Ponteland preparing for life in top divisions

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PONTELAND Cricket Club will head into the 2013 season with plenty to look forward to after a league reshuffle saw the First XI promoted into Division A1 of the Wellstream Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League.

Coupled with the Second XI managing to maintain its position in Division B1 for the upcoming campaign, it will mean that the club will have both senior teams in the top flights of the competition for the first time since 2006.

The First XI finished third last season in Division A2, but at the league AGM both Morpeth and Chopwell asked for their top sides to move down into A2 after a loss of players over the winter months.

This left a gap in A1 and it meant Pont were ‘promoted’.

They will start life in the division against Burnopfield at home on Saturday and welcome back club skipper Wayne Ritzema from a winter playing in Perth.

Paul Elliott has been signed up from Morpeth, while the squad is boosted by the additions of Matt Hynd from Benwell Hill, Liam Cosgrove from South Northumberland as well as Nick Brown and John Callaghan.

The club are hopeful that Australian Anthony Quarrell will get his visa in enough time to make the second game of the season against Shotley Bridge.

The Second XI remain relatively unchanged from the side which finished fourth in B1 last year. Pont will again be led by Chris Morgan while Simon Edmondson replaces John Gardner as vice captain. With a few quality additions dropping down to the Second XI, the side are confident of a strong season again in 2013.

Their first game is away to Backworth on Saturday.