PUB SPORT: The traditional sport of 5s and 3s in Barnard Castle
PUB SPORT: The traditional sport of 5s and 3s in Barnard Castle

BRITAIN may have sizzled in a record-breaking heatwave last week but already thoughts are turning to traditional winter pub sports.
Teesdale 5s and 3s dominoes league is hoping to bounce back from the Covid crisis this autumn and winter and the organisers want to see more teams sign up.
The annual meeting takes place on Tuesday, August 16, at Barnard Castle Cricket Club at 8pm, when captains are invited to enter their teams.
Last year there were ten teams in the B Division and 16 in the A Division. Just a few years ago both leagues had 16 teams. Nick Peckett, committee member and Royal Oak player, said the interruption caused by the Covid years had led to the decline.
Mr Peckett said: “The aim is to bring it back up to 16 teams – when we get down to 10, there are a lot of byes and then it becomes disjointed. There has been some pub closures but teams often move around so a closure doesn’t mean the end.”
Some of the cups show the league’s heritage with references dating to 1967 when the Oddfellows Arms, in Bridgegate, won the league. Other long-gone pubs listed as winners include the Beaconsfield, in Barnard Castle, and the Royal Star, in Startforth.
Unlike Darlington’s league, women are allowed to play in the Teesdale competition.
“It’s an odd rule in this day and age – some of our teams are all women,” said Mr Peckett. Last year’s winners were Middleton Club, which claimed both division titles.