29th October 2016 - BAD WEEK FOR LOCAL SQUADS

In the latest round of Inter club senior fixtures there was disappointment for Sunderland as they were beaten 41-40 (3-2) at Houghton by Ferryhill. In the first ever seniors meeting between the two clubs Sunderland actually recorded wins on two of the three rinks however debutee Colin Young, Tony Wood, Bobby Usher and Billy Roberts had an afternoon to forget and only manged to score on three of the fifteen ends to go down 22-3 to Colin Larcombe. Terry Todd’s (pictured left) quartet of Peter Thomson, Eric Downes and Michael Carr collected a full house eight on the 9th end on the way to a 21-7 win over Harry Wilson, the remaining rink of David Gowland, George Brown, Richie Jobling and Frankie Froud led 10-0 after 6 ends but had to settle for a 16-12 win thanks to a late five on the 14th end, so the visitors got home by a single shot which leaves Sunderland at the foot of the table with a trip to Stanley in two weeks’ time next on the horizon.

Latest Leagues
Area 1 – Spennymoor 2-9, Great Aycliffe 2-5, Darlington A 2-4, Durham A 1-1, Shildon 1-1
Area 2 – Darlington B 3-14, Hartlepool A 2-8, Ferryhill 3-5, Stanley A 3-4, Sunderland 3-3
Area 3 – South Shields 3-14, Gateshead A 3-8, Houghton A 2-5, Stanley B 3-5, Parks B 3-3
Area 4 – Hartlepool B 3-8, Parks A 2-7, Gateshead B 2-5, Durham B 1-4, Houghton B 2-1

There was double disappointment for Houghton as both the men and ladies Denny Cup & Yetton Trophy squads made first round exits and both drop into the respective plate competitions. In the Denny Cup Houghton men needed to be at their best as they faced a revitalised South Shield’s outfit, at Houghton the home squad put in a cracking performance as Frankie Froud steered Michael Wright, Tom Patterson and Richie Jobling to a cracking 19-13 win over Shield’s internationalist David Bolt. The other home rink of Mal Baker, Peter Harding, Jimmy McAdoo and Brian Henderson were a touch unlucky to go down 16-12 to Gary Farquhar which left Houghton 31-29 up however it all went astray at Shields. Freddie Fletcher, David Armstrong, Dan Todner and Peter Thomson were holding their own against Ian McIntosh and were only 11-10 down at the half way mark however a 14-2 return in McIntosh’s favour sealed a 25-12 defeat on the Houghton squad. The other rink of Joe Sutherland, Stevie Tindale, Alan J Dunn and Ian Whorlton were only five down at the half way against Shaun McIntosh but things slipped away and Whorlton finished 19-9 down which left the away squad 44-21 down which sealed and overall 73-52 Shield’s win. Houghton drop into the plate and will face Stanley who were on the end of a surprising 32 shot defeat at the hands of Gateshead meanwhile in the next round of the Denny Shield’s will in fact face Gateshead.

In the Yetton Trophy the Houghton ladies faced a Park’s team that hadn’t won a Yetton tie for six years however they ended that run with a 68-55 win over Houghton. At Houghton Jenny Smith steered Joan Watt, Olwyn Charlton and Brenda Robson to a hard fought 20-17 win over Pat Browne while Betty Prudhoe, Doreen Fenwick, Gwen Eltringham and Ellen Faith were always playing catch up against Margaret Paton and had to settle for a 18-13 loss which left Houghton 35-33 down at home. At the Parks Maureen Hall, Ann Todd, Audrey Vout and Norma Stephenson did well to finish 16-13 down to E.Snaith while Jenny Hume, Eleanor Barren, Mary Metcalf and Joan Baker went down 17-9 to Margaret Redpath to leave the away squad 11 shots down, Houghton drop into the Plate but they don’t have any opposition yet while The Parks face South Shield’s in the next round of the Yetton.

