Next weekend will be a crunch time for both local clubs as they return to Inter club action. In Division 2 Houghton’s recent loss to Durham has left them in third place and outside the promotion places. Next Sunday Houghton will need to pick up four of the twelve points on offer against top of the table and unbeaten The Parks to leap frog Durham and clinch the final promotion spot, as yet the team hasn’t been selected.
Latest Table – The Parks 4-43½, Durham 5-37 (+138), Houghton 4-34 (+83), Shildon 5-29½, Ferryhill 5-14, Spennymoor 5-10

At the same time in Division One Sunderland need a big win over bottom of the table Great Aycliffe if they are to harbour any thoughts of avoiding relegation, the following team has been selected

At Houghton - R.Usher,I.Fairweather,W.Roberts,F.Froud, P.Bulmer,W.Hearne, J.Jones,R.Robinson, P.Thomson,E.Downes,R.Jobling,P.Thomson

At Great Aycliffe - P.Collins,M.Carr,P.Smithson,W.Ferry,G.Brown,R.Mckie,TW.Todd,S.Angus, A.Grimes,P.Brickle,P.Dixon,G.Farquhar

The away squad are reminded that it’s a 1pm start at Aycliffe plus the match is to be played in greys and not the usual whites.

Latest Table – Hartlepool 3-34, Gateshead 5-25, South Shields 3-24, Sunderland 3-12, Darlington 1-8, Great Aycliffe 3-5

The various club competitions at Houghton are at the semi-finals stages and will recommence early April, the various dates are as follows -:
Men’s Competiitons – Semi Finals
Singles  – R.Robinson v P.Thomson, J.Wilson v W.Holmes – Tuesday April 5 at 6.30pm
Pairs  –  P.Thomson  v W.Piggott, W.Roberts v D.Armstrong – Wednesday April 6 at 6.30pm
Triples  – V.Hendry v W.Holmes, P.Thomson v W.Piggott – Tuesday April 7 at 6.30pm
Fours  – W.Piggott v B.Henderson, J.Wilson v AJ.Dunn – Monday April 11 at 6.30pm

Over 60’s Competitions – Semi FInals
Singes  – F.Fletcher v W.Laidler, M.Wright v A.Grimes – Saturday April 2 at 10am
Pairs  – F.Fletcher v J.Wilson, W.Holmes v J.Coundon – Sunday April 10 at 10am
Triples  – AJ.Dunn v J.Wilson, T.Pescod v W.Holmes – Saturday April 9 at 10am
Fours  – AJ.Dunn v R.Johnson, F.Johnson v W.Piggott – Wednesday April 13 at 10.30am

Ladies Competitions 
Singles Semi Finals – J.Watt v B.Robson, E.Faith v S.Moody – Tuesday April 7 at 2.30pm
Ladies Pairs Semi Finals – B.Robson v N.Stephenson, B.Johnson v E.Faith – Monday April 11 at 2.30pm
Triples Final – N.Stephenson v E.Faith – Wednesday April 13 at 2.30pm

Mixed Pairs Semi Finals – W.Piggot v J.Watt, J.Baker v B.Robson – Tuesday April 12 at 2.30pm

There was some sad news for the local bowls scene with the news that Margaret Clark (87) (pictured right) sadly passed away, the former Durham County President at both indoors and outdoors as well as a Honorary Life Member of the Sunderland Indoor Bowling Club was much respected and well liked bowler who also put something back into the local bowls scene by taking on several administration roles.

The Durham County Liberty Trophy team has been selected for final against Kent on Sunday April 17 at Melton Mowbray, the team shows two enforced changes from the semi-final win. The South Shield’s duo of Ian Riches and Shaun McIntosh are unavailable and have been replaced by the returning Darlington duo of Noah Cummings and John Fielding. The full team is as follows -:
J.Forcer (H), M.Barkass (St), I.Jackson (H), GR.Smith (SS), M.Peach (SS), W.Ferry (SS), G.Farquhar (SS), P.Smithson (SS),P.Dixon (SS),N.Cummings (D),J.Fielding (D), 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), D.Targar (SS), B.Hopkins (Da), M.Jones (Da), A.Kirtland (Da)
Reserves – N.Ridley (SS), A.Portaway (H), J.Wells (H)

