26th December 2015 - Report

The final stages of this year’s EIBA Premier Three’s competition were held at Erewash, the Premier Three’s format is spectator friendly quick fire as each game is a three bowl three end best of three set format. After battling his way through qualification in September at Lincoln South Shield’s star David Bolt carried the regions hopes, sadly in the quarter finals Bolt’s run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Malvern Hills Mark Atkins. The final saw Atkin’s face his own son Ryan and it was the latter who took the Premier Three’s title 2-1.
The Durham County selectors have named the Liberty Trophy team to face Cumbria, there are several changes to the team that were knocked out by Lincolnshire last season.  The Shield’s trio of Kevin Donkin, Neal Ridley and Billy Ferry plus Hartlepool’s John Wells have to settle for a place on the bench while there is a county debut for Shield’s Dan Targar, Shaun McIntosh and Stanley’s M.Barkass, Hartlepool’s former England internationalist Paul Hartley takes the skips berth vacated by Stanley’s John Thurlbeck. The full team is as follows -:
J.Forcer (H), M.Barkass (St), I.Jackson (H), GR.Smith (SS), P.Dixon (SS), M.Peach (SS), G.Farquhar (SS), P.Smithson (SS), D.Targar (SS), I.Riches (SS), S.McIntosh (SS), D.Bolt (SS), B.Arkley (St), C.Boston (H), G.Skipp (H), P.Mosley (H), M.Ray (H), C.Higgins (H), M.Squirrel (H), P.Hartley (H), N.Cummings (Da), B.Hopkins (Da), M.Jones (Da), A.Kirtland (Da)
Reserves – K.Donkin(SS), N.Ridley (SS), W.Ferry (SS), M.Higgins (St), A.Portaway (H), J.Wells (H)
With the Carlisle venue still recovering from the recent floods a decision on the venue and date has yet to be made.

Sunderland return to Inter County action on Sunday January 3 as they entertain defending champion’s Darlington, the following side has been selected.
At Houghton - P.Bulmer,F.Froud,J.Jones, P.Smithson, P.Thomson,E.Downs,M.Davis,P.Thomson
R.Usher,I.Fairweather, P.Dixon, G.Farquhar
At Darlington - G.Brown,M.Carr,R.Robinson, W.Ferry, P.Collins,A.Wood,TW.Todd,S.Angus

There will be a crunch game in the Seniors Inter Club Group 3 on Tuesday January 5 as Sunderland A entertain Houghton A, the reverse fixture saw Sunderland run out 4-1 winners but with only a single point separating the four teams vying for the second play-off spot in the group the losers hopes would almost certainly be ended.
Sunderland A Team - P.Bulmer, B.Walsh, M.Davis, W.Ferry, P.Collins, W.Hearne, F.Knubley, J.Jones, A.Baker, R.Robson, R.Robinson, R.Graham. Reserves – M.Carr, R.Rollason

Houghton A Team – T.Winship, J.Godfrey, J.Swinney, F.Johnson, J.Sutherland, P.Noble, F.Fletcher, D.Wright, J.Doyle, J.Thuburn, I.Whorlton, P.Harding

In Group 2 The Sunderland B team face a crunch game on Wednesday January 6 away at second placed Hartlepool A, with the hosts six points ahead of the Sunderland outfit anything but a win could terminally damage as play-off hopes, the following Sunderland team has been selected
A.Grimes, D.Gowland, F.Froud, R.Jobling, G.Brown, A.Wood, W.Conway, W.Roberts, P.Thomson, E.Downs, P.Brickle, TW.Todd, Reserve – J.Maxfield

In Group 4 Houghton B will be looking to replicate their win over Ferryhill when the two teams meet in the return fixture at Houghton on Thursday January 7, the following Houghton will take to the green
S.Barnes, W.Longley, W.White, F.Kell, P.Hicks, A.Gregory, R.Johnson, T.Baister, K.Waterson, P.Taylor, J.Hibbert, R.Thorpe.

The past few weeks have been hectic at Houghton as the various club competitions have all commenced, in the singles defending champion Peter Thomson held his nerve to defeat Brian Henderson (snr) 21-20 to set up a semi-final against Ray Robinson who defeated old school chum Freddie Fletcher, the other semi-final will see Jeff Wilson face Billy Holmes after wins over Peter Brickle and Michael Wright respectively. Billy Roberts & Frankie Froud remain on course to retain their pairs title after a quarter final win over Barney Walsh and Vic Hendry.

This seasons National Competitions will take a break until the New Year but there is still plenty of local interest harbouring hopes of qualifying for the National Championships in April.

Singles Area Quarter Finals - B.Arkley (St) v N.Ridley (SS), D.Bolt (SS) v M.Higgins (St), D.Targar (SS) v M.Barkass (St), I.McIntosh (SS) v P.Smithson (SS)

Pairs Area Quarter Finals - P.Duffy (WD) v P.Thomson (Ho), GR.Smith (SS) v M.Laydon (St), P.Dixon (SS) v C.Knott (WD), D.Bolt (SS) v D.Targar (SS)

Triples Area Quarter Finals - Stanley’s Michael Laydon moved into the area semi-finals after a cracking 21-19 win over South Shield’s Ian Riches, in the semi Laydon will play either West Denton’s Clive Knott or Stanley’s Brett Arkley. P.Duffy (WD) v D.Bolt (SS), G.Robson (St) 17-15 S.Hubbard (SS)

Fours Area Semi-Finals - Ian Riches (Shields) booked a place in the regional play off’s with a 23-11 win over Stanley’s Mark Higgins. D.Bolt (SS) v C.Yeomans (Pa) or C.Knott (WD)

In the Under 25 singles the talented Shields youngster James Sneller had a cracking 2-1 set win over new England internationalist The Parks Josh Minto to book a place in the final stages at White Oak in February.

Over 60’s Singles Area Semi Finals - A.Lawton (SS) v R.Richardson (Ga), E.Dent (SS) v D.Craig (St)
Over 60 Pairs Area Semi-Finals - I.Brown (Pa) v B.Harris (St), B.Poulter (Ga) v A.Stewart (PV)
Over 50 Triples Area Final - D.Craig (St) v B.Arkley (St)
In the Over 60’s Fours Dave Morgan(Shields) secured a place in the area final with a 20-13 win over Stanley’s Brian Harris, Morgan will now face The Park’s Michael London in the area final.

Mixed Pairs Area Final – I.McIntosh (SS) v H.Blacklock (WD)
Mixed Fours Area Final – P.Mason (Pa) v I.Riches (SS)
In the last sixteen of the Under 25 Double Fours South Shields were beaten 45-38 by Rugby.