Both the Denny and Yetton formats have been tinkered with as they have been reduced to 18 ends and 3½ hours, although the changes are only being trialled the time change has been accepted however the drop from 21 ends hasn’t been welcomed around the country.
In the Area stage of the national singles South Shield’s David Bolt defeated club mate Phil Dixon to set up a second round tie at home to Gateshead’s Alan Jobling, Shaun McIntosh (Shields) also progressed after a 21-17 win at The Park’s against Phil Mason. In the Pairs Billy Ferry (Shields) had to ground out a 19-17 win at Gateshead against Brian Orrell while David Bolt (Shields) eased to a 27-12 win over Houghton’s Sam Patterson. In the Champion of Champion singles Houghton’s Peter Thomson went down 21-18 at Gateshead against Mark Smith who in turn then went out 21-13 to Durham’s Wayne Routledge, in the next round Routledge has a trip to Shield’s to face David Bolt who narrowly beat Stanley’s Bret Arkley 21-20 and was then given a walk over into the next round.

The Durham County Over 60’s Liberty squad’s hopes of progressing the Inter County knock out were dashed as they were beaten for the third year running by Lincolnshire this time 106-92 at York. Durham only had two rinks up, Darlington’s Alan Stephenson won 23-16 and Hartlepool’s Keith Wilford won 19-13 however there were single shot defeats for South Shield’s Billy Ferry and Durham’s Alan Musgrove but the damage was done on the double figure defeats inflicted on Stanley’s David Webb and Derek Craig. 
Durham progressed into the next round of the Top Club after defeating The Park’s 10-6, there was a rare outing in a Two Bowl tie for Gary Smith and an even rarer defeat for the former Sunderland star, Durham will face Hartlepool next who beat Aycliffe 16-0.
Smith will be looking to be at his best as he heads to Northampton for the Grand Finals day of the Open Singles Circuit, last season’s top 48 ranked players will be competing for a £1,500 first prize and as Smith finished ranked one he will be one of the favourites to take the title. Smith plays the winner of Shaun Jones (Malvern Hills) and Nicole Rogers (Loddon Vale), it has been confirmed that next year’s Grand Finals will be held at The Potters Resort.

In the latest CO-OP Funeral Care men’s test match played at New Earswick Scotland lifted the David Bryant Trophy with a 6-5 win over England. After day one Scotland led 3-2 and half way through the singles ties went into an unassailable 6-2 lead before England won the last three rubbers to make the score a bit more respectable. 

There was some sad news for the local bowls scene as Laurence Williams (67) sadly passed away, the long-time Washington Glebe member was a much respected bowler and was due to be installed as the new Sunderland & District President at the forth coming AGM.  

22nd October 2016 - EGHAM EXIT

Over recent years Houghton’s record in the Egham Trophy hasn’t been great as they have failed to progress past the first round in their last four attempts, sadly after last weekend that figure increased by one as Durham inflicted a 25 shot defeat on them. At Houghton the home squad did finish one shot in credit, Freddie Fletcher’s quartet of Mal Baker, Margaret Eggleston and B.Robson led 17-10 after thirteen ends however they had to settle for a narrow 19-17 win over Graham Coates. The other home squad of J.Watt, R.Turnbull, David Armstrong and Brian Henderson (snr) dropped six shots on the last two ends to go down 16-15 to Ann Bernard which left Houghton 34-33 up - sadly the wheels came off at Durham. Maureen Hall, Joe Sutherland, Norma Stephenson and Jimmy McAdoo led 12-6 with five ends to play but they failed to score on those remaining ends dropping thirteen shots in the process to finish 19-12 down. Evelyn Barkes, Peter Harding, Florence Phythian and Terry Todd went from 6-5 down to finish 25-6 down against C.Stevenson which left the away squad 44-18 down, ironically after thirteen ends across the green it was a level game but Houghton only scored eight shots on the run in while dropping thirty three, in the next round Durham will face South Shields who comfortably saw off The Parks 74-38.