The various Durham County Champion of Champions competitions have been completed,with the finals split between Darlington and Hartlepool, the list of results is as follows
Champs of Champs
Singles - final yet to be played
Pairs – M. Jones, N.Cummings (Darlington) 13-12 G.Dougherty, G.Skipp (Hartlepool)
Triples – M.Jones, A.Kirtland, N.Cummings (Darlington) 16-14 B. Arkley, I.Peacock, J.Thurlbeck (Stanley)
Fours – B.Arkley, J McKenna, I.Peacock, J.Thurlbeck (Stanley) 23-19 J.Hutchinson, R.Edgell, S.Krimpen, J.Hutchinson (Park View)

Seniors Champs of Champs Finals
Singles – S.Krimpen ( Park View) 21-19 B.Bell  (Stanley)
Pairs – A.Ingledew ,B.Maddison (Shildon)  21-18 B.Poulter, G.Hackett (Gateshead)
Triples – J.Maddison, K.Peters,B.Maddison (Shildon) 16-14 E Dent, F Knubley, RW.Graham (South Shields)
Fours - B Orrell B.Poulter R Graham G Hackett (Gateshead) 26-12 D Dickinson J Stafford R Johnson B Richardson (Durham)

The long list of closed indoor bowling venues in the region will increase by one at the end of the current season following the decision to close the bowls hall currently home to the Park View club, based within the Park View Community Centre the alarm bells were ringing for the bowls club following the decision to withdraw all public sector support in 2013, since then the facility has been operating at a loss with the latest figures showing a £81,000 loss, the community centre’s bowls hall will be converted for multiple functions with the club’s 100 members now left to either travel to Durham or Stanley or join the ever growing list of bowlers without a facility.

Over recent years the number of entries into the EIBA National competitions have continued to decline, in an attempt to re-energise interest the EIBA are going to trial a few changes to the formats. Currently all 21 end competitions have a 4 hour time limit but that format will be reduced to 18 ends and a 3½ hour time limit, all 18 end competitions will also be reduced to 16 ends with a 3½ hour format. There will be two new competitions introduced – the Family Pairs and a 21 shot Two Bowl Singles. Currently the last 32 from the various Areas qualify for the National Championships but that will now change to 16 which will reflect a change to the various area’s around the country, locally Area 2 has now been split into two zones as follows -:
Zone 1 - Park View, Durham, Gateshead, Houghton, South Shields, Stanley, Sunderland, The Parks, West Denton   
Zone 2 – Darlington, Ferryhill, Great Aycliffe, Hartlepool, Redcar, Shildon, Spennymoor, Thornaby 
The finalists from Zone 1 & 2 will now have to play off in an Area final for a place at the National Championships. 

There is plenty of top quality bowls over the Easter period at Hartlepool as they host their popular Masters Pairs and another round of the Open Singles Circuit, a cracking field of sixty four players will compete for a £800 first prize.

This year’s Men’s Home International series was held at Llanelli IBC in Wales, despite four late withdrawals holders England put together an impressive three match unbeaten series to retain the Hilton Trophy. In their opener England thumped the hosts Wales by 64 shots which was followed up with a hard fought 25 shot win over Ireland, those victories set up the now traditional title decider against Scotland. In the title decider England led from the first end and despite a little wobble at the twelve end mark they ran out winners by 22 shots to seal a 36th success. Scotland’s legend Willie Wood made a final indoor international appearance to bring the curtain down on a career that started in 1966.



