SPORTS UPDATE by Chris Lines

Athletics, Squash, Rugby, Football and more

Sports Update
Chris Lines

Lot's of sport this month, read on...


Young Sedgefield athletes continue to perform very well in competition. Sedgefield Harrier Ellie Spink (right) recently represented the North East in shot putt at the Inter Counties Athletics Championships. Ellie finished fourth in a very talented field and the North East team won the overall event. Earlier in the year, Ellie also represented the region in indoor athletics in Manchester.

Meanwhile, Harrier Kieran Walker, who has made great progress as a junior - and now senior - athlete under coach Scott Hydon, broke the club half marathon record at the Great North Run, when he finished inside the top 70 in just 73 minutes and 58 seconds. Kieran is now ranked seventh in the UK at the distance at the U20 level – it’s a fantastic achievement and we will continue to follow his progress keenly.

Also fantastic were the many other runners from Sedgefield who took part in the annual mini, junior and senior Great North Run races on 9th and 10th September. As ever, our community was very well represented on both days, with lots of people raising money for great causes, and others taking part to achieve their own time targets or simply be part of this world-famous running event. Congratulations to everyone who ran!

Sedgefield Harriers hosted its biggest race of the year on Sunday 17 September. The Sedgefield Serpentine started and finished at the cricket club and followed an attractive route on paths and trails, taking in Hardwick Park and the countryside between Sedgefield and Bishop Middleham. The race was staged thanks to the sponsorship of Parsons Containers, Greig Cavey Commercial and Start Fitness, and with the support of many volunteers from the club and local community. This year’s event welcomed a group of runners from Sedgefield’s twin town of Hamminkeln, paying a return visit to Sedgefield after 12 Harriers had travelled to Germany last month to take part in the Hamminkeln Citylauf races (see below). Now a well-established race on the regional calendar, the Serpentine attracted runners from all over the North East. The winner was Kurt Heron of Ashington Hirst Running Club and the winner of the women’s race was Amelia Pettitt of Vale Royal. First Harrier home, and third overall, was James Oldfield, while Lisa Darby was the first Harrier – and third overall - in the women’s race.

Phil Houghton, chair of Sedgefield Harriers, comments: “The Sedgefield Serpentine was yet another success for the club. Almost 200 runners managed to navigate the – at times difficult – course and much cake and merriment was had afterwards. This was the last race for organisers Steve Foreman and Tracy Brown. Their joy and cheeky humour is written all over the race and I’d like to pass on the thanks of everyone at the club for the tremendous amount of work they’ve put in to this race and in previous years.”

Sedgefield to a run!

Over the August bank holiday weekend, 12 Sedgefield residents (Chris and Ciaran Lines, Gary and Amanda Hetherington, Jonathan, Susan, Kate and Laura Wallace, Lesley and Nick Dexter, Phil Houghton and Alda Hummelinck) returned to Sedgefield’s twin town Hamminkeln in Germany. Some had visited the town in August 2016 as well and had enjoyed the town, its Citylauf and their hosts’ hospitality so much, that it was an easy decision to go back this year.

Over the weekend, we met the Mayor of Hamminkeln, Bernd Romanski, Hermann Terhorst and the rest of the race organising team at the Biermeile (“beer mile” festival) as they claimed that their beer would make us run faster!

Sunday morning saw another buzzing Citylauf with a range of great events ranging from a toddler 400m run to adult 5k and 10k races. The Sedgefield Harriers managed to produce more great performances: Gary came in second in the MV55 category, Ciaran (14) and Nick (12) finished in 5th and 9th place respectively in the U18 category, and Chris and Alda were both 4th in their age categories (perhaps we should have had another beer to end up on the podium?). It was another very well organised and enjoyable event, another warm and sunny day and the cold shower on the town square was a very welcome reward after a hot run!

All in all, it has been another memorable weekend and it feels like our new German acquaintances are turning into genuine friendships – naturally, we are already talking about going back for the 40th Citylauf in August 2018!