The Sunderland seniors put in a spirited performance in their latest Inter Club fixture, facing a trip to group leaders Darlington B the Sunderland squad went down 4-1 by 12 shots overall. The only bright spot saw George Brown, Tony Wood, Ronnie Robson and Billy Roberts run out 14-9 winners over Stan Summers while Peter Thomson, Eric Downes, Michael Carr and Terry Todd were unlucky to go down 16-13 to Steve Blewitt this after Todd led 13-9 with three ends to play. The remaining rink of David Gowland, Colin Young, Bobby Usher and Frankie Froud were always chasing the game and eventually went down 18-4 to Brian Cooper, Sunderland return to action on Wednesday as they entertain Ferryhill at Houghton (1230) with the following squad - D.Gowland, W.Hearne, R.Jobling, F.Froud, C.Young, A.Wood, R.Usher, W.Roberts, P.Thomson, E.Downes, M.Carr, TW.Todd

This season’s Denny Cup and Yetton Trophy kick into life today as Houghton face South Shields in the Denny while Houghton ladies face The Parks in the Yetton. In the Denny Houghton men will need to be at their best to progress past a South Shields set up that on paper has the potential to have a decent run , the action starts at 10am with the follow line ups.

Houghton Team
At Houghton – M.Baker, P.Harding, J.McAdoo, B.Henderson, M.Wright, T.Patterson, R.Jobling, F.Froud
At Shields – F.Fletcher, D.Armstrong, D.Todner, P.Thomson, J.Sutherland, S.Tindale, AJ.Dunn, I.Whorlton

South Shields Team
At Houghton – M.Peach, S.Cairns, W.Ferry, D.Bolt, P.Dixon, N.Ridley, J.Minto, G.Farquhar
At Shields – D.Paterson, S.Hubbard, J.McKenna, S.McIntosh, J.Brass, P.Sainthouse, C.Elliott, I.McIntosh

In the Yetton the Houghton ladies will be favourites to make progress against a Parks squad that haven’t won a Yetton tie for 6 years, the winners will face South Shields in the next round, the Houghton squad is as follows
At Houghton – J.Watt, O.Charlton, B.Robson, J.Smith, B.Prudhoe, D.Fenwick, G.Eltringham, E.Faith
At The Parks – J.Hume, E.Barren, M.Metcalf, J.Baker, M.Hall, A.Todd, A.Vout, N.Stephenson

 In the Over 60’s Double Fours both local sides are in action on November 8, Houghton will face Durham B after The Parks conceded the preliminary round tie against Durham, the Houghton squad is as follows -
At Houghton – J.Sutherland, M.Baker, F.Froud, I.Whorlton
At Durham – J.Doyle, P.Collins, F.Fletcher, P.Harding

At the same time Sunderland go head to head against previous national champions Stanley, the following Sunderland squad will take to the green
At Houghton – C.Young, A.Wood, R.Usher, W.Roberts
At Stanley – G.Brown, E.Downes, M.Carr, T.Todd

Both games start at 1030)

The County seniors open up their national Over 60’s campaign against Lincolnshire on Tuesday at York, locally only Billy Ferry (Shields) and former Sunderland player Ray Robinson (Durham) make the starting line-up.

The local stage of this season’s national competitions has seen very little action to date with only a first round triples win for Gateshead’s Mal Johnson over Durham’s Michael Laydon 13-11 of note.

England ladies had to without a late charge by their Scottish counterparts in the CO-OP Funeral Care test match played at New Earswick, leading 4-1 overnight England looked set for a handsome win going into the six singles however they had rely on Swale’s Sandy Hazell to chalk up a 7-3,9-5 win to seal a narrow 6-5 win.

Two Annual General meeting dates have been confirmed, Sunderland & District will take place on Saturday November 12 at Houghton Dairy Lane (2pm) and Bowls Durham on Tuesday November 15 also at Houghton Dairy Lane (7pm).

The Houghton feast outdoor title went to Leadgate’s David Warnaby, in the final Warnaby defeated Dipton’s Lee Fowler 17-12.