Houghton’s Inter Club promotion hopes suffered a hammer blow when their nearest rivals Durham inflicted a 52 shot defeat on them. At Houghton the home squad ran out 57-53 winners, Ian Whorlton steered his rink of Trevor Joicey, R.Johnson and Richard Thorpe to a 23-15 win over A.Bolam. The second home win came from John Doyle, C.Wallace, Tom Patterson and J.Biggerstaff who recovered from 8-1 down to beat John Layfield 18-12, the remaining rink of Mal Baker, Sam Patterson, David Wright and Brian Henderson went down 26-16 to Alan Musgrove which left the home squad 4 shots in credit while collecting four vital points. Sadly at Durham things went astray as all three rink went down, Jimmy McAdoo’s rink of Matty Henderson, Billy Davis and Stevie Tindale led 10-4 at the half way but a 6-18 return over the second half sealed a 22-16 defeat at the hands of J.Burnip – the other two rinks were well beaten. Joe Sutherland, Dave Armstrong, John Godfrey and Alan J Dunn were beaten 33-5 by C.Stevenson and Keith Waterson, Fred Sanderson, Fred Fletcher and Tom Burt were beaten 30-8 by David Christie, overall the away squad finished 52 shot down. Houghton’s final game against unbeaten The Parks was due to take place tomorrow but due to player availability it has been rearranged for April 3. Houghton now need to beat The Parks 8-4 in that game to steal a promotion spot from Durham.
Latest Table – Durham 5-37, Houghton 4-34, The Parks 3-32½, Shildon 4- 24½, Spennymoor 4-9, Ferryhill 4-7 

Houghton Ladies ended their season on a losing note as they beaten 137-87 by Great Aycliffe, at Houghton only Joan Rogerson recorded a victory 23-20 over A.Ritchie while Ellen Faith lost 17-24 to J.Rogers and Betty Johnson lost 10-17 to E.Helm, those scores left the home squad 11 shots down. Down the A1 at Aycliffe the away squad were well beaten by 39 shots, however Norma Stephenson’s 21-17 win over M.Holmes was the highlight, the remaining two rinks were well beaten, Jenny Smith lost 31-10 to M.Hannahon and Florence Phythian lost 28-6 to A.Wynwood.

There good news for South Shield’s Mal Peach, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt as they secured a place at the National Triples Championships in April after negotiating the regional play off finals at Durham last weekend. In the Quarter final the Shield’s triple defeated Selby’s Roger Wood 19-12 before securing a championship berth with a 19-10 win over Stanley’s Michael Laydon, the other place went to Stanley’s Ian Peacock, Gary Robson and Dave Webb. The regional finals in fours competition takes place at Darlington today with two qualifying places at stake, from area one (skips only) Ian Mcintosh (Shields), Ian Riches (Shields) and Clive Knott (West Denton), area three Vinnie O’Neill (Redcar) and Andrew Kirtland (Darlington), area four Dave Cowsill (Featherstone) and Roger Wood (Selby), area two have yet to confirm the name.

Durham County’s Liberty Trophy squad remain on course for 12th Liberty title after an impressive xxxxx win over Suffolk in the semi-final at Newark. The early exchanges saw a youthful Suffolk team take an early lead but once the Durham machine got into gear it was plain sailing as Durham eased to a 33 shot win. Across the green Durham won on four of the six rinks, Paul Mosley 30-14, Andrew Kirtland 28-18, Gary Smith 26-14 and Phil Smithson 15-13, with Hartlepool’s Paul Hartley unavailable club mate Marc Squirrell stepped in as skip and after trailing 20-4 fought back to draw 22-22, the only defeat saw David Bolt’s quartet go down 26-20. This will be Durham’s 14th appearance in a Liberty final having been successful in eleven; in the final at Melton Mowbray they will face Kent who defeated Northamptonshire 116-94.

Darlington hosted the semi-finals of the Over 60’s Premier League which were contested by Darlington "A", Stanley, Darlington "B" and Gateshead. As expected both games provided some top quality bowling and perhaps fittingly the winners were the two teams that had led the league from the start of the season. The Darlington squads were paired against each other with the B team running out 21-13 winners while Stanley skipped by Dave Webb defeated Gateshead’s Brian Orrell 19-14 to clinch a final spot. The final takes place Thursday at Ferryhill  starting at 12.30pm.

Darlington Indoor Bowls club hit the headlines this week off the green when it was revealed that the now cash strapped local council could end up paying £625,000 in rent due to a long legally binding agreement, back in 1981 the vibrant indoor bowls club and the local council signed a 60 year contract whereby the council would pay the £25,000 a year rent to landowner Morrison’s up to 2041 with the bowls club repaying as much as it could afford currently around 50%. Over recent years the club has seen its membership numbers drop but they have been an important part of the community having hosted National Championship finals and Home International Series which in turn bought national publicity and vital cash boosts to the local area.

