Northern Alliance

HAVING booked a date with Harraby Catholic Club in the Challenge Cup Final, Peterlee Town assured themselves of another cup final.

Skelmersdale United 2, Gateshead 2

GATESHEAD lost for the first time since New Year’s Day when they went out of the UniBond League Challenge Cup at the semi-final stage on penalties.

Why big Carl has no time for London’s bright lights

CARL Hayman’s arrival at Kingston Park is good news for Newcastle Falcons and New Zealand deer.

Jonny’s back against Wasps stinger

  • EDF

JONNY Wilkinson will tomorrow go head-to-head with London Wasps young gun Danny Cipriani, who scored two tries in last week’s 35-12 league win over the Falcons

Fans can tip the balance – Rob

ROB Wilson is confident a bumper home crowd can prove decisive at the Metro Radio Arena this evening as his ambitious Newcastle Vipers attempt to secure a place in the Challenge Cup final.

Carl wants to ‘get stuck in’

  • EDF

ENGLAND World Cup stars Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood will make their comebacks for Newcastle Falcons at Wasps on Saturday – and All Blacks star Carl Hayman is hoping to make his debut alongside them.

Thunder will be ready this time

After a season of struggle and transition, things are looking up for Gateshead Thunder as coach Dave Woods begins his first full season in charge.

Sharks in push for promotion

DARLINGTON Mowden Park Sharks continued their unbeaten promotion push with a 45-11 crushing of Camphill – and it was a performance against a physical side which proved they may have what it takes to be champions.

Motorsport: Branney brought back for home tie

NEWCASTLE round off their home campaign tomorrow by giving former rider Craig Branney the chance to race against Redcar for the third time in four nights.

Thunder’s big youth policy is paying off

THE season may be over, but the work is still continuing for Gateshead Thunder coach Dave Woods who is keeping busy with the fledgling Under-18s side.

Thunder out to spoil the Celtic party

GATESHEAD Thunder are out to spoil the party tomorrow as Celtic Crusaders come to the Thunderdome looking to clinch the National Two trophy, writes RICHARD NEALE.

Kids are full of Energy

  • EDF

TENS of thousands of children – including hundreds from the North East – have been introduced to rugby in the first season of the new EDF Energy National Schools’ Rugby Programme.

Woods aiming to end year on a high

DAVE Woods is determined to keep the pressure off his players as he bids to end his first season in charge of Gateshead Thunder on a high – despite a daunting schedule.

Thunder chief warns fans

GATESHEAD Thunder fans have two choices – support their team or lose it forever.

Delight for Falcons trio

FALCONS boss John Fletcher is delighted his talented trio of Jamie Noon, Jonny Wilkinson and Mathew Tait have been named in the England World Cup squad.

Thunder striving for play-offs

HOPES of reaching the National Two play-offs are still very much alive inside the Gateshead Thunder camp, with three games against teams around the bottom-half of the table still to come this season – starting today at London Skolars.

Disappointing Thunder falter

GATESHEAD Thunder slumped to a third consecutive defeat as visitors Workington Town earned a narrow four-point victory despite playing for more than an hour with 12 men.

1 Prior to Roger Federer’s four successive titles, who was the last player to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon?

2 From which club did Arsenal sign Thierry Henry?

Fairytale may not be enough

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield fears his fairytale return to Test-match rugby league may not be enough to help him cement a place on the international scene.

Thunder boss in plea for support

Dave Woods has admitted he is disappointed North-East rugby fans aren't getting behind his developing Gateshead Thunder side - and hopes to see more turn out for a rare Saturday game at the Thunderdome.

Thunder crushed despite early score

Gateshead gave Barrow a fright but were beaten at Craven Park.

Angry Thunder coach savages his players

An angry Dave Woods has put his Gateshead Thunder side to the sword after a defeat at London Skolars in which they were "just poor," writes RICHARD NEALE.

Botham's efforts are recognised in List

Ian Botham has received a knighthood in the Queen's birthday honours in recognition of his charity fundraising as much as his services to cricket.

Whelan faces FSA probe over sell-off

Wigan chairman David Whelan could face a probe by the Financial Services Authority after he sold his 29% stake in JJB Sports on Friday.

Thunder can't see off the Skolars

Gateshead Thunder failed to complete a hat-trick of consecutive wins over the bottom three sides in Co-op National League Two when they lost by eight points at home to London Skolars yesterday.

Falcons fly-half looking to learn

Steve Jones knows he has a fight on his hands after rejoining Newcastle Falcons, but thinks being surrounded by so many top-quality backs will only improve his game.

Thunder coach is staying realistic

With two wins on the bounce and another side in the bottom three to play this weekend, things are looking up for Dave Woods and his Gateshead Thunder side.

Backs inspire Thunder victory

Backs Kevin Till and Mark Christensen, both scored two tries as Gateshead Thunder won their bottom four Co-op National League Two clash against Keighley Cougars by 20 points at the Thunderdome yesterday.

Sport Shorts

Recuitment by degrees

Catalans Dragons 66, Salford 6

Catalans Dragons recorded their biggest ever win to move further clear of the bottom of the engage Super League with a 66-6 victory over Salford City Reds in Perpignan.

Warrington 4, Harlequins 17

Harlequins strengthened their engage Super League play-off hopes with a hard-fought win over an out-of-sorts Warrington side at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Thunder building for the future

Gateshead Thunder face another huge test when Featherstone Rovers come to the International Stadium, boasting former Super League players in their ranks.

Carney's cracking the code

New Ireland recruit Brian Carney admits he will happily play in whatever position he is selected as he anticipates his first rugby union international tour.

School's off for a day

Oakleigh Gardens School in Cleadon, South Tyneside, will be closed today for electrical work.

Ground-breaking takeover boosts Leeds

Leeds are hoping to graduate with Guinness Premiership honours after being taken under the wing of Leeds Metropolitan University.

Thunder tear into training efforts

Gateshead Thunder may have been without a game for the last two weeks, but there has been no let-up in intensity in the camp as the side looked to reverse the slide which has seen them lose two games on the bounce - with the players training so hard assistant manager Chris Hood has been forced to order a new kit.

North back on Trophy trail

Northumberland captain Phil Nicholson expects a tough game against Cheshire at Warrington tomorrow in the second of four MCCA Trophy group games, (writes JEFF BOWRON)

Falcons snap up star from Borders

Newcastle Falcons have signed Steve Jones from Border Reivers on a two-year deal.

Treble shooters

Newcastle Eagles last night became only the third team in British basketball history to win three successive play-off championships.

Soaring into play-off finals

The Springfield Honda Newcastle Eagles are still on course to end the season with a trophy after a hard-fought play-off semi-final win yesterday over the Sheffield Sharks.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer