In a league of their own

City of Newcastle Golf Club lifted the Newcastle and District League title for a record fourth consecutive year as Mark Wharton completed a perfect season, winning all 15 of his matches, to win the Player of the Year title.

The City, represented by Mark Wharton, Phil Ridden, Alex Dixon, James Walmsley, Ken Cairns, Zac Laws, Steve Slater, Jonny Todd, Mark McCarthy, Ian Davidson, Simon Coultas and Paul Souter this season finished 26 points clear of nearest challengers Northumberland as Arcot Hall finished third and won most-improved team honours.

City captain Dave Lamb said: “This season has been a remarkable one for the City, winning an unprecedented fourth league title in a row as well as winning our division in the North Durham League and the senior league for the first time. We have been flattered by winning the Newcastle and District League, having found some late momentum to push us out ahead following a very close battle for the top spot for much of the season.

“Mark Wharton’s unbeaten season is a remarkable personal achievement and it has been a great experience leading a very strong squad of players who each represented the club brilliantly this season. To win the league takes a strong squad and every member of the team has played an important part in our success.”

In the North Durham Union League, Brancepth Castle lifted the trophy – just three years after they competed in the third division.

Winners of the Division Three title in 2015, they went on to win the Division Two Championship last year and now they are champions after the final round of matches saw them finish with just three defeats and two draws in their 14 matches.

South Shields won the division one title while City of Newcastle, competing in the league for the first time, won division two.

In the Hadrian League, Close House narrowly edged out Slaley Hall by two points to regain the trophy they won for the first time in 2016. The team collected 129 points from their 14 matches as Ponteland finished in third place.

Close House captain Brian Thorpe said: “It’s been fantastic to watch the team’s success this season, to be part of the camaraderie every Wednesday night, and to watch such tremendous golf. It was a nervous wait at Tyneside in our final match but we were delighted to get over the line and win the trophy back. Every member of the squad played a key part throughout the season and without each one of them we wouldn’t have been able to win such a close contest in the final week. It was a real team effort.”

Alnmouth won the North Northumberland League with an impressive 22-point margin over Bamburgh Castle at the top of division one. Seahouses will move up to the top tier in 2019 having finished well clear of Alnmouth Village in division two.

In Teesside, Wynyard lifted the league title with 198 points in their 14 matches, 15 points clear of Bishop Auckland. Meanwhile, Darlington will won the division one title as Dinsdale Spa triumphed in division two.

The winners of each of league will compete for the Dixon Cup at Cleveland Golf Club later this month and we’ll have a full report in our October edition.