Wales are hosting this year’s Home International Series at Llanelli, England were looking to record an eighth consecutive series win. Opening wins over hosts Wales 121-112, Ireland 166-63 set up the traditional series decider against unbeaten Scotland. The exchanges set the tone for the match as Scotland opened up a seven shot lead which increased to 22 shots at the half way mark, with ends running out England’s hopes faded as they eventually went down 129-110.

As thoughts of the outdoor season enter many a local bowler there was some good news for Dawdon Welfare Park Bowls club as for the first time they have received a £2,000 grant. The award has come from the Durham County Council Community Foundation with support from the Comic Relief 2015 Community Grant scheme. The Dawdon club will use the funding to try and raise the clubs profile within the community and local schools, they have already used part of the fund to purchase new scoreboards and bowls gatherers.

The was some sad news for the local bowls scene with the news that Margaret Clark (87) sadly passed away, a former Durham County President at both indoors and outdoors as well as a Honorary Life Member of the Sunderland Indoor Bowling Club Margaret was much respected and well liked bowler who put something back into the local bowls scene by taking on several administration roles.



The Sunderland Seniors A team’s hopes of progressing further in the Seniors Inter Club end of season play-offs were ended in the quarter finals after The Parks A ran out comfortable 5-0 (76-46) winners. It was always going to be a big ask to get a result at The Parks although despite trailing for the majority of the game the Sunderland lads did get back to within six shots before fading away. Ronnie Robson, Michael Carr, Ray Robinson and Bobby Graham went down 24-19 to Ian Brown while Pat Collins, Billy Hearne, Fred Knubley and John Jones went down 22-13 to Brian Houghton. The remaining rink of Peter Bulmer, Barney Walsh, Michael Davis and Billy Ferry were beaten 3-14 by M.Groundwater, the win moves The Parks into the semi-finals.

The rest of the Quarter final draw is – Great Aycliffe v Stanley, Hartlepool A v Spennymoor, South Shields v Durham B.

After a two month wait Sunderland returned to Inter County action as they faced South Shields, despite a cracking effort by the away squad Sunderland suffered a 8-4 (23 shot) loss. At Shields Michael Wright, Peter Brickle, Phil Dixon and Gary Farquhar stormed to a 27-16 win over C.Elliott which was enough to win the away overall score. George Brown, Tony Wood, Terry Todd and Stevie Angus were beaten by a master performance by David Bolt 16-15 while the remaining rink of Tony Grimes, Michael Carr, Phil Smithson and Billy Ferry saw a 15th end 14-10 lead slip away to finish 23-15 down to Ian McIntosh, those combined scores left the away squad two shots up. At Houghton it was another disappointing day, over the last two seasons out of the last 24 rink points the home squad have only returned 10 and that record could have been worse had Peter Thomson, Eric Downes, Richie Jobling and Peter Thomson not recovered from 14-1 down to beat James Snellar 24-22. Peter Bulmer, Michael Lowis, Ray Robinson and Richie Mckie slipped from 13-12 down to finish 21-13 down against John Kelso. The remaining rink of Pat Collins, Billy Conway, Billy Roberts and John Jones never recovered from an 18-4 deficit and eventually finished 31-12 down to Ian Riches which left the away squad 25 shots down.  The defeat opens the trap door to the second division with the rearranged game against Aycliffe a must win and even then a win against defending champions Darlington may be needed. Tomorrow should be the last weekend of the league however only Gateshead have managed to play all there games on time, holders Darlington have only played 1 game and that will not change this weekend as Aycliffe’s struggles to field a team continue and they have cancelled the game – Sunderland are due to play Aycliffe on April 3.
Latest Table – Hartlepool 2-24, South Shields 3-24, Gateshead 4-23, Sunderland 3-12, Darlington 1-8, Great Aycliffe 3-5
Houghton have a crunch promotion battle against Durham tomorrow with only a single point separating the teams, a win for Houghton will secure promotion however a defeat will leave them needing points in next Sunday’s game against unbeaten The Parks. The team for tomorrow’s game against Durham is as follows