19th December 2015 - Report

Houghton’s Inter County squad backed up their opening win over Ferryhill with an equally impressive 11-1 win over Spennymoor.  At Houghton the visitors were never in it as all three home rinks eased to victories, R.Johnson, John Doyle, Richard Thorpe and Freddie Fletcher eased to a 29-6 win over P.Morris while Mal Baker, Sam Patterson, David Wright and Brian Henderson (snr) rattled up a 36-16 win over H.Hall. The remaining rink of L.Williams, M.Thompson, Tom Patterson and Jack Scullion ground out a 24-11 win over J.Williams, those combined scores saw the home squad finish 45 shots in credit. At a cold Spennymoor the only Houghton loss came from Ian Whorlton’s quartet of Karl Armstrong, Matty Henderson and Jimmy McAdoo who went down 20-10 to C.Bowdon while Keith Waterson, Fred Sanderson, Trevor Joicey and Billy Davis recorded a cracking 27-13 win over D.Gibson. The remaining rink of Joe Sutherland, David Armstrong, John Godfrey and Alan J Dunn collected 10 shots over the final six ends to defeat P.Gibson 24-21 to leave the away squad 7 shots up which sealed a 52 shot win overall. After their first two games Houghton have amassed 23 out of 24 points and will face Shildon next in the New Year.

Latest Division 2 Table – Houghton 23, The Parks 11½, Durham 11, Spennymoor 2, Shildon ½, Ferryhill 0

Latest Inter Club Seniors Tables
Area 1 – Aycliffe 19, Spennymoor 12½, Shildon 12½, Darlington A 12, Durham A 4
Area 2 – Stanley 18½, Hartlepool A 16, Darlington B 12½, Sunderland B 10½, Park View 2½
Area 3 – South Shields 22, Sunderland A 10, Gateshead A 10, Houghton A 9, Parks B 9
Area 4 – Hartlepool B 22½, Parks A 21, Durham B 16, Gateshead B 10, Houghton B 9½, Ferryhill 6

Sunderland will return to Inter County action on January 3 with a tough game against current holders Darlington, squad rotation has seen six changes to the side that defeated Gateshead.
At Houghton – P.Bulmer, F.Froud, J.Jones, P.Smithson, R.Usher, I.Fairweather, P.Dixon, G.Farquhar, P.Thomson, E.Downs, M.Davis, P.Thomson
At Darlington - G.Brown, A.Wood, TW.Todd, S.Angus, M.Wright, A.Grimes, P.Brickle, M.Higgins, P.Collins, M.Carr, R.Robinson, W.Ferry

Houghton Ladies run in this seasons Mason Double fours has come to an end after they suffered a 46-26 defeat at the hands of West Denton, the winners will face Cumbria in the last thirty two.

In the Houghton club pairs Michael Wright & Peter Thomson (jnr) defeated Jimmy Swinney & Foster Johnson to set up a quarter final against Steve Wilson & Ray Robinson with Billy Piggott waiting for the winners in the semi-final, the other semi will see Billy Roberts & Frankie Froud face C.Brown & Davie Armstrong. The singles quarter final line up will see Ray Robinson v Tony Grimes, Brian Henderson (snr) v Peter Thomson (jnr), Jeff Wilson v Peter Brickle, Michael Wright v Billy Holmes.

All the leagues at Houghton have reached the halfway mark, all the latest standings are as follows -:

Monday 1030am Fours – Holland 0, Wells 18, Carter 19, Storey 11, Dinsdale 9, Thompson 8, Morris 10, Sim 10, Duell 16, Newton 6, Scullion 14, Smith 11
Monday Ladies Pairs – Reay 12, Todd 9, Mitchinson 8, Maddison 4, Wilson 16, Thompson 8, Watt 10, Glover 14, Johnson 22, Middleton 17, Robson 4, Coulson 8
Tuesday 1030 Fours – Walker 5, Barnes 13, Graham 9, Matthews 14, Moore 4, Kerry 13, Thuburn 18, Joicey 12, Sowerby 12, Godfrey 16, Barkes 12, Thompson 4
Tuesday Ladies 230 Fours – Moore 8, Stewart 6, Middleton 16, Johnson 20, Smith 16, Coulson 20, White 0, Prudhoe 8, Charlton 12, Fenwick 10, Banks 6, Lowes 10
Wednesday 1030 Triples – Matthews 9, Scullion 17, Joicey 7, Lanagan 10, Barkes 12, Thompson 2, Ward 8, Ramshaw 14, Piggot 17, Brown 18, Fletcher 10, Dinsdale 8
Wednesday 630 Fours – Burt 14, Hutchinson 16, Morgan 10, Sim 10, Bowerbank 4, Harding 16, Usher 18, Classon 6, Robinson 0, Carr 14, Collins 12, Grimes 10
Thursday 1030 Fours – Thompson 4, Scullion 16, Graham 10, Carter 15, McAdam 6, Bew 20, Smith 10, Walker 11, Hartis 8, Cooper 16, Rothwell 4, Hills 12
Thursday 230 Open Pairs – Chalmers 4, Thompsn 4, Booth 0, Waites 14, Wells 12, Brown 20, Laidler 14, Pythian 18, Houghton 16, Moore 6, Piggott 10, Langley 14
Thursday 630 Fours – Johnson 14, Grimes 7, Milner 12, McAdoo 16, Armstrong 0, Sykes 17, Hind 7, Piggott 12, Hicks 12, Joicey 12, Wilson 16, Summers 7
Friday 1030 Triples – Todd 2, Baker 17, Jobling 18, Walsh 7, Piggott 16, Holmes 16, Usher 9, Garrett 8, Waterson 8, Hayley 8, Kerry 15, Todd 8
Friday 230 Triples – Bainbridge 6, Glover 13, Middleton 16, Robson 18, Johnson 15, Nicholson 8, Todd 8Banks 8, White 10, Lowes 10, Faith 16
Friday 630 Fours – Collins 16, Longley 6, Hills 8, Storey 14, Nicholson 10, Smillie 6, Patterson 14, Johnson 16, Hartis 8, Temple 4, McAdoo 16, Buckingham 14
Saturday 1000 Triples – Jopling 20, Usher 12, Longley 2, Walsh 10, Borthwick 14, Noble 9, Harding 16, Todd 0, Holmes 6, Burt 16, Henderson 11
Sunday 10am – Hutchinson 14, Williams 11, Thurburn 16, Sim 12, Walsh 12, Sykes 23, Robson 8, Milner 14, Bew 2

In the latest rounds of the national pairs South Shield’s Gary Smith enjoyed a return to Stanley with a 23-15 win over James Mckenna which sets up a home tie against Stanley’s Michael Laydon who won the all Stanley affair against Mark Higgins 29-16. Phil Dixon & Gary Farquhar defeated Stanley’s Gary Robson 21-17 and will now entertain West Denton’s Clive Knott. In the fours the all Shield’s affair between Gary Smith and David Bolt saw the latter come out on top 21-14.

In the Denny Cup South Shield’s missed a golden opportunity to advance to the last sixteen, with opponents Cumbria currently suffering flood damage it meant all four rinks were played at Shields however the current holders Cumbria showed their fighting spirt to inflict a 82-64 defeat onto Shield’s. In the last sixteen Cumbria will face Hartlepool who defeated Scarborough by 36 shots.

No decision has been made yet on the venue for Durham’s Liberty Trophy clash with Cumbria, the tie is scheduled for January 16 at Cumbria however the Carlisle venue was under three feet of water after Storm Desmond and this is the third time it has suffered flooding in the last ten years. There was good news for the County Under 25 Double fours squad as they battled to a 35-31 win over Yorkshire, in the semi-final Durham will face Suffolk on January 24.

