SPORTS UPDATE by Chris Lines

Athletics, Squash, Rugby, Football and more

Sports Update
Chris Lines

As we head into deep winter, the England cricket team has not done much to warm our hearts so far in Australia. The Aussies have already regained the Ashes and a 5-0 whitewash looks like a good bet at the moment. Oh well. On a more positive note, the England women’s cricket squad deservedly won Team of the Year at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, after a brilliant World Cup triumph. Voting in the main award was very tight, but (finally!) Sir Mo Farah won. It was a great night for athletics, with Para-athletics superstar Jonnie Peacock in third and the Lifetime Achievement Award going to Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill. Meanwhile, here in Sedgefield, we have plenty of our own sports stars (individuals and clubs) and achievements to celebrate, as always.


Bowls

Sedgefield Bowls Club has completed its internal competitions for the year and the roll of honour is: Wimpey Tadman Trophy Winners, Joan Gibson, Liz Garner, Peter Reade. Runners up were May Brown, Gary Mustard, Edith Cherry. Robinson Vase Trophy team winners: Joan Gibson, Norman Dixon, Terry Wells, Linda Robertson. Doubles Winners, Liz Garner & Edith Cherry. Runners up, Gary Mustard & Carol Archer. Singles Winner, Geoff Parsons. Runner Up, Linda Robertson. Player of the Year was Geoff Parsons. Congratulations to all who played in the Durham Community Carpet Bowls winter competition and summer friendlies with Witton le Wear and Stannington. New players are welcome to come and join in during sessions in Ceddesfeld Hall. Bowls is a great way to take gentle exercise and make new friends. For more information call Sheila Sutherland on 01740 622532


Squash

Many congratulations to Sedgefield Squash Club, winner of Sports Club of the Year for East Durham and Sedgefield in the County Durham Sport and Physical Activity Awards. The award was presented for demonstrating commitment and passion for sport and physical exercise through the activities and opportunities it provides for its members and the local community. Sedgefield Squash Club now proceeds to the county-wide final in January. Fingers crossed for more success then!


Rugby Union

There has not been much first team action for Sedgefield District RUFC since the last update. The much anticipated local derby against Newton Aycliffe was postponed when the opposition failed to turn up, and a match against Hartlepool fell victim to the weather. The first team’s only fixture was a visit to Bishop Auckland, where a slow start from Sedgefield and poor scrummaging saw Bishop lead 13-0 at half time. A change in approach in the second half, with a series of probing kicks coupled with effective chasing, saw Sedgefield overturn the deficit to lead 13-20, thanks to a penalty try following a break from Josh Hetherington and further scores from Paul McCormack and David Birkin. Bishop Auckland came back through a penalty try of their own and a late converted try to win 27-20. However, the losing bonus point keeps Sedgefield in the top half of Durham & Northumberland Division 2. The Sedgefield Saxons have continued their progress in their first season in the Tees Valley Social League, with a 12-10 victory at Acklam and a good performance in a 37-15 defeat to league leaders Billingham. The Saxons are slowly climbing the league after a slow start, and are currently 10th. Home fixtures in January: 1st Team: 6th Whitley Bay Rockcliff; 20th Darlington. Saxons:13th Newtonians; 27th Redcar Mariners.


Athletics

It’s been a busy few weeks of celebrations for Sedgefield Harriers, with the club presenting both its senior and junior awards. At the annual dinner, the following awards were handed out:
• Club Member of the Year – Christine Hearmon
• Runner of the Year – Justin Cox
• Track and Field Athlete of the Year – Jane Spink
• Individual Performance of the Year – Ean Parsons
• Newcomer of the Year – David Bentley
• Dave Sawyer Endurance Trophy – Ray Carmichael
• Volunteer of the Year – Paul Lee
• Supporter of the Year – Sandra Lee
• Men’s Grand Prix Division One winner – Chris Lines
• Men’s Grand Prix Division One runner up – David Walker
• Women’s Grand Prix Division One winner – Lisa Darby
• Women’s Grand Prix Division One runner up – Christine Hearmon
• Men’s Grand Prix Division Two winner – Paul Lee
• Men’s Grand Prix Division One runner up – Andrew Corfield
• Women’s Grand Prix Division One winner – Alda Hummelinck
• Women’s Grand Prix Division One runner up – Liz Bayles
• Men’s Time Trial – Richard Fearnside
• Women’s Time Trial – Susan Wallace.


