Halfway House quit as season gets under way
Published at 07:41, Wednesday, 21 August 2013
ONE of the biggest names in the Hexham Sunday League in recent years have folded just days before the start of the new season.
Halfway House Prudhoe won the Division One crown in 2011-12 and were again challenging for top honours last season before falling short.
After a summer of uncertainty as they struggled to keep hold of their players, they have admitted defeat and announced they have made the tough decision to pack in.
Their sad demise was good news for Prudhoe Town, though, as they have acted quickly to recruit Nicky Richardson, Mark Campbell, Colin Hardwick, Jeff Forsyth, Paul Bell and Jamie Bush as they aim to continue theexcellent progress they have made since forming in 2010.
Other additions to their strong squad include Adam Hardy, Oliver Rodley, Max Tordoff, and Mark Innes.
Another team benefiting from Halfway’s resignation is Rose and Crown Bellingham as they have been promoted back to Division One without having to kick a ball.
Haltwhistle Conservatives are hopeful of defending their title, and have managed to keep hold of their championship-winning squad. However, they will be without playmaker Mark Robson who faces a lengthy spell on the injury table.
To bolster their options, manager Cameron Bell has recruited the help of the highly rated Scott Jacobsen and Archie Rowell.
Having thrown the cat among the pigeons last year, an improving FC Stocksfield have again strengthened and will be expected to put together a strong challenge.
Goal machine Jay Keelan has made the step up from Division Two’s Haydon Bridge Anchor while solid midfielder Rob Grainey now plays for Stocksfield on both a Saturday and a Sunday.
Hexham Phoenix enjoyed a brilliant season as runners-up last term and they look set to run their rivals close again, although they will have to make do without the services of the talented Luke Parkinson who is out long term through injury.
With Wylam Celtic calling it a day, Wylam FC are the now the only team in the village and they are confident of improving on their seventh finish last year by blending a wealth of experience with young lads from the area.
Bruce Vause, Ant MacDonald, John Walsh and Dom Walsh have all come out of Sunday League retirement, while Adrian Sutcliffe and Jamie Crichton have moved from Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, Mark Clark and Graeme Hudspith have joined from Halfway and Andy Reay moves from Prudhoe Town.
Dan Beresford, a player with Northern Alliance Premier Division favourites Blyth Town, is another new addition, while local youngsters Harry Mitchell and Joe Harms have been recruited too.
After winning promotion as runners-up of Division Two, The Falcon Prudhoe’s young team are keen to consolidate in their debut year in the top division.
And the rest of the league will be wary of them as, along with the technically gifted teens already catching the eye at the Youth Club team, in has come fellow youngsters Matty Robinson and Joe Slade (both from Swinburne Arms Stamfordham), David Burns and Chris Hibbitt.
Ryton and Crawcrook Albion finished as champions of Division Two but will have to dig in deep to avoid the drop after losing key players, but managing to keep hold of David Tremble and Sam Moore, among others, will be a big boost to them.
Also tipped for another relegation dog fight is Allendale after avoiding the bottom two by just three points, but there is plenty of talent throughout their squad to mix it with teams higher up in the table.
Meanwhile, Barrasford will look for more consistency for the coming year as they proved they are a match for anybody by lifting the Sun Inn Acomb John Pickworth League Cup on their day. They will be without Mr Barrasford, Gary Nixon, who has left for America.
In the second division, big things are expected from newcomers Prudhoe Social Club.
The anticipated return of the town’s Big Club has had people talking over the summer months, and manager Mattie Thompson has called on his wealth of contacts to assemble a strong squad together. Players with plenty of Division One experience have dropped down to join the club, and they are expecting to be mixing it with the big boys next term.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk
This week in... 1972Friday, December 15, 1972...
STAFF at five hospitals in the Tynedale area walked out during a strike over pay.
Hexham General, Hexham War Memorial, Haltwhistle War Memorial, Wooley Sanatorium and Prudhoe hospitals, were all affected after the National Union of Public Employees called out their members.
Ancillary staff, including porters, cooks, telephone operators and boilermen joined the 12-hour stoppage with some NUPE members taking part in a protest march in Newcastle.