Following the demise of the PlanetBowls empire the EIBA picked up the baton and renamed it the Open Singles Circuit, former Sunderland star Gary Smith is currently second in the rankings after two impressive tournament successes. In October Smith lifted the Peterbrough Open Singles title and the £800 first prize and then earlier this month added the £1,000 Hornsea title, locally there are plans for a qualifying event at South Shields and Hartlepool in March plus York in April, the top 48 ranked players at the end of the season automatically qualify for the Grand Final due to be held at Northampton in 2016.

12th December 2015 - Report

It has been a tough week for both Houghton’s Senior squads as both were on the end of 5-0 defeats. The Houghton A team were looking to halt leaders South Shields progress at Houghton however the visitors ran out winners by 15 shots with all three Houghton rinks suffering defeats. Joe Sutherland, Fred Sanderson, Jimmy Swinney and Foster Johnson dropped a last end double to narrowly go down 12-11 against Alan Harrison while John Doyle, John Thuburn, Freddie Fletcher and Peter Harding dropped a last end treble to finish 17-13 down against Alan Lawton. The remaining rink of Tom Winship, David Simpson, Trevor Joicey and Ian Whorlton never recovered from a slow start and eventually went down 18-8 to Alan Cummings. The win opens up a massive 12 point lead in Group three for Shield’s.

In Group four the Houghton B team also faced a group leader as they made the trip to play Hartlepool B, sadly they were well beaten by 38 shots. P.Hicks, P.Taylor, T.Baister and B.Johnson went down 20-9, J.Matthews, Arthur Gregory, Richard Thorpe and Joe Hibbert lost 20-6, the third rink of Stan Barnes, Billy Longley, W.White and Frank Kell lost 20-7. Both Houghton squads return to action in the New Year.

Houghton return to Inter County action tomorrow as they entertain Spennymoor, after their opening 12-0 whitewash of Ferryhill they will be looking to repeat that result against a Spennymoor side that loss by 69 shots to Durham. The following team has been selected
At Houghton – L.Williams, M.Thompson, T.Patterson, J.Scullion, J.Doyle, R.Johnson, R.Thorpe, F.Fletcher, M.Baker, S.Patterson, D.Wright, B.Henderson (snr)
At Spennymoor – J.Sutherland, D.Armstrong, J.Godfrey, AJ.Dunn, K.Armstrong, M.Henderson, J.McAdoo, I.Whorlton, K.Waterson, F.Sanderson, T.Joicey, W.Davis

Following last weekend’s international trial at Northampton there was good news for South Shields David Bolt as he has retained his place in the England team for the Home International series at Llanelli in March, Bolt is the only northern based player in the squad and is second in Torquay’s Sam Tolchard’s rink.

The Denny Cup 4th round was due to take place this weekend with South Shield’s due to face holders Cumbria however the Carlisle club has again suffered comprehensive flood damage, the other local interest will see Hartlepool face Scarborough with the winners of both ties facing each other in the next round. In the Denny Plate Durham face Copeland on a neutral green in Penrith.

The various national competitions are progressing along, in the singles Neal Ridley (Shields) had a cracking 21-19 win at West Denton over David Morrison and will face a trip to either Stanley or The Parks, an all Shields affair saw David Bolt defeat Phil Dixon 21-15 while Phil Smithson (Shields) had a good 21-16 win at The Parks against Michael Simmonette, Smithson will now face club-mate Ian McIntosh. In the pairs Gary Smith (Shields) returned to Stanley to inflict a 23-15 defeat on James McKenna and will next face either Mark Higgin’s or Michael Laydon (both Stanley). In the Area final play off of the Champion of Champions Phil Dixon was beaten 21-10 by J.Baird (Eden).

Durham County ladies were well beaten in the Atherley Trophy 155-86 by Yorkshire while the men’s county Senior’s narrowly lost by 2 shots in their Over 60’s Liberty Trophy tie against Lincolnshire. The County Under 25’s squad are in action tomorrow as they face Yorkshire in the quarter finals of the National double fours.

Houghton Club Competition Results
Singles – R.Robinson bt E.McKeown, F.Froud bt J.Coundon, A.Griems bt S.Wilson, P.Thomson (snr W/O P.Thomson, B.Henderson (snr) bt K.Armstrong, W.Laidler bt S.Patterson, P.Thomson (jnr) bt A.Maidment, F.Fletcher bt D.Todner
Pairs – F.Johnson bt S.Patterson, R.Robinson bt J.Wilson, D.Sim bt W.Holmes, S.Tindale bt J.McAdoo
Over 60’s Singles F.Feltcher bt E.McKeown, R.Robinson bt P.Thomson (snr), J.Wilson bt T.Patterson, M.Lewis bt P.Noble, W.Laidler bt TW.Todd
Over 60’s Pairs – S.Kempster bt K.Taylor, R.Jobling bt S.Barnes, W.Piggott bt K.Waterson, F.Fletcher bt V.Sowerby, D.Wright bt R.Borthwick
Over 60’s Triples – AJ.Dunn bt F.Froud

Ladies Singles – J.Watt bt M.Metcalf, B.Robson bt E.Barkes, E.Faith bt E.Barren, S.Moody bt N.Stephenson

5th December 2015 - Report

Sunderland bounced back from the 12-0 opening game mauling at the hands of Hartlepool to defeat Gateshead 8-4 in their latest Inter Club fixture. At Houghton the home squad went down by 8 shots with the only bright spot coming from the rink of Peter Thomson (snr), Ernie Downs, Michael Davis and Peter Thomson who ran out 22-15 winners over John Atkinson. The other two home rinks were beaten, Peter Bulmer, George Simpson, Ray Robinson and John Jones trailed 18-11 with only four ends to play and despite a 9-3 return Jones went down 21-20 at the hands of George Hackett. The remaining quartet of Bobby Usher, Michael Lowis, Billy Roberts and Richie Jobling never got started and were well beaten 27-13 by Mark Smith. There was better news at Gateshead as all three rinks won, George Brown, Tony Wood, Terry Todd and Stevie Angus ground out a 19-15 win over M.Peet while Michael Wright, Tony Grimes, Peter Brickle and Mark Higgins ran out 17-10 winners over Michael Laydon. The third rink of Pat Collins, Michael Carr, Billy Conway and Richie Mckie produced the match winning result romping to a 33-2 win over Billy Watson to leave the away squad 42 shots in credit and seal a 124-90 win. Sunderland’s next game is against holders Darlington on January 3.

Latest Table
Division 1 - Hartlepool 12, Gateshead 12, Sunderland 8, Great Aycliffe 4, Darlington 0, South Shields 0
Division 2 – Houghton 12, The Parks 11½, Durham 11, Spennymoor 1, Shildon ½, Ferryhill 0 

Houghton’s hopes were dashed in the Over 60’s Double Fours as they lost a dramatic tie against Stanley 55-44, at Houghton Mal Baker, Joe Sutherland, Frankie Froud and Ian Whorlton put in the cracking performance to record a 34-14 win however the away quartet of John Doyle, R.Johnson, Freddie Fletcher and Peter Harding wilted on the lightening quick Stanley carpet as they went down 41-10 to Dave Webb, Stanley face Cumbria in the next round.