After their opening game defeat to Durham the Houghton ladies bounced back with a five star performance as they thumped Darlington by 74 shots. At Houghton Florence Phythian’s quartet ran out 21-6 winners over A.McQuitty while a rare appearance at skip for Susan Forster resulted in a 18-10 win over V.Henderson, the remaining rink skipped by Ellen Faith had to settle for a 17-17 score against J.Pattison which gave the home squad a 23 shot advantage. Down the A1 it rained shots for the three Houghton rinks as the away squad finished 51 shots in credit, the stand out result was Norma Stephenson’s quartet who romped to a 35-5 win over M.Warr, Jenny Smith steered her rink to a 24-7 win over O.Kitching and the clean sweep was completed as Ann Banks ran out a 17-13 winner over S.Lynch. The points return was 11½-½ in Houghton’s favour, next month Houghton have a bye.

Houghton are Egham Trophy action tomorrow as they entertain Durham in the opening round of this year’s competition, the teams clashed at the same stage two years ago with Durham running out winners by 20 shots, past history is against the Houghton squad as they have failed to progress past the first round in their last four attempts however the following squad will look to change that -
At Houghton – J.Watt, R.Turnbull, D.Armstrong, B.Henderson, M.Baker, S.Richardson, B.Robson, F.Fletcher
At Durham – M.Hall, J.Sutherland, N.Stephenson, J.McAdoo, C.Wallace, E.Barkes, F.Phythian, TW.Todd

In the Seniors league the Houghton B team will play hosts to Durham B on Thursday, the following squad will look to open their win account – S.Barnes, G.Charlton, B.White, F.Kell, P.Hicks, J.Eggleston, F.Sanderson, R.Johnson, J.Matthews, K.Waterson, A.Glover, W.Barkess.

The team to represent Houghton in the Over 60’s Double Fours has been confirmed,
At Houghton – J.Sutherland, M.Baker, F.Froud, I.Whorlton
At either Durham / The Parks – J.Doyle, P.Collins, F.Fletcher, P.Harding

Sunderland are due to meet Stanley with both ties taking place on Tuesday November 8.

The entry sheets are still up for all the internal club competitions at Houghton, the closing date is October 29.

In the Area 2 National singles Houghton’s Peter Thomson had a good 21-9 away win over Durham’s Brian Brown while South Shield’s Shaun McIntosh moved into the next round with a 21-17 win at The Park’s against Phil Mason. In the Under 25 Double fours South Shields conceded the tie against Hartlepool who will now face either Darlington or Scarborough in the next round.

In the first CO-OP Funeral-Care mixed Test match there was disappointment for England as they were beaten 7-4 by Wales, the match was decided on the singles as Wales recorded four wins out of the six played.

A few years ago a new competition format called Bonanza Bowls failed to grab the bowling fraternities imagination however South Shield’s David Bolt is looking to breathe new life into it with an Bowls Bonanza Open Singles event at Shields on Saturday October 29. Entry is £15 with a first prize subject to 72 entries estimated at £750.

On the same day the Open Singles Circuit Grand Final’s event will take place at Northampton, locally Durham’s Gary Smith finished last season as the top ranked player while Hartlepool’s Paul Hartley has also made the cut after finishing 45th


Phil DixonThe opening round of the newly revamped Inter County league took place last weekend with Houghton and Sunderland going head to head, in a thriller the result wasn’t decided until the final bowl. As all four rinks played at Houghton it produced a cracking atmosphere which saw Sunderland run out 70-69 winners on the very last end. Sunderland’s top rink was Billy Roberts, Karl Armstrong, Peter Brickle and Phil Dixon (pictured right) who ran out 26-16 winners over Brian Henderson. Houghton’s top rink was Joe Sutherland, Davie Armstrong, Freddie Fletcher and Dan Todner with an impressive 22-10 win over Peter Thomson. Sunderland’s other winning rink came from behind, Bobby Usher, Ian Fairweather, Richie Jobling and Frankie Froud found themselves 12-8 down with two ends to play but a five on the second last end put them one up and a last end double secured a 15-12 win for Froud’s lads over Jimmy McAdoo. The remaining Sunderland rink of George Brown, Michael Carr, Richie Mckie and Stevie Angus were last on the green and held on for shot on the game’s final end against Peter Harding to snatch a 19-19 draw but more importantly secure the overall score 70-69, the points outcome was Sunderland 6½-3½ Houghton.

