Alastair Woods secured a hat-trick of wins as he was crowned Newcastle Open champion for the third time.

The Open attracted 73 players and was held at the Gateshead Masonic Hall – a new venue – with the freeroll next door at the Gateshead Bowling Green Club on Friday night.

The event was attended by people from across England, Scotland and Ireland.

Alastair beat Radu Ciortan in the 11-point final, while Richard Carter won the final of the consolation event, winning the Lindisfarne trophy, beating Connor Dickinson.  Richard also won the freeroll event – with the semi-finals and final held on the Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Kev Peters was victorious over Graeme Turner in the last chance event, taking home the Hadrian trophy.

Tournament director Keith Gill said: “We hope everyone had a great weekend of backgammon and enjoyed playing at the new venue, which will be the new home of the Newcastle Open.

“We were delighted to see so many people at our event and on behalf of the North East Backgammon Association, I’d like to thank them for supporting the Open.  We’d also like to thank the staff at the Masonic Hall who looked after us all so well.”

On the Sunday of the Open, NEBA chairman and member of the UKBGF board Martin Barkwill gave a short interview on the Sarah Jane Mee programme on Radio 5 Live as part of a feature on niche games (sharing time on the programme with someone from the World Conker Championships!).

The Saturday night also gave some players the chance to watch the Scotland v Ireland match at the Rugby World Cup at the venue.

NEBA will be sending out an email asking for feedback on the event so that we can make improvements for next year’s event.

Alastair (left) receiving his trophy from TD Keith Gill.