Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Border Raids Repelled as North's Promotion Hopes Take a Beating

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Border Raids Repelled as North's Promotion Hopes Take a Beating

Article excerpt

Northumberland saw their Inter-County League promotion hopes dashed after a miserable weekend north of the border.

They faced their trickiest fixtures of the season against Lothian and Glasgow ( and could only manage a single point from both games.

North lost 9-6 to Lothian and 14-1 against Glasgow.

The singles did not go well for North against Lothian despite a three-set effort from Kristian Stuart at top string.

Katherine Gray secured North's only success in two close sets, having to repulse a spirited recovery from her opponent in the second set which she led 10-4 ( it was to take her five match points before she clinched it 13-12.

Lothian led 3-1 and their situation improved further with two wins in the opening round of ladies doubles.

Katherine Gray and Lauren Young were unlucky not to force a third set against their opposite numbers.

North's men fared little better, both pairs losing their opening sets to leave their team staring at a major reverse.

However, they rallied with Malcolm Lightbown and Steve Swan taking their second set and Kristian Stuart and Martin Fagan taking an early lead and retaining control to also level at 1-1.

It was a similar story in the respective deciding sets but North held on to clinch them both to make the score 5-3.

With Kenny Middlemiss having turned an ankle, he was forced to concede his reverse doubles but Alison Thompson and Katie Wright secured a three-set win to keep North in it at 6-5 behind with the final men's doubles in play, which the hosts won 13-12.

Lothian led 7-5 and needed all three mixed for victory. Martin Fagan and Alison Thompson secured a point for North after taking the second set but Malcolm Lightbown and Katie Wright lost in three.

The new pairing of Steve Swan and Katherine Gray rallied to level at 1-1 against Mackay and Young. It was not to be, however, as the hosts held on well in the decider to take it 15-11.

Glasgow, meanwhile, fielded six Scottish internationals in their side so it was no real surprise they won easily despite Steve Swan and Katherine Gray taking a point in the mixed doubles. …

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