The latest round of Senior Inter club fixtures take place this week, in group three Houghton A have an opportunity to leapfrog Sunderland A as they host current leaders South Shields on Thursday (1230), the following team has been selected - T.Winship, D.Simpson, T.Joicey, I.Whorlton, J.Doyle, J.Thuburn, F.Fletcher, P.Harding, J.Sutherland, F.Sanderson, J.Swinney, F.Johnson
In group four the Houghton B team have a tough trip to leaders Hartlepool B to content with, the following team has been selected for Wednesday’s game (1030) - S.Barnes, W.Longley, W.White, F.Kell, P.Hicks, P.Taylor, T.Baister, R.Johnson, L.Williams, J.Mathews, R.Thorpe, J.Hibbert

Latest Tables
Group 1 – Great Aycliffe 14, Shildon 12½, Spennymoor 12½, Darlington 9, Durham A 2
Group 2 – Stanley 15, Hartlepool A 14½, Sunderland B 10½, Darlington B 8½, Park View 1½
Group 3 – South Shields 17, Sunderland 10, Houghton A 9, Parks B 8, Gateshead A 6
Group 4 – Hartlepool B 17½, Parks A 17, Durham B 16, Houghton B 9½, Gateshead 9, Ferryhill 6 

Houghton Ladies bring 2015 to an end with a Inter Club game against South Shields on Wednesday, the following team has been selected.
At Houghton - J.Watt, S.Boll, S.Forster, B.Johnson, J.Classen, D.Wilson, B.Robson, J.Rogerson, E.Prudhoe, V.Thompson, A.Todd, E.Faith
At Shields - M.Hall, S.Moody, A.Vout, M.Middleton, M.Metcalf, E.Barren, E.Barkes, J.Baker, N.Reay, M.Glover, M.Angus, J.Smith

Sunderland’s Stevie Angus helped steer England to a hard fought 18-14 points win over Scotland in the first Disability Test match played between the two countries, Angus recorded wins in two of his four games. This event, which was for players with a physical disability will now become an annual fixture in the International calendar with the Countries competing again in Scotland next year.

The latest round of the Seniors Premier League took place this week at Aycliffe, the top two teams consolidated their positions as both Stanley and Darlington "B" gaining victories. Stanley powered to a 27-7 win over Gateshead and go top albeit on shots difference while Darlington B defeated the hosts Aycliffe 22-11. The fight for third place between Ferryhill and Darlington "A" saw the latter come from behind to sneak home 18-17. Despite putting in a spirited performance the Houghton triple of Joe Sutherland, Freddie Fletcher and Foster Johnson were relegated to bottom spot after a 17-9 loss to Durham.

Latest Table – Stanley 8 (+68), Darlington B 8 (+62), Darlington A 6 (-5), Ferryhill 3 (-23), Aycliffe 2 (-14), Durham 2 (-15), Gateshead 2 (-32), Houghton 1 (-41)

Darlington youngster Noah Cummings has been selected to play for England in the Under 25’s Home International series due to be held at Bristol City & County IBC, the series takes place in February.
The Durham County selectors have named the same Under 25 Double fours that defeated Lincolnshire in the previous round, Houghton youngster Bryan Henderson keeps his place at second. The county young guns take on Yorkshire on December 13 with the home leg at Darlington and the away leg at Harrogate.

On Wednesday the Durham County senior’s squad face Lincolnshire at York in the first round of the Over 60 Inter County competition, there is a first senior’s call up for Shield’s Billy Ferry. In the Liberty Trophy Durham’s opposition has been confirmed as Cumbria thumped Northumberland by 98 shots, Durham will travel to Cumbria in the New Year. In the ladies equivalent competition the Atherley Trophy Durham ladies take on Yorkshire tomorrow.

In the latest round of national singles South Shield’s Neal Ridley defeated Gateshead’s Brian Orrell 21-17 to set up a trip to West Denton against David Morrison, Phil Smithson (Shields) moved into the next round without bowling a bowl and will now head to The Parks to face Michael Simmonette. In the Pairs Houghton’s Patrick & Peter Thomson recorded a cracking 26-15 home win over Stanley’s Brett Arkley & John Thurlbeck and will play either Ian Riches (Shields) or Peter Duffy (West Denton) in the next round. Still in the Pairs David Bolt (Shields) moved into the next round after a 23-14 win at The Parks over Ian Brown. Bolt is still running in the triples after a 21-14 win over club mate Dave Patterson and will head to West Denton to face Peter Duffy in the quarter finals, this season the triples competitors have been left scratching their heads as the top half of the draw winning quarter finalist’s progress to the regional finals day however only the winner from the bottom half of the draw semi final will join them; the fours draw follows the same format.

The much anticipated Denny Cup tie between South Shields and Stanley fizzled out as Shield’s ran out comfortable winners 95-59, in the next round Shield’s face the current holders Cumbria who defeated Blackpool by 23 shots. In the Denny Plate Durham sprung a surprise 2 shot win over The Parks to set up a tie against Copeland. In the Egham Trophy South Shield’s defeated West Denton 76-65 and will face Hartlepool next.
There was some good news for the sport as the Commonwealth Games Federation confirmed that Lawn Bowls plus Para Lawn Bowls must be included within the Commonwealth Games until 2030, the Federation have named Lawn Bowls as one of 16 compulsory sports that must feature from 2022 to 2030 inclusive, the games are due to be held in the Gold Coast Australia in 2018 with Durban South Africa hosting the 2022 event.

28th November - Report

After their first round defeat in the Yetton Trophy the Houghton Ladies dropped into the Plate and last weekend they recorded a cracking 16 shot win over West Denton. Out of the four rinks Houghton had three winning squads but it was the late 19-4 return across the green that turned the tie in Houghton’s favour. At West Denton Maureen Hall, Audrey Vout, Mary Middleton and Norma Stephenson defeated A.Moore 18-14 while M.Metcalf, E.Barren, Jean baker and F.Phythian defeated H.Smith 21-13 which left the away squad 12 shots up. At Houghton Jenny Smith’s rink of E.Prudhoe, Ann Todd and Ellen Faith defeated Ann Lennie 23-13, the only defeat came on Betty Johnson’s rink of J.Watt, Margaret Eggleston and Susan Forster who went down 17-11 to N.Craig, despite that loss the home squad still finished 4 shots up. In the next round Houghton will face Cumbria who were surprisingly beaten 73-71 by Eden, the tie will be played on January 16.
In the Mason Trophy double fours Houghton Ladies produced another cracking result beating South Shield’s 39-38 and will next play either West Denton or The Parks before December 18.
There were shots galore and two tremendous comebacks as the latest round of Over 60’s Premier league fixtures were held at Houghton. The two triples without a win Houghton and Gateshead played each other with John Doyle, Terry Todd and Peter Harding flying the Houghton flag sadly they were on the end of a 25-8 defeat. Darlington "B" continued their unbeaten run with a comfortable 32-6 win over Ferryhill, the first of the comebacks involved Stanley’s Billy Bell, Derek Craig and Dave Webb, at one time the then leaders looked likely to lose their unbeaten record trailing 15-9 but they raised their game and rattled off 23 shots without reply to seal a 32-15 win over Durham. The second comeback involved Darlington "A" who for the second time in three games came from behind to take the points, facing Aycliffe the Darlington trio turned around a six shot deficit to run out 15-12 winners. After the third round of games Darlington B are the new leaders albeit on shots difference from Stanley, Aycliffe will be the hosts for week four with the Houghton trio of Joe Sutherland, Freddie Fletcher and Foster Johnson facing bottom of the table Durham on December 1st.

