With the Winter Leagues now approaching the halfway stage, here is a quick update on the latest position at the top and bottom of each division.
Men's Premier: Tynemouth 1 continue to dominate, with 7 wins out of 7, well ahead of their nearest rivals Newcastle University 1 and Northumberland 1. In the battle against the drop amongst the 2nd teams, Northumberland 2 are rooted at the bottom with Tynemouth 2 recently beating Northern 2 by 3-2 (17-9) to pull away.
Division 1: Northern 3 are unbeaten after 7 matches and clear of the chasing pack, with Chester-le-Street 1 looking well-placed to go into second place at halfway ahead of Westoe 2 and Tynemouth 3. Northumberland 3 are bottom and Primrose 1 also look in danger of relegation.
Division 2: Benwell Hill lead the way with 6 straight wins, followed by Sunderland 2 ahead of Northern 4. Westoe 3 are adrift at the bottom, with Hexham 1 also looking in trouble at this stage.
Division 3: Northumberland 4 are just a point ahead of Boldon 1, with Tynemouth 4 and Eldon Leisure 2 somewhat off the pace. At this stage, winless Chester-le-Street look favourites to go down along with Newbiggin 2.
Division 4: Primrose 3 have reached halfway unbeaten after 8 matches, well ahead of second-placed Dunston 1 who are themselves well clear of their nearest challengers. Ashington are without a win at the bottom, and Hexham 2 will have to work hard to escape the drop.
Division 5: Chester-le-Street 3 are clear at the top with Sunderland 4 hosting Scotezzi on Tue 3rd Dec to decide which of these teams goes second at halfway ahead of Boldon 3. Bottom team Tynemouth Social need to get a result at Northern 6 on Fri 6th Dec to close the gap on Dunston 2, whilst Westoe 4 have two matches left to pull away from immediate danger.
Division 6: Eldon 3's recent win over top-placed Consett 3 could help propel them to the top at halfway, although there are a number of first-half fixtures still to play. Walker are winless so far and will have their work cut out to avoid the wooden spoon, with Northern Juniors likely to pick up points as they clear their fixture backlog.
Ladies Premier: Northern Ladies 1B lead the table but Newcastle University Ladies have a chance to overtake them if they can win at Northumbria University Ladies on Tue 3rd Dec and then at home to Northumberland Ladies on Wed 11th Dec. Primrose Ladies are already relegated to Division 1, Hexham Ladies are likely to follow, and the third relegation place is an intriguing battle between Northumberland Ladies, Northern Ladies 1A and reigning champions Tynemouth Ladies 1.
Ladies Division 2: Tynemouth Ladies 2 turned the tables on previously-unbeaten Northern Ladies 3 emphatically last week with a 5-0 (20-3) win that puts them in the driving seat for the single halfway promotion place to Division 1, although nothing is yet decided. At the other end, Tynemouth Ladies 3A beat 3B to move above them.