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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Hexham Sunday League, Division Two, preview

WHILE generally regarded as the best footballing side around, Prudhoe’s young guns are back playing Division Two football.

But Halfway House Prudhoe, previously known as The Falcon, are hotly tipped for a quick return back to the big time.
The side could not beat the drop in their debut year in Division One despite dominating games, but they are expected to be the team to beat when the league season recommences this week.
They are without the services of two key players from last term though, Ben Dibb Fuller unavailable due to his Team Northumbria commitments on a Saturday and Jack L’Argent heading to Lemington Social Club.
But the Youth Club side have again enlisted the help of teenagers from the town to help progress the club on, a host of players signing up from last year’s successful U17 side.
Hot prospects Adam Greenwood, Andy Knotts, Ben Smith, Joe Finnerty, Sam Yielde, Sam Brown and Thomas Tremble are in, as is Sam Mannion from Hexham U17 and Dan Driver from St Patrick’s.
Things were not looking too rosy for fellow relegated side Rose and Crown Bellingham a matter of weeks ago, but things have picked up and they will now be confident of challenging towards the top of the table.
While keeping their cards close to their chest in pre-season, they could have lost two key players but they have brought in three juniors from the surrounding area.
But the nucleus of the side remains and, if they turn out consistently, they should be there or thereabouts in May.
The sad demise of long established Acomb Welfare has been of the benefit of Haydon Bridge Anchor, who have taken advantage by snapping up Mark Robinson, Liam Teasdale, Ritchie Grant and Niall O'Donnell.
A huge boost to the side is Mark Elliott returning home from Division One champions Haltwhistle Jubilee, while popular Micky Thirlaway has been coaxed out of retirement.
Other familiar faces making a return are Ben Pybus and Dan Alexander, although the latter will again miss large chunks of the season for university commitments.
Further education will also see the Anchor without the talented trio of Liam Crowe, John Mackey and Hugh Nevin, while old head Shaun Heppell’s name is also missing from the squad.
Warden Boatside caught a few teams out last year as they threw in their name into the promotion battle before settling for third spot, and they are set to battle it out once again.
The re-signing of Neil McDonald from Bardon Mill will significantly help with their goal, while Ryan Robley is another new addition as he joins from junior football.
An exciting season is ahead for Hexham Hearts as they will find out how their young side will fare in a first foray into senior football for many.
While some of the old guard remain, an influx of players from last season’s Hexham U16 squad have signed up, along with a couple of youngsters from Acomb Welfare, as the club look to the future.
Details weren’t forthcoming from the remaining clubs but the trio of Dr Syntax Prudhoe, Phoenix Chopwell and Swinburne Arms Stamfordham make up the rest of the division.

THE FIRST SET OF FIXTURES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

DR SYNTAX PRUDHOE v HAYDON BRIDGE ANCHOR

ROSE & CROWN BELLINGHAM v PHOENIX CHOPWELL

SWINBURNE ARMS STAMFORDHAM v WARDEN BOATSIDE

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