Latest Standings - Darlington "B" 6pts shots +51, Stanley 6 (+48), Darlington "A" 4 (-6), Ferryhill 3 (-22), Gt.Aycliffe 2 (-3), Gateshead 2 (-12), Houghton 1 (-33), Durham 0 (-23)

Sunderland return to Inter County action tomorrow against Gateshead, after their 12-0 mauling off Hartlepool the Sunderland squad will be looking for an improved performance.

At Houghton – P.Bulmer, G.Simpson, R.Robinson, J.Jones, P.Thomson, E.Downs, M.Davis, P.Thomson, R.Usher, M.Lowis, W.Roberts, R.Jobling
At Gateshead – P.Collins, M.Carr, W.Conway, R.Mckie, G.Brown, A.Wood, TW.Todd, S.Angus, M.Wright, A.Grimes, P.Brickle, M.Higgins

Houghton are back in Inter County action on December 13 against Spennymoor.
In the latest round of Inter Club Senior fixtures the Houghton A squad had a comfortable 18 shot win at Gateshead A, the match winning rink was Freddie Fletcher, John Godfrey, Jimmy Swinney and Foster Johnson as they eased to a 28-4 win over  J.Wolfenden, Houghton’s other winning rink saw Tommy Winship, David Simpson, Trevor Joicey and Ian Whorlton defeat Alan Birrell 15-8 with only John Doyle, Joe Sutherland, John Thuburn and Peter Harding going down 20-7 to I.Patterson. The 4-1 win moves Houghton into third in the group and they entertain leaders South Shields on December 10.
Latest Group Standings - South Shields 17, Sunderland A 10, Houghton A 9, Parks B 8, Gateshead 6

The Durham County Seniors recorded their second consecutive win in the Midland Seniors league as they defeated Lincolnshire by a single shot at New Earswick. Durham only had two winning rinks but it was the 23-9 win by Stanley’s Billy Bell that proved decisive, in the previous 121 shot win over Leicestershire the Bell quartet rattled up a 48-3 win, the county seniors take on Lincolnshire again this time in the Over 60’s Inter County knockout at York on December 9th. The County Under 25 squad held their nerve for a 39-38 win over Lincolnshire in the Double fours, in the next round an unchanged side will face Yorkshire on December 13 with the home leg at Hartlepool.

The Denny Cup returns today with what should be feisty affair as South Shields entertain Stanley, the winners will face either Blackpool or the defending champions Cumbria.

There has been plenty of action in this season’s national competitions, in the singles the expected classic between Shield’s Gary Smith and David Bolt saw the latter run out a 21-9 winner and will next face club mate Phil Dixon, West Denton’s David Morrison defeated Sunderland’s Richie Mckie 21-10 at Houghton while Shield’s Gary Farquhar had a good 21-3 win at Houghton over Pat Thomson. In the pairs Gary Smith (Shields) beat Chris Yeomans (Parks) 19-18 and will head to Stanley to face James McKenna next, Ian Riches (Shields) beat Park Views Brian Brown 23-8 and will face West Denton’s Peter Duffy who in turn defeated Shield’s Dave Morgan 19-11. There will be an all Stanley affair as Mark Higgins faces Michael Laydon after the latter defeated The Parks Johnathon Morgan 33-8, Houghton youngster Sam Patterson went down 35-13 at The Parks to Ian Brown whose reward is a home tie against Shield’s David Bolt. In the fours Bolt went on to beat Park View’s Brian Brown 38-3 and will now face club mate David Morgan. In the Senior Pairs Stanley’s Brian Harris defeated Shield’s David Morgan 20-3 to set up a clash with Eddie Henry.

In the Over 60’s Double fours Houghton’s opponents have been confirmed as Stanley following their 46-28 win over The Parks, the tie has to be played before December 18.

As the mid season break approached in the various leagues at Houghton all attention will tunr to the early round of the club competitions, the Over 60’s Pairs will open proceedings on Monday December 7 at 1030am with the men’s singles starting at 630pm on the same day.

Singles Ties – R.Robinson v E.McKeown, J.Coundon v F.Froud, A.Grimes v S.Wilson, Pat Thomson v P.Thomson (snr), K.Armstrong v B.Henderson (snr)
Over 60’s Pairs – K.Taylor v S.Kempster, R.Jobling v S.Barnes, K.Waterson v W.Piggott, V.Sowerby v F.Fletcher, R.Borthwick v D.Wright.

At the recent Sunderland & District annual general meeting the proposed changes to the Earl Cup and Swan Cup formats was defeated 20-9, Houghton Dairy Lane’s Vince Classen was confirmed as President with Washington’s Laurie Williams Senior Vice President and Usworth’s David Simpson Junior Vice President.

21st November - Report

Houghton’s Over 60’s Double Fours squad held their nerve to defeat Durham B by a single shot in the second round of the O60’s National Double Fours competition, at Durham John Doyle, R.Johnson, Freddie Fletcher and Peter Harding recorded a cracking 17-14 while at Houghton Foster Johnson’s (pictured right) quartet of Mal Baker, Richard Thorpe and Joe Sutherland held there nerve on the last end to see the game out despite going down 21-19. In the next round Houghton will play either Stanley or The Parks.
Despite a spirited performance Houghton were beaten by 48 shots in the Denny Cup by Stanley, at Houghton both home rinks put in decent performances. Mal Baker, Peter Thomson (snr), Richie Jobling and Peter Thomson (jnr) recorded a cracking 22-19 win over Dave Webb while Peter Harding’s rink of John Doyle, Tom Patterson and Freddie Fletcher were left to rue dropped counts of 5 and 6 to go down 23-16 to John Thurlbeck which left the home squad four shots down. At Stanley it was always going to be a big ask for both Houghton squads and so it proved, Michael Wright, Stevie Tindale, Jimmy McAdoo and Ian Whorlton dropped an opening end seven on the way to a 41-8 defeat to an inspired Brett Arkley. The other rink skipped by Alan J Dunn, Joe Sutherland, Karl Armstrong and Dan Todner got back to 14-12 before succumbing to a 23-12 defeat at the hands of Ian Peacock which left the away squad 44 shots adrift. The win for Stanley sets up a feisty tie in the next round against South Shields who will field several former Stanley players with a point to prove, the tie takes place on November 28.
Following last season’s relegation to the second division Houghton’s Inter County squad have made a cracking start to the season with a comfortable 12-0 win over Ferryhill. At Houghton Brian Henderson (snr) steered Mal Baker, Dave Wright and J.Biggerstaff to an impressive 33-6 win over Colin Larcombe. Peter Harding’s quartet of John Doyle, B.Johnson and Freddie Fletcher defeated D.Hardwick 30-8 while Jack Scullion narrowly got home 23-21 against W.Latimer which left the home squad 51 shots up. At Ferryhill all three Houghton rinks returned home successful, Ian Whorlton’s rink of Karl Armstrong, Matty Henderson and Jimmy McAdoo inflicted a 24-10 defeat on A.Weber while Alan J.Dunn defeated K.Wellans 22-14 and Tom Burt defeated R.Jefferson 24-15 to leave the away squad 29 shots up, the overall score was 156-74 to Houghton and there next game is against Spennymoor on December 13.
Other Results – The Parks 11½-½ Shildon, Durham 11-1 Spennymoor
Sunderland return to Inter County action next Sunday against Gateshead and will be looking to bounce back from their opening defeat against Hartlepool, the game has been brought forward to avoid a clash with the Shield’s classic, the following team has been selected –
At Houghton – P.Bulmer, G.Simpson, R.Robinson, J.Jones, R.Rollason, P.Thomson, M.Davis, P.Thomson, R.Usher, M.Lowis, W.Roberts, R.Jobling
At Gateshead – P.Collins, M.Carr, R.Mckie, W.Ferry, G.Brown, A.Wood, TW.Todd, S.Angus, M.Wright, A.Grimes, P.Brickle, M.Higgins