At Houghton – T.Joicey, R.Johnson, R.Thorpe, I.Whorlton, J.Doyle, C.Wallace, T.Patterson, F.Fletcher, M.Baker, S.Patterson, D.Wright, B.Henderson
At Durham – J.Sutherland, D.Armstrong, J.Godfrey, AJ.Dunn, K.Waterson, F.Sanderson, J.Biggerstaff, T.Burt, K.Armstrong, W.Davis, S.Tindale, J.McAdoo

The selected team for The Parks game has been decimated as it clashes with the Tyne-Wear televised clash, so far seven players of the 24 selected have dropped out in a game which could decide Houghton’s promotion fate.

Durham County return to Liberty Trophy action today as they face Suffolk in the semi-finals at Newark. There are a couple of enforced positional changes as Dan Targar (Shields) moves over to lead for Andrew Kirtland (Darlington) and Hartlepool’s former Internationalist Paul Hartley returns to skip with club mate A.Portaway dropping out, Phil Dixon (Shields) retains his place but is moved lead for David Bolt (Shields). The winners will face either Kent or Northamptonshire in the final on Sunday April 17 at Melton Mowbray.

Former Sunderland star Gary Smith’s hopes of progressing in the latest World Bowls Tour event were ended at the first hurdle, a tough draw in the Co-operative Open saw Smith face newly crowned World Indoor Champion and the top seed Nicky Brett, a 9-7,12-2 score line sealed a straight set’s defeat for Smith.

South Shield’s hosted another round of the newly formed Open Singles Circuit, sixty four players travelled from around the country to compete for the £600 first prize; the final was an all Scottish affair as Alloa’s Kris Storf defeated Lanarkshires Robert Gordon 10-2, 9-3. Locally Ian Riches (Shields) and Hartlepool’s Paul Hartley were beaten semi-finalists.

The final round of group matches in the Over 60’s Premier League were held at Gateshead, the unbeaten leaders Darlington "B" lost their unbeaten record when they narrowly went down 17-14 to second placed Stanley although both teams were already guaranteed a place in the play-offs. There was plenty to play for in the other games however as four of the remaining six teams were all in with a chance of making the play-offs however on the eve of the fixture’s Great Aycliffe declared they were unable to field a team thus the points were awarded to their opponents Ferryhill which put Ferryhill temporarily into third place and one foot into the playoffs. Gateshead needed a win against Durham to move into the top four and achieved it after an early scare. Durham sailed into an eleven shot lead and at this stage Gateshead's chances looked slim, however they stormed back to record a 33-12 win and move into the third play-off place. Houghton needed to beat Darlington A by 20 shots to pinch the final place and when they opened up an early nine shot it looked on the cards however Darlington produced another fightback and eventually ran out 25-12 winners which sealed the remaining play-off place.

Final Table – Darlington B 12, Stanley 10, Gateshead 8 (-2), Darlington A 8 (-10), Ferryhill 7, Houghton 5, Durham 4, Great Aycliffe 2
The line up for the play offs to be held at Darlington is as follows – Darlington "B" v Darlington "A" and  Stanley v Gateshead

Tomorrow Durham will be hosting the regional play offs of the National Triples, local hopes are with M.Peach, G.Farquhar, D.Bolt (South Shields), I.Peacock, G.Robson, D.Webb (Stanley), M.Barkess, A.Barkess, M.Laydon (Stanley) as they compete alongside R.Carruthers, B.Adam, I.Blenkinsop (Cumbria),E.Murray,D.Linton,R.Graham (Cumbria), C.Boston, G. Skipp,P.Mosley (Hartlepool), M.Mansell, J.Phillips, R.Wood (Selby), M.Clarke, P.Herridge, A.Vowles,   (York) for the two qualifying places at the National Championships in April.

The last three Home International series were held at Stanley however the event returns to the road as Wales host the championships at Llanelli, England will be looking to repeat there 2006 success at the same venue and retain the Hilton Trophy, locally South Shield’s David Bolt is the only inclusion in the selected England team.































Site last updated : Friday October 19, 2018 1:51 PM