Winter seems to be reluctant to let go of the UK this year, but although the chilly weather persists, it has been put into perspective by some of the conditions at the Winter Olympics in Korea. There haven’t been any Sedgefield athletes in action in PyeongChang, but the North East has been represented. Probably the most remarkable story from our region is that of bobsleigher Mica McNeill, whose dream of representing her country at the Olympics seemed to be over when the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association withdrew her team’s funding in favour of the male athletes.
However, Mica refused to give up on her ambition and set up a crowdfunding campaign, which raised enough to get her to Korea, assuming that she and her teammate Mica Moore could qualify. That they did, and as I type this, they are preparing to make their Team GB Olympics debut. Well done to both for simply getting to the starting line – here’s hoping that by the time you read this, they will have delivered the performances of their careers.
Huge congratulations to the Sedgefield Youth FC Under 8 team, pictured right, who in only their first season, have been crowned champions of the Russel Foster Youth League. During their campaign, the team scored an amazing 62 goals and conceded just 15. The final game of the season against NSG Sports from South Shields was a winner takes all match, with NSG unbeaten and sitting second in the league on goal difference. A tense game eventually saw Sedgefield run out 7-3 victors. Well done to all of the young playing stars - Benj, Zac, Max, James, Ben, Fraser, Will and Dan.
Fishburn Bowls Club is preparing for the 2018 outdoor bowls season and is encourag-ing new players to get involved. The club charges around £1 per week for member-ship, which gives access to the green seven days a week, and welcomes participants of all ages and abilities. All that players are required to do is wear a pair of flat soled shoes to participate.
Known as “The Friendly Club”, Fishburn Bowls Club competes in three regional leagues, with the season due to start in April. If you would like to find out more, call the club secretary on 07930 592929 or the club treasurer on 07989 201342 for more details.
The winter cross country season is drawing to a close. As well as fielding athletes in the North East, Northern and National Championships, junior and senior Sedgefield Harriers have been competing in the well-established Harrier League, which involves clubs from throughout the region and takes place between September and March. Last season, the senior men’s team performed well consistently to earn promotion to Division 2, and the squad has worked hard this time around to consolidate a place in that league.
Competition has been tough, with Sedgefield jostling for position with some big clubs, but a great team performance at the penultimate fixture in Thornley means that securing safety is within their grasp. The final race is in Alnwick on 3rd March and the Harriers are aiming to guarantee that they also start next season in Division 2.
Meanwhile, at Thornley, the senior ladies offered a glimpse of their own potential to climb the divisions. For the first time this season, Sedgefield fielded a full team, comprising Lisa Darby, Christine Hearmon, Tracy Henderson and Jane Spink. They finished an excellent second in their division and although it’s too late for them to bid for promotion this season, the performance gave an indication of what could be achieved next term.
The Sedgefield District RUFC first team's post-Christmas blues looked to be extending well into 2018, with a losing bonus point the only reward for a long trip to Ashington at the end of January, that resulted in a 27-21 defeat. The unveiling of new shirts the following week, kindly sponsored by Youngs RPS, could not inspire victory at home against an in-form Ryton with the match ending 7-23.
These two fixtures were followed by the eagerly anticipated local derby against Newton Aycliffe. Both teams had been struggling in recent weeks, and the first half was a fairly even contest, with Sedgefield leading 18-12 at the break, thanks to tries from Adam Grieve and Andy Shepherd. Sedgefield then dominated the second half with further tries from Josh Hetherington, Will Johnson and Phil Dawson. A total of 15 points from the boot of Owen Robinson also contributed to a final score of 40-19. Sedgefield will be looking to build on this upturn in fortunes in the coming weeks to climb the table. The Sedgefield Saxons have had limited action in recent weeks, but still put in a good performance in a 24-11 defeat to an impressive Northallerton side who are riding high in the Tees Valley Social League.
March home fixtures: 1st team: 10th vs Winlation Vulcans; 31st vs Darlington. Saxons: 17th vs Wensleydale II; 31st vs Acklam Hustlers.