking limbs to record a 3-0 victory to spearhead an overall triumph. After a linseed oil massage, Willie Waugh passed a late fitness test to team up with 6-2 Payne for another 3-0 salvo which lifts them into third slot on 79 points. Old Well continued their winning run by securing a useful double over Middleton WMC by 6-3, and 5-4. The lady members playing a prominent part with Flora Wright and Valerie Howe chalking a maximum in the home leg; Mavis Byers and Brian Carter emulating it in the return to lift the Well into fifth place on 76. They must, however, share the position with resurgent Cricket Club, who crushed Red Lion at the little house on the prairie by 6-3, with Dave Walker inflicting a 3-0 reverse upon Mint Cake Bainbridge, (his second consecutive) and Stony Wall. The following week saw the unthinkable happen, when the Cricket Club slaughtered the Lion in the Den, with Blossom Thompson and L. Plate Lambert crucifying Jeff Butterfield and desolate Dynamo Dent by 3-0, and John Tallentire and Ken Robinson dishing out a helping of the same to make it a spectacular hat trick for Mint Cake Bainbridge and his partner Grassy Green. Workmen’s Club claimed a welcome 5-4 away victory over Cricketers Arms *B,’ but their opponents claimed their revenge in the return with a tidy 6-3 result, courtesy of a full house from Brian Sparrow and Ian Ibbbell. This keeps Cricketers in mid table with 73 points along with Beaconsfield. White Swan achieved a welcome double success over Glaxo Sports and Social by way of a 6-3 home victory with Valerie Watson and yours truly recording a full house. The return match was a tightly fought contest with the Swan just gliding in by the odd point to move up a place on 71 points. Tarty Wheeler and Keith Barber led the way to a 6-3 victory over George and Dragon with a tidy 3-0. The return leg was a little tougher, but Montalbo edged in by 5-4 to stay level with White Swan, and pushed the Dragon down to equal bottom along with Workmen's Club on 56 points. Cricketers Arms ‘A' hold the third relegation place with 65 points, but Red Lion look a little nervous on 66 points.

Robert Oliver Sports ‘B’ Division LEAGUE leaders Glaxo Sports and Social ‘B’ knew they needed a good result to preserve their lead, when they entertained a rejuvenated Bowes WMC who were in second place just two points adrift of the factory men. However, when the moment of truth arrived, they were not found wanting as they stormed to a 7-2 victory, spearheaded by Billy Layton and George Glendenning's 3-0 effort. Nevertheless, Bowes proved that they do not lack fighting spirit, and the return match saw them roll their sleeves up and come out fighting. Subsequent events proved that they are not to be taken lightly when a solid all round performance saw them gain at least a measure of revenge with a 6-3 victory. However, they would be disappointed to learn that this was not enough for them to retain second place. This was due to a couple of barnstorming performances from Blue Bell when they stormed to a 6-3 home victory over Blacksmiths Arms with Sheila Wylie and Sam Walker notching a 3-0. They went on to more than emulate this in the away leg when Sheila Wylie and Pete Kenny hit another maxim in a 7-2 victory to take the Bell onto 83 points, three in front of third placed Bowes WMC. Early pace setters Red Lion Darts appear to have lost their cutting edge of late and skipper Baz Watson would be disappointed to concede a 5-4 double to struggling Bridge Inn. This setback sees them drop down a spot to fourth with 79 points. Just as Montalbo *B’ looked capable of mounting a genuine promotion challenge, the old failings again reared their head when they were sent packing from Copley Three Horse Shoes on the end of a 6-3 pasting. The unpredictable pairing of captain Fearless Freddy Hodgson and Ferocious Fred Braithwaite feeling the weight of a 3-0 pasting at the hands of Ray Randall and C. Harding. However, the following week saw them turn in a solid team performance to level matters up. That meant they stood still in fifth slot with 78 points. Cricket Club ‘C’ could do no more than hold onto sixth place following a stalemate with struggling Rose and Crown. In their home leg, Frank Ashmore and Gerald Sparrow's full house was equalled by that of Prudence Carter and Ronnie Walker. Wheatsheaf competed a narrow 5-4 double over newcomers High Force, which left them where they were, in eighth place, with 74 points and much to do if promotion is to become more than a pipe dream. Red Well are trailing Wheatsheaf by three points and one place after a neat 6-3, 5-4 double over Middleton WMC ‘B’. Liz Parr and Ann Watson's 3-0 for Middleton in the home leg being eclipsed by those of Bob Usher and Alan Dobie and Fiery Fred Charlton and General Jack Tweddle. Coach and Horses lifted some of the gloom of an under achieving season by beating newcomers Black Horse 6-3. But it turned out to be another case of joy short lived as ever improving Black Horse turned in their finest performance of the season to date when they turned the tables to the tune of 7-2, with veteran, Tbmmy Atkins and S. Brown recording a welcome maximum.