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ALNWICK’S second team entertained Ashington seconds on Friday evening and were expecting a tough encounter with Ashington riding high in second place in the league.

So it turned out to be with all of the Alnwick players, with the exception of Simon Manners, having an off-night.

Bill Sharp was first on and, having suffered a heavy defeat, was heard muttering the retirement word.

Surely premature Billy as there is plenty of life left yet!

Next up was Brian Sanderson, just returned from a cruise and looking slightly burly in the paddock.

Despite all his efforts, Brian could not cope with the fit and accurate Nick Dalkin, also losing 3-0.

Bob Cresswell started brightly against county player Stan Brown but was unable to sustain early promise, resulting in another 0-3 reverse.

Hopes were high that team captain Alan Morgan could produce some inspiration but alas they were false hopes as Morgan could only muster nine points in another heavy reverse.

So it was left to Simon Manners, who had to dust cobwebs off his racket not having played for months.

Despite following the form of his team-mates in the first two games, Simon produced a stirring comeback to win the third game and secure the only point of the night but lack of match fitness took its toll and that was that, a 5-0 reverse and one the team will want to forget as soon as possible.

Next up is Northumbria University on Tuesday and it cannot get any worse or a long hard winter may follow.