First Division – The Parks 3-7 Durham, Gateshead A 0-10 Hartlepool, Sunderland 6½-3½ Houghton
Second Division – Gateshead B 6-4 Gt Aycliffe, Darlington 8-2 Dunelm, Ferryhill 4-6 Stanley, Shildon 1-9 Spennymoor

In the seniors league after their opening 5-0 win over Stanley B the Houghton A team came back to earth with a bump as they were well beaten 54-24 (5-0) at South Shield’s. Peter Harding’s rink of John Doyle, Jack Thuburn and Freddie Fletcher were the nearest to getting their point going down on the last end 13-12 to former Sunderland star Billy Ferry. Sadly the other two Houghton squads were well beaten, Pat Collins, Joe Sutherland, P.Noble and Jack Scullion were beaten 19-7 by Alan Cummings while David Simpson, John Godfrey, Jimmy Swinney and Ian Whorlton went down 22-5 against Alan Lawton.

Sunderland return to seniors action on Friday as they travel to an in form Darlington B who have collected 10 out of 10 points from their opening two games.  The following team will attempt to get a result – R.Usher, W.Hearne, R.Jobling, F.Froud, G.Brown, A.Wood, R.Robson, W.Roberts, P.Thomson, E.Downes, M.Carr, TW.Todd, Reserves – C.Younger, D.Gowland.

The Houghton B team’s game at Durham which was due to take place this week has been cancelled and rearranged for Thursday November 20.
Houghton ladies are back in action on Wednesday as they face Darlington (1230 start), after their narrow opening game defeat against Durham the Houghton ladies will be looking to bounceback, the following team has been selected
At Houghton – E.Prudhoe, J.Classen, G.Eltringham, F.Phythian, J.Watt, D.Fenwick, J.Brown, S.Forster, N.Colling, M.Eggleston, B.Robson, E.Faith
At Darlington – M.Hall, E.Barkes, A.Vout, N.Stephenson, M.Metcalf, R.Tunrbull, J.Baker, JB.Smith, J.Hume, H.Collingwood, A.Todd, A.Banks

The Durham County Vice Presidents pay a visit to Houghton tomorrow for the first of their two friendly fixtures, the following Houghton squad will provide the opposition (2pm start) - J.Lawson, W.Race, J.Baker, S.Tindale, R.Turnbull, J.Eggleston, S.Patterson, T.Patterson, A.Pratt, S.Robson, C.Middleton, J.Robson, C.Martin, C.Wallace, P.Martin, F.Phythian, J.Watt, O.Charlton, D.Robson, B.Robson, M.Glover, G.Charlton, M.Eggleston,

Houghton are Egham Trophy action next Sunday as they face Durham in the opening round of this year’s competition, the teams met at the same stage two years ago with Durham running out winners by 20 shots infact Houghton have failed to progress past the first round in their last four attempts. The following squad will look to change that -
At Houghton – J.Watt, R.Tunrbull, D.Armstrong, B.Henderson, M.Baker, S.Richardson, B.Robson, F.Fletcher
At Durham – M.Hall, J.Sutherland, N.Stephenson, J.McAdoo, C.Wallace, E.Barkes, F.Phythian, TW.Todd

The Durham County seniors are in action on Thursday as they face Yorkshire at Durham in the one off John Dodsworth Trophy, locally only South Shield’s Billy Ferry makes the team with Durham’s Ray Robinson on the bench, the action starts at 1230.

