Town’s sporting stalwarts and heroes are honoured

Lyndsey Turnbull receives her Morpeth Sports Award from Mike Harris. Picture by Darren Turner.
Lyndsey Turnbull receives her Morpeth Sports Award from Mike Harris. Picture by Darren Turner.
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Sporting stars and stalwarts, along with successful teams and dedicated individuals, were honoured at this year’s Morpeth Sports Awards.

After going through all the entries outlining achievements over a 12-month period, members of the Morpeth Sports Council, which organised the awards, selected the winners.

Daniel Dixon receives his Morpeth Sports Award from Mike Harris. Picture by Darren Turner.

Daniel Dixon receives his Morpeth Sports Award from Mike Harris. Picture by Darren Turner.

People living in Morpeth and the parish areas of Hepscott, Longhirst, Longhorsley, Mitford, Pegswood, Stannington, Ulgham and Whalton were eligible to be nominated, along with those who are members of sports clubs based in these areas.

Presenting the awards were Mayor Nic Best and Mike Harris, a three-time British triathlon champion who had top 10 placings in European Triathlon Championships and top 15 placings in World Triathlon Championships. He also achieved regional success in cycling and athletics.

The award winners, in the order they were presented, were as follows:

JUNIOR MALE (U18) – JIM ALDER CUP – DANIEL DIXON: His excellent 12 months included British and Scottish National T3 champion (13/14 years age group) in triathlon.

Ed Syndercombe receives his Morpeth Sports Award from town Mayor Nic Best. Picture by Darren Turner.

Ed Syndercombe receives his Morpeth Sports Award from town Mayor Nic Best. Picture by Darren Turner.

Winning the national 10-mile time trial and national closed circuit 10-mile time trial for 14-year-olds were among his cycling achievements.

In athletics, he won the North East Cross Country U15 title and North East 1500m race. As for swimming, he is the North East 1500m open water silver medallist.

JUNIOR FEMALE (U18) – HILDER CUP – HOLLY PECK: Holly was a silver medal winner in the 3000m North East County Championships. The following day she won a silver medal in the 1500m. Both events achieved while a year under age.

Success in national events include winning the bronze medal in the Junior Great North Run over 4km and being part of a three-person team finishing sixth at the English Cross Country Relays in Mansfield.

Bill Hewitt receives his Morpeth Sports Awards from Mike Harris. Picture by Darren Turner.

Bill Hewitt receives his Morpeth Sports Awards from Mike Harris. Picture by Darren Turner.

She finished second in the North East Schools inter-counties event.

TEAM AWARD (U13) – DALTON HUTCHINSON TROPHY – MORPETH RFC U13 GIRLS: They started the season with only eight players, the majority of whom had little or no rugby experience.

During the season, the squad has grown to a healthy 21 registered members and since November, they have been undefeated in 21 games.

At the Northern Area competition at Darlington RFC in the beginning of March, they defeated strong Castleford, Doncaster and Alnwick teams.

SENIOR FEMALE (Open) – GEORGE BROWN TROPHY – EMILY CHARLTON: At the Great Scottish Swim two-mile event in Loch Lomond, Emily was first female swimmer home and third overall in the event.

In the British Masters Short Course Championships, the Newcastle Swim team (Masters) member won a gold medal in the 800m and 200m freestyle events and a bronze in the 400m freestyle.

At the ASA National Open Water Championships, Emily won bronze in both the 1.5km and 3km events.

SENIOR FEMALE (Masters) – A.C. FOREMAN MEMORIAL TROPHY – LYNDSEY TURNBULL: Lyndsey had a top 10 finish in the European Masters Championships 400m freestyle and was 15th in the 100m breaststroke.

In the British Masters Short Course Championships, she won gold in the 1500m and silver in the 400m freestyle events.

In addition, Lyndsey won gold in the ASA National Masters 3km Open Water Championships and in the one-mile Kielder Open Water Swim.

TEAM AWARD (U18) – KING EDWARD VI SCHOOL TROPHY – MORPETH KING EDWARD VI CRICKET TEAM: A combined team of players from Morpeth and Blagdon Cricket Clubs formed the King Edward VI under 15s team to compete in the ECB softball competition.

They showed great skill and team spirit to reach the national final, where, after a closely-fought competition against a more experienced and strong team, they were runners-up.

SENIOR MALE (Open) – NEWCASTLE BUILDING SOCIETY TROPHY – SCOTT BEATTIE: As a result of his summer and winter cross-country performances, he was selected for the World Cross Country Championships, held in Kampala, Uganda, where he finished second counter for the Great Britain Junior Men’s team and 47th overall.

The Morpeth Harrier’s finest run of the winter was in warmer and drier conditions, when he won a bronze medal in Spain in a strong international field.

SPORTABILITY AWARD – NPFA SALVER – ED SYNDERCOMBE: The Morpeth ASC member has a condition that results in him having difficulty in stabilising his body weight, so he turned to open water swimming.

He has achieved excellent results in recent months, including first place finishes at the Great North Swim over a mile and the Chill Swim in Lake Windermere.

TEAM AWARD (OPEN) – ABBEY NATIONAL TROPHY – MORPETH RIVERSIDE BADMINTON CLUB MEN’S FIRST TEAM: Eight years ago, the club entered teams into the Northumberland Badminton Leagues, starting in the bottom division.

The men’s first team has been promoted every year since entering the league. Although the season has finished, when it resumes in September the team will be playing in the A Division.

SENIOR MALE MASTERS – TONY BRAY TROPHY – PETER NEWTON: Peter won the North East Counties 10,000m track championships for the third year in succession at Jarrow in a personal-best time.

Further victories followed in the annual Blaydon Road Race and Morpeth 11k Road Race on New Year’s Day and he won bronze at the Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships.

The Morpeth Harrier also contributed to club medals at national and regional events.

SERVICES TO SPORT – ULGHAM PARISH COUNCIL SALVER – BILL HEWITT: Following a distinguished playing career at Morpeth RFC, Bill has had several periods of lengthy service as coach to the senior side and as president of the club.

He has assiduously kept playing records for the club and he has had voluntary roles with the Northumberland Rugby Union,

SPORTS PERSON OF THE YEAR – THE MAYORS TROPHY – TONY WARD: Tony gave more than 35 years of service to Morpeth Harriers.

He was a tough competitor in many road and cross country events and was team manager in a long and successful period for Morpeth Harriers Young Athletes squad.

Tony was also the organiser of a highly successful schools sportshall athletics programme, which further developed towards an annual national event.

His son Steven received the accolade as it was awarded posthumously. Tony died in April following a short illness.

The Certificate of Achievement recipients were as follows.

Andrew Knight (athletics), Morpeth Harriers U15 Boys Road and Cross Country Squad, Morpeth Harriers U17 Men’s Road and Cross Country Squad, Morpeth Harriers Women’s 4x100m Relay Squad, Morpeth Riverside Badminton Club Mixed First Team, Karen Davison (badminton), Nathan Mercel (judo), Alex Bartley (judo), Morpeth RFC Colts, Mark Oliver (judo), Robbie Morgan and the Morpeth Conservative Football Club, Morpeth RFC Reivers, Peter Taylor (rugby coach), Terry Hewitt (rugby coach), Kay Howe (swimming coach).

In addition, Certificates of Appreciation have been given to three members of the Morpeth Sports Council – Peter Rushworth (chairman), Jim Alder (committee) and Sam Duckworth (committee).