A few days later, the club also celebrated the achievements of its junior members, when, along with well over 100 All Stars certificates (for performances in runs, jumps and throws), the following awards were presented:
• Most Improved U11 girl - Lillie Graham
• Most Improved U11 boy - Shamus Dodd
• Most Improved Multi Discipline - Amelia Martin
• Most Improved Sprints - Ellie Spink
• Most Improved Endurance - Abbie Walker
• Most improved Strength and Conditioning - Callum Darby
• Girl’s Track Performance - Aimee Barlow
• Boy’s Track Performance - Robbie Till
• Girl’s Field Performance - Ellie Spink
• Boy’s Field Performance - Thomas Rowe
• Girl’s Cross Country Performance – Sophie Glaister
• Boy’s Cross Country Performance - Ciaran Lines
• Young Volunteer - Robbie Till
• Junior Club Member - Aimee Barlow.

The club’s runners were back in action not long afterwards at the North East Cross Country Championships on Redcar Racecourse. The course was uncharacteristically flat (for cross country) and the main challenges came from the cold and a stiff breeze. Sedgefield Harriers fielded a large number of senior and junior runners and there were notable performances throughout the day.
However, the highlight was provided by Kieran Walker who finished third in the men’s U20 race, picking up a bronze medal in one of the most competitive races of the season. With so many talented youngsters now in the club’s ranks, Kieran’s should be the first of many more medals to come (for both him and Sedgefield).


Winter cycling

With the road cycle racing more or less finished, where do cyclists go? Some retreat to training on turbos and rollers in garages and conservatories (or in the house if they can get away with it) others turn to Cyclo Cross.

Now in its 5th year, the Hardwick Park based round of the North East Cyclo Cross League series was held on the 25th November and saw a healthy field of 70 riders from across the north east racing in Hardwick East Park.

Cyclo cross is an increasingly popular winter based off road form of cycle racing and easily accessible for new competitors of all ages. The Hardwick Park round is always popular as the course offers fast racing and is spectator friendly. This year’s event was held in typically cold November conditions, with low temperatures just warm enough to make the going increasingly heavy after the preceding week’s rain. In the main race for seniors, veterans and Juniors, James Raw of Cycleways SG Petch gained the lead early on and stretched it out to take a comfortable win, covering 8 laps of the 1.3mile course in 48 minutes and 31 seconds. The remaining podium places were hard fought, with frequent place changes, with Ellis McCoy of GS Metro 2nd and Jon Bayley of Gosforth RC 3rd. The preceding Under 12s race, on a short course, was equally competitive, with Ben Scott of Newcastle Pheonix beating Daniel Thompson of Cleveland Wheelers by 11 seconds after most of the race lying second. The series may well return in 2018. Anyone interested in competing or helping out in this volunteer event should look up www.neccl.co.uk Ian Dunn, Ferryhill Wheelers. Photo by Wilf McNaughton


Youth Football

The newest football team in the village has had a flying start to the season. At time of writing, Sedgefield Youth FC under 8s sit at the top of the Russell Foster Youth League, having scored 25 and conceded just 7 goals in their opening five games. The team was formed a matter of days before the start of the season, with the first training session literally the night before the opening game. All the boys (Will, Ben, James, Max, Daniel, Fraser, Benjamin and Zac are pictured) have performed brilliantly and, along with the coaching team of Mal Dickenson and Chris McGirr, they thank Sedgefield Co-op, Marc Stanley and Right Lines Communications for generous sponsorship, without which they would not have had this opportunity.