In the Seniors Inter club the Sunderland A squad managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as all three rinks dropped shots on their final ends to allow Gateshead A to snatch a last gasp 38-37win. The only Sunderland success came from Billy Ferry’s rink of Peter Bulmer, Barney Walsh and Michael Davis who defeated J.Wolfenden 16-12. Bobby Graham’s rink of Arthur Baker, Ronnie Robson and Ray Robinson went down 11-10 to I.Patterson while Pat Collins, Billy Hearne, Fred Knubley and John Jones went down 15-11 to R.Charlton. The 4-1 defeat keeps the Sunderland squad in second place but are now seven points adrift of leaders South Shields and are now not back in action until the New Year.
In the same group the Houghton A squad had a cracking 4-1 home win over The Parks B, the pick of the rinks was David Wright’s quartet of Jimmy Swinney, Joe Sutherland and Freddie Fletcher who defeated R.Harrison 25-3. Ian Whorlton beat J.Phillip 22-7 with the only slip up coming on Peter Harding’s rink who were beaten 12-9 by Billy Blyth, the 56-22 win lifts Houghton up-to fourth in the group. Houghton travel to Gateshead on Wednesday (1430) with the following team - J.Doyle, J.Sutherland, J.Thuburn, P.Harding, T.Winship, D.Simpson, T.Joicey, I.Whorlton, F.Fletcher, J.Godfrey, J.Swinney, F.Johnson
In Group 4 Houghton B entertain Gateshead B at Houghton on Thursday (1230) with the following team – S.Barnes, J.Eggleston, W.White, F.Kell, P.Hicks, A.Taylor, T.Baister, R.Johnson, K.Waterson, A.Glover, R.Thorpe, J.Hibbert
Latest Standings
Group 1 – Gt Aycliffe 14, Spennymoor 12½, Darlington A 9, Shildon 8½, Durham A 1
Group 2 – Stanley 15, Sunderland B 10½, Hartlepool A 9½, Darlington B 8½, Park View 1½
Group 3 – South Shields 17, Sunderland A 10, Parks B 8, Houghton A 5, Gateshead 5
Group 4 – Hartlepool B 17½, Parks A 17, Durham B 11, Houghton B 7½, Gateshead B 6, Ferryhill 6  

Houghton Ladies are in Yetton Plate action today as they entertain West Denton, the following team will take to the green, the winner will get a bye into the last eight.
At Houghton – J.Watt, M.Eggleton, S.Forster, B.Johnson, E.Prudhoe, A.Todd, E.Faith, JB.Smith
At West Denton – M.Hall, A.Vout, M.Middleton, N.Stephenson, M.Metrcalf, E.Barren, J.Baker, F.Phythian

On Wednesday the next round of the Mason Double fours takes place, locally Houghton ladies face South Shields, the following squad has been selected for a 1230 start.
At Houghton – J.Watt, M.Eggleston, JB.Smith, B.Johnson
At Shields – M.Hall, M.Metcalf, M.Middleton, N.Stephenson

In the National singles competition Stanley’s Mark Higgins had a cracking 21-19 win at Shields over Shaun McIntosh and will next meet club mate Lee Maughan, Stevie Cairn’s lost an all Shields affair 21-19 to Dan Targar. Higgins then defeated Ian McIntosh (Shields) 19-16 in the pairs. Peter Duffy (West Denton) defeated  Gary Smith (Shields) 23-13 although Smith didn’t play and fielded a sub. In the fours Dave Morgan (Shields) defeated Brett Arkley (Stanley) 20-6 and will most likely face David Bolt in the next round.

The first major World Bowls Tour event has been completed as England’s Greg Harlow defeated Wales Jason Greenslade 11-4, 6-8, 2-1 in the Scottish International Open played at Perth. The draw for the World Singles event at Potters has been made with Gary Smith drawn against David Gourlay in the first round. There was some good news for the event as the BBC have signed a three year deal to provide free to air coverage of the championships up-to 2018.

Bowls Durham held its Annual General Meeting this week, the 2016 County President will be Stockton’s Les Parnell – this will be Parnell’s third stint in the role and becomes the first one to have achieved that feat. The new Senior Vice President is Silksworth’s Michael Carr while former County President Houghton Dairy Lane’s Jeff Wilson is the new Junior Vice President. At the meeting it was confirmed that the Ladies County Secretary Gill Jones will be retiring after the 2016 season, worryingly for the Ladies was the fact that there were no nominations for Ladies President, Senior Vice or Junior Vice therefore at this moment those roles are left vacant for the 2016 season. Also at the meeting Roker Marine’s Richie Mckie was made a Honorary Life Member of Bowls Durham.

Bowls England have announced that Hartlepool’s former England International Dave Kilner has been elected as the Northern International Selector, Kilner will serve a four year term of office.

The Sunderland & District Bowling Association will hold its Annual General Meeting today at Houghton Dairy Lane starting at 2pm.

14th November - Report

It has been a disappointing week for both the Sunderland Senior’s squads as both suffered defeats in the latest round of league fixtures. In Group two the Sunderland B team were beaten 4-1 at group leaders Stanley, the only bright spot came from Tony Grimes, David Gowland, Frankie Froud and Richie Jobling who recovered from a 6-0 deficit to run out 15-11 winners. Terry Todd’s rink of Peter Thomson (snr), Ernie Downs and Peter Brickle were left rueing a slow start trailing 10-0 to finish 16-10 down. The remaining rink of George Brown, Bobby Usher, Billy Conway and Billy Roberts also endured a slow start trailing 19-1 which eventually finished 22-10, the overall score was 49-35 to Stanley, the B team’s next game isn’t until the first week in January away to Hartlepool.