September has seen the season start with a flurry of activity at Sedgefield Squash Club. First off, members thrashed around the courts for a manic afternoon in the ‘Blitz’. Marshalled expertly by Julia Rowsby and her whistle, players rallied in frantic seven minute matches with only one minute before the next pair began. Amazingly, the winning team triumphed with 362 points, the runners-up falling an agonising three points short. Earlier the juniors had their own turn with winners in various ability categories.

As we go to press, the internal team handicap competition is drawing to a conclusion - the winners will be confirmed next month, along with news of the senior teams’ opening matches in the Durham & Cleveland County Leagues. If members haven’t renewed their subs, there’s still time; and new members are warmly welcomed. The membership secretary is Sue Smith, who can be reached on Places are also available (on a pay-as-you-go basis) for junior coaching on Saturday mornings. Contact Simon Hill on 01740 629417 for details.


Congratulations to Sedgefield’s Joseph Dredge who has made his debut as an assistant referee in the Northern League at a fixture between Esh Winning and Alnwick. Still only 17, Joe has made a rapid rise through the ranks since taking up refereeing with County Durham Football Association. Joe qualified as a youth referee with Durham FA and has been officiating at games for a number of youth teams as well as the Hartlepool and Sunderland academy sides. He has stepped up this season to also include adult football in the Durham Alliance, Wearside League, and now in the second oldest league in the world, the Northern League.

An A level student at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington, Joe has also refereed college games and women’s football and was recently successful in his application to join Durham FA Referees Academy, where young referees are mentored by senior officials, including those working in the professional game in the English Football League.

Joe has had a great deal of support from Sedgefield Referees Association (RA) which made him their Young Official of the Year in the 2016/2017 season, and also from Durham FA. Joe’s dad, Tim Dredge, comments: “The mentoring and sound advice has been fantastic. County Durham has a strong reputation for producing high quality referees, from the likes of George Courtney to Mark Clattenburg who both went through similar routes with Durham FA. The set-up is first class and I would recommend it to any young person as a way of developing themselves whilst earning some cash and contributing to a sporting environment.”


Another season has come to an end at Sedgefield Cricket Club. On the senior side, the first team narrowly missed out on promotion to Division 1, unlucky perhaps in the fact that this year’s Division 2 contained four very strong teams fighting for just the two promotion places. The second team maintained a mid-table position in Division 4 and in doing so managed to give good experience to a number of promising junior players.

The junior section of the club continues to flourish, with age group cricket being played at U11, U12, U13, U15 and U17 levels, with in excess of 100 children involved. Most notably, Sedgefield’s U11 side finished runners up in both league and cup this year and as we go to print the U12s are finalists in their cup competition.

The U13s were winners of the NYSD section of the National Cup and league runners up while the U15s and U17s once again enjoyed good seasons. The girls’ playing side goes from strength to strength and Sedgefield is now classed as one of the flagship clubs in the area for promoting and encouraging participation among girls and ladies. Sedgefield now regularly fields a strong team in the major tournaments in the area and the squad has over 20 girls in it. On Sunday 10th September, the club hosted a Lady Taverners Girls competition, run by Durham Cricket Board, with Sedgefield los-ing narrowly in the final to arch rivals Shotley Bridge. The event was very well attended and increased the profile of girls’ cricket in the community.

Over the summer, the club was also able to attract over 40 new children to participate in the ECB’s new initiative called ‘All Stars Cricket’, running an eight-week programme for youngsters between the ages of five and eight. This was held on Friday evenings at the club and proved to be very popular with children and families alike.

More cricket - from the archives

Sedgefield Born Graham Parnaby is 60 this year and 30 years ago the local sports archives show that Graham pulled off what was thought to be some sort of cricketing record, which was and still is a remarkable achievement. Tom Smith, the umpire at the time, said: “I have seen quite a few hundreds, but that’s the most marvellous innings I can remember.”

Graham’s side Kimblesworth were set a target of only 108 by Bill Quay and won by 10 wickets. Graham’s sensational 100 (remember, chasing an overall total of 108 with a batting partner!) included 11 sixes and four fours.