Longhirst youngsters' blow

Longhirst Hall's sense of achivement in seeing their junior section increase from 38 to 80 in two years has been tempered by the disappointment of seeing the youngsters turned down for a place in the North Northumberland Junior League for 2008.

Longhirst Hall's sense of achivement in seeing their junior section increase from 38 to 80 in two years has been tempered by the disappointment of seeing the youngsters turned down for a place in the North Northumberland Junior League for 2008.

At a league meeting attended by every club, the vote went against changing a rule that allows junior entry only to clubs who have senior teams in the league and Longhirst are not in the league.

Their golf manager and junior liaison officer, Graham Chambers, said: "My major concern is that our main players might have to find competitive golf elsewhere not so close to us.

"This will have a serious knock-on effect for our junior section's future."

Two of Longhirst's most promising juniors, 15-year-old twins Adam and Mark Sanderson, from Choppington, have taken out a second golf club membership at Bedlingtonshire, along with their father, Gordon.

They are good enough to have played in a Bedlington High School fourball that won a county schools tournament at Arcot Hall.

Gordon, a 47-year-old parts supervisor at Mercedes Benz in Team Valley, puts so much into golf he has joined Longhirst man Chambers in taking a PGA course enabling them to coach youngsters.

"I'm more disappointed for Graham and Longhirst than anything else," he said.

"They've worked very hard at bringing all their youngsters through in the sport and they need to find competitive golf for them now.

"Graham perfectly understood when I told him we were joining Bedlingtonshire as well. Their juniors play in the Northumbria Junior League." The North Northumberland League secretary, Malcolm Lynch, from the Magdalene Fields club, said: "The Brett Fuels Junior League is operated under the control of The North Northumberland League with a constitution that allows only North Northumberland League clubs to have a team in the junior league.

"At the spring meeting of the junior league this year, it was the feeling of all teams that the constitution should not be changed.

"Therefore any team wishing to join the junior league must have a team accepted into the North Northumberland Golf League.

"At present, the clubs in the league are Magdalene Fields, Goswick, Wooler, Belford, Bamburgh Castle, Seahouses, Dunstanburgh, Alnwick, Alnmouth, Alnmouth Village, Warkworth, Percy Wood, Linden Hall, Burgham Park and Rothbury."

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