The Sunderland A team suffered their first defeat of the season 4-1 to group leaders South Shields at Houghton. The only point came from Peter Bulmer, Bobby Rollason, Barney Walsh and Billy Ferry who defeated Alan Cummings 13-7. Pat Collins, Billy Hearne, Fred Knubley and John Jones fought back from a slow start to finish 17-15 down to A.Harrison while the remaining rink of Michael Carr, Mel Milner, Ray Robinson and Bobby Graham were beaten 20-12 by John Kelso. Overall it finished 44-40 to Shields who now extend their lead at the top to eight points. The A team are back in action on Wednesday in a rearranged game at Gateshead (230pm), the following team has been selected –
Gateshead v Sunderland A - A.Baker, R.Robson, R.Robinson, R.Graham, P.Collins, W.Hearne, F.Knubley, J.Jones, P.Bulmer, B.Walsh, M.Davis, W.Ferry

Latest Group Standings
Group 1 - Great Aycliffe 10, Spennymoor 8½, Darlington A 8, Shildon 7½, Durham A 1 
Group 2 - Stanley 15, Sunderland B 10½, Darlington B 8, Hartlepool A 5, Park View 1½   
Group 3 - South Shields 17, Sunderland A 9, Parks B 7, Gateshead A 1, Houghton A 1
Group 4 - Hartlepool B 12½, Parks A 12, Durham B 11, Houghton B 7½, Ferryhill 6, Gateshead B 1

It was a disappointing weekend for Houghton as they crashed out of the Yetton Trophy and then the Egham Trophy within the space of 24 hours. In the ladies Yetton competition Houghton were beaten 100-79 by South Shields, the two away rinks did well to only finish two shots in arrears with Mary Middleton steering Maureen Hall, Evelyn Barkes and Audrey Vout to a 21-18 win over P.Carlin, the other rink of M.Metcalf, E.Barren, J.Baker and F.Phythian went down 22-17 to J.Craig however things went astray at home. Betty Johnson’s quartet of J.Watt, Olwyn Charlton and Ellen Faith won a high scoring game 28-25 against J.Stidolph while it was a tough day for E.Prudhoe, I.Koch Klau, Margaret Eggleston and Jenny Smith as they went down 35-13 to D.Sproates, in the next round Shield’s will face Durham while Houghton drop into the Plate and will play either The Parks or West Denton. The following day Houghton were well beaten in the first round of the Egham 97-59 by West Denton with all four Houghton rinks going down. At Houghton J.Watt, Evelyn Barkes, Karl Armstrong and Terry Todd were beaten 21-15 by H.Blacklock while Mal Baker, Margaret Eggleston, Jenny Smith and Freddie Fletcher were beaten 30-10 by Peter Duffy which left the home squad 26 shots down. At West Denton Jimmy McAdoo’s rink of Maureen Hall, Sam Patterson and Mary Middleton went down 24-17 to Dave Morrison. The other rink of Joe Sutherland, J.Baker, F.Phythian and Stevie Tindale went down 22-17 to R.Brown to leave the away squad 12 shots in arrears. West Denton will now face South Shields who eased past Durham by 62 shots.

The next round of this season’s Denny Cup takes place today, following their cracking win over Durham in the first round Houghton will need to be at their best as they face a much changed Stanley outfit, the following Houghton team has been selected.
At Houghton – M.Baker, P.Thomson (snr), R.Jobling, P.Thomson, J.Doyle, T.Patterson, F.Fletcher, P.Harding
At Stanley – M.Wright, S.Tindale, J.McAdoo, I.Whorlton, J.Sutherland, K.Armstrong, D.Todner, AJ.Dunn

Last season’s off the green issues in South West Durham has this season seen South Shields benefit from an influx of former Stanley players which has produced their strongest looking Denny squad on paper for many a year, in their opening salvo Shield’s face West Denton with the winners to play either Houghton or Stanley.
Other local Denny ties – Redcar v Darlington, Shildon v Hartlepool

Following their relegation to the Inter Club 2nd Division Houghton begin their attempt to bounce back at the first attempt with an opening fixture against Ferryhill tomorrow. The following team has been selected
At Houghton – J.Doyle, B.Johnson, F.Fletcher, P.Harding, L.Williams, M.Thompson, S.Tindale, J.Scullion, M.Baker, D.Wright, J.Biggerstaff, B.Henderson
At Ferryhill – K.Armstrong, M.Henderson, J.McAdoo, I.Whorlton, J.Sutherland, J.Godfrey, D.Todner, AJ.Dunn, T.Joicey, F.Sanderson, W.Davis, T.Burt

Houghton’s Over 60’s Doubles fours squad return to action as they face Durham B, the following team has been named
At Houghton – M.Baker, R.Thorpe, J.Sutherland, F.Johnson
At Durham – J.Doyle, R.Johnson, F.Fletcher, P.Harding

The next round of the Over 60’s Premier league triples fixtures take place on Wednesday at Houghton (1230), host club Houghton are represented by John Doyle, Terry Todd and Peter Harding as they take on Gateshead. The other fixtures are Aycliffe v Darlington A, Ferryhill v Darlington B and Stanley v Durham

The local section of this seasons national competitions is well underway, in the singles an all Shield’s affair saw David Bolt defeat R.Craggs 21-3 to set up a mouth-watering second round clash against Gary Smith, Houghton’s Pat Thomson and Shield’s Gary Farquhar both received walk overs and will now meet each other. In the Pairs Houghton’s Peter Thomson defeated Gateshead’s Brian Poulter 22-15 while Shield’s David Morgan defeated Stanley’s Eddie Henry 24-18. In the Triples Houghton’s Sam Patterson went down 15-11 to Durham’s JH.Taylor while Shield’s David Bolt defeated Stanley’s James McKenna 17-9, Stanley’s Michael Laydon got home 17-16 against Shield’s Jamie Brass. In the fours Ian Riches (Shields) defeated club mate Malcom Johnston 23-21 and will now face Stanley’s Mark Higgins who defeated Shields Neal Ridley 27-18. In the Champion of Champion’s Phil Dixon (Shields) defeated West Denton’s Peter Duffy 21-9 to set up an area final play-off against Eden’s John Baird. In the Over 50’s Triples David Morgan (Shields) went down 18-14 to Stanley’s Brett Arkley.   

There was disappointment for former Sunderland star Gary Smith in the opening World Bowls Tour event the Co-operative Scottish Open currently being played at the Dewars Centre, Perth, Smith took the first set 8-7 but then lost the second set 8-3 before going out 2-1 on the best of three tie breaker ends.

Hartlepool’s Dave Kilner has taken over the role as Team Manager of the Durham County Liberty Trophy squad and has named the following squad for the opening game against Cumbria in January. There is a squad meeting at Hartlepool next Saturday at 1230.
I.Jackson, C.Higgins, G.Skipp, P.Mosley, M.Squirell, M.Ray, P.Hartley, C.Boston, J.Forcer, A.Portaway (all Hartlepool), GR.Smith, W.Ferry, G.Farquhar, D.Bolt, K.Donkin, S.McIntosh, P.Smithson, P.Dixon, M.Peach, N.Ridley, I.Riches D.Targar (all South Shields), M.Barkess, M.Higgins, D.Webb, B.Arkley (all Stanley), N.Cummings, M.Jones, A.Kirtland, B.Hopkins (all Darlington)
Having been overlooked for the vacant Team manager’s role one notable name not in the squad is Durham’s most capped player Stanley’s John Thurlbeck.

Sunderland’s Stevie Angus is representing England again in a Disability International Test match today and tomorrow. Angus is part of a five man team who will compete against Scotland in singles, pairs, triples and fours at Gedling Indoor Bowls club.

