Shock and surprise at both ends of Division 1
Congratulations to Leam Lane Aces who, in a move predicted by nobody at all, have wrapped up their fourth successive Northumbria League title.
Even more impressively, the 3-2 wins that they snatched from the jaws of equality against Newcastle and Durham City mean that they take a 36-match winning streak into the final game of the season against Morpeth A. Should they win that one too, they will usurp the late-80’s Sunderland dynasty to become statistically the most dominant team in Northumbria League history. Between 1986 and 1990 Sunderland also won four successive titles without defeat, but drew two matches along the way – Leam Lane have so far drawn only one.
At the bottom of the table, Tynemouth Castles teased us all by winning their first match of the season against established 1st Division opponents. But that was as good as it got for the Crystal Palace of Northumberland chess, who for the third time this century bow out of the top flight after a single season.