Silksworth Bowling club had another cracking outdoor season however there many successes on the green have been overcast following the sudden loss of Kevin Dyson (jnr), the thirty one year old was a popular member of the club and was a much respected bowler and will be missed by his fellow bowlers, the service is on Monday November 16 (1230) at Sunderland Crematorium.
The Bowls Durham Annual General meeting takes place on Tuesday  at Houghton Diary Lane BC starting at 7pm.

7th November - Report

The Inter County League got off to a disappointing start for Sunderland as they were thumped 12-0 by Hartlepool. Last season Sunderland put in one of their best performances as they ran out 10-2 winners however it was a horror team performance as they went down by 68 shots. At Houghton only the rink of Bobby Rollason, debutee Iain Fairweather, Frankie Froud and Richie Jobling competed but still saw a 14-8 lead wiped out to finish 19-17 down to J.Lutz. George Brown, Billy Roberts, Ray Robinson and John Jones never recovered from a 15-3 deficit to finish 23-12 down at the hands of an inspired Dale Oram. The remaining quartet of Bobby Usher, Peter Thomson (snr), Michael Davis and Pete Thomson were never in it as they were beaten 25-12 by Carl Higgins, that left the home squad 26 shots down and it was no better down the A19. Gary Farquhar’s rink of Pat Collins, Terry Todd and Phil Dixon got off to a flier leading 9-0 but were pegged back to 16-16 and then failed to score on the last seven ends to finish 32-16 down against Albert Ward. Michael Wright, Michael Carr, Stevie Angus and Billy Ferry were always under the cosh against Paul Mosley as it finished 25-11. The third rink of Tony Grimes, Tony Wood, Richie Mckie and Mark Higgins were made to pay for a slow start and a late dropped six as Glenn Skipp ran out a 23-11 winner. Those scores saw the away squad finish 41 shots down which capped off a bad day at the office. Sunderland’s next game against Gateshead has been brought forward a week to November 29th to avoid a clash with the Shields Classic.

Houghton made a winning start to the 2015/16 Denny Cup with a cracking 10 shot win over Durham. At Houghton Mal Baker, Richie Jobling, Frankie Froud and Pete Thomson defeated J.Hutchinson 19-11 while John Doyle, Tom Patterson, Freddie Fletcher and Peter Harding came from behind to defeat C.Stevenson 20-16 to give the home squad a 12 shot advantage. At Durham Alan Dunn’s rink of Joe Sutherland, Karl Armstrong and Dan Todner were beaten 23-10 by A.Musgrove however Michael Wright, Stevie Tindale, Jimmy McAdoo and Ian Whorlton ran out impressive 28-17 winners over D.Christie to leave the away squad only a single shot in arrears. The 77-67 win sets up a tough second round clash against Stanley in seven days time.

Houghton ladies finally get their Yetton Cup campaign underway today as they face South Shields ladies, the following squad has been selected
At Houghton – J.Watt, O.Charlton, E.Faith, B.Johnson, E.Prudhoe, I.Koch Klau, M.Eggleston, JB.Smith
At Shields – M.Metcalf, E.Barren, J.Baker, F.Phythian, M.Hall, E.Barkes, A.Vout, M.Middleton

A mixed Houghton team open up their Egham Trophy campaign tomorrow as they entertain West Denton, the following squad has been selected
At Houghton – J.Watt, E.Barkes, K.Armstrong, TW.Todd, M.Baker, W.Eggleston, JB.Smith, F.Fletcher
At Durham – M.Hall, S.Patterson, M.Middleton, J.McAdoo, J.Sutherland, J.Baker, F.Phythian, S.Tindale

The Seniors Inter League springs back into action with all four local squads in action, in group 2 Sunderland B travel to group leaders Stanley while in group three Houghton A entertain The Parks B and Sunderland A entertain group leaders South Shields, in group 4 Houghton B travel to The Parks B. The following teams have been selected

Sunderland A v South Shields – P.Collins, W.Hearne, F.Knubley, J.Jones, M.Carr, M.Milner, R.Robinson, R.Graham, A.Baker, B.Walsh, M.Davis, W.Ferry

Sunderland B v Stanley – A.Grimes, D.Gowland, F.Froud, R.Jobling, G.Brown, R.Usher, W.Conway, W.Roberts, P.Thomson, E.Downs, P.Brickle, TW.Todd

Houghton A v Parks B - T.Winship, D.Simpson, T.Joicey, I.Whorton, J.Doyle, P.Noble, J.Thuburn, P.Harding, J.Swinney, J.Sutherland, F.Fletcher, D.Wright

Houghton B v Parks A - S.Barnes, J.Stoker, A.Glover, F.Kell, P.Hicks, A.Gregory, R.Thorpe, J.Hibbert, L.Williams, K.Waterson, P.Taylor, B.Johnson

Houghton are celebrating their 25th anniversary the year and on Wednesday the EIBA President Jenny McConnell is bringing a mixed team to play against Houghton, the game starts at 2.30pm with spectators welcome.

Boston Bowls suppliers are paying a visit to Houghton on Thursday from 1030am.

The latest round of Premier League Over 60’s fixtures were played at Stanley, the host club put in another great display to record their second big win. Their opponents this time were Darlington “A” who were expected to give the home rink a stern test. Stanley however had other ideas and spared no mercy as they ran out comfortable winners 24-13. The Houghton trio of Joe Sutherland, Freddie Fletcher and Foster Johnson were well beaten 24-8 by Darlington B’s Alan Stephenson, Great Aycliffe made amends for their disappointing result in the first fixture with 27-7 over Gateshead while Ferryhill pulled off a surprise win over a strong and experienced Durham rink 22-18. Round three takes place at Houghton I.B.C on Wed 18th Nov 12.30pm

In the local section of this year’s National Singles South Shield’s Gary Smith defeated club-mate Jaxon McKenna 21-14 while Ian Riches narrowly went down 21-17 at Stanley to Brett Arkley and Phil Dixon defeated Dave Paterson 21-8. In the Pairs Houghton’s Freddie Fletcher & Stevie Tindale went down by eight to South Shield’s Mal Peach & David Bolt while Stanley’s Mark Higgin’s had a cracking 19-16 win at Shields against Ian McIntosh. Gateshead’s Brian Poulter will face Houghton’s Pat Thomson after a 25-15 win over Shield’s Josh Halcrow. In the Over 50’s Triples South Shield’s Dave Morgan went down 18-14 at home to Stanley’s Brett Arkley.

Next Sunday the Durham County Under 25 Double fours squad travel to New Earswick to face Lincolnshire, Houghton’s Bryan Henderson has been selected at number two.

Full Team – B.Cairns (Darlington), J.Halcrow (Shields), A.Portway (Hartlepool), N.Cummings (Darlington), M.Ray (Hartlepool), B.Henderson (Houghton), J.Sneller (Shields), B.Hopkins (Darlington)

The County Seniors return to Midland League action as they head to Selby to face Leicestershire on November 19.

In the latest Test Match between England and Scotland held at Stanley the England ladies matched the men’s success with a 6-5 series win, England sneaked home winning three of the remaining four singles ties with Ellen Faulkner’s 6-7,7-2, 2-0 win securing the test match.






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