There was some sad news for the local bowls scene as John Dunn (83) sadly passed away, the long standing member of the Dawdon club also took on the running of the Grindon League when many walked away, John was a much respected bowler and was a very popular figure on the local bowling scene and will be a loss to the sport.

The Bowls Development Alliance have announced that both of the four-year participation targets, as set out in the 2013-2017 Whole Sport Plan, have been achieved six months ahead of schedule. The first participation target required 10,810 new people over the age of 55+ to take out membership of an affiliated club or take part once a week for thirty minutes or more on a regular basis. Through the efforts of hundreds of clubs and thousands of coaches and volunteers, this target has been not only achieved but surpassed with the current figure standing at 11,769.


There was plenty of local action in the latest round of Seniors Inter club league fixtures, in Group Two the Sunderland senior squad snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in their opening group match against last season’s group winners Hartlepool A, at the half way mark across the green Sunderland were in total control leading 35-21 however the wheels fell off over the run in as the visitors rattled off a 23-8 return to steal a 44-43 win overall. Team captain Terry Todd steered his rink of Peter Thomson, Ernie Downes and Peter Brickle to a cracking 23-5 win over A.Bridgewater however Billy Roberts rink of George Brown, Tony Wood and Ronnie Robson were always playing catch up against Albert Ward and eventually finished 17-7 down. The remaining rink of Bobby Usher, Billy Hearne, Frankie Froud and Richie Jobling led 12-7 with five ends to play but ended up losing fourteen shots in three ends to finish 22-13 and leave the shell shocked Sunderland squad on the end of a 4-1 defeat, next is a trip to Darlington in two weeks’ time.

In Group Three the Houghton A team got off to a winning start as they defeated Stanley B 57-32, with the centre at Park View having closed Stanley saw a host of Park View players join hence they now have two senior teams. Never the less it was a good day for the Houghton squad as they notched wins on all three rinks, David Wright navigated John Doyle, Jack Thurburn and Freddie Fletcher to a 21-8 win over P.McCue while Pat Collins, Charlie Wallace, Trevor Joicey and David Sim defeated B.Turnbull 20-11, the remaining rink of David Simpson, John Godfrey, Foster Johnson and Ian Whorlton ground out a 16-13 over D.Scanden to seal a 5-0 win, on Tuesday Houghton travel to South Shield to play the rearranged opening fixture.

There is a local derby tomorrow as Houghton and Sunderland go head to head in the revamped Inter County league, the new Denny Cup style format has been introduced to help clubs that were struggling to get 24 players hence a drop to 16, although the change wasn’t welcome at larger clubs it has seen a return to the leagues by Stanley plus Gateshead have two teams as do Durham although the latter’s second team are under the Dunelm banner. The action at Houghton gets underway at 2pm with the following teams on show.
Houghton – J.Doyle, F.Sanderson, T.Joicey, P.Harding, M.Baker, M.Thompson, J.Biggerstaff, B.Henderson, J.Sutherland, D.Armstrong, F.Fletcher, D.Todner, M.Wright, K.Waterson, D.Wright, J.McAdoo.
Sunderland - P.Thomson, E.Downes, A.Thurlbeck, P.Thomson, G.Brown, M.Carr, TW.Todd, S.Angus
R.Usher, I.Fairweather, R.Jobling, F.Froud, W.Roberts, K.Armstrong, P.Brickle, P.Dixon

On Wednesday the second round of the Seniors Premier League takes place at Gateshead (2.30pm), Peter Harding, John Doyle and Terry Todd will be flying the flag for Houghton as they take on Ferryhill B, the other games are Gateshead A v Durham, Darlington A v Ferryhill A, Stanley B v Darlington B.

After their opening defeat to Durham in the Ladies Inter Club the Houghton ladies will be looking to bounce back as they face Darlington on Wednesday 12th October. Another team looking to bounce back is the Houghton B seniors, after the heavy loss to Hartlepool B they entertain Durham B on Tuesday October 13 at 1230pm, the selected team is as follows.... S.Barnes, GW.Charlton, B.White, F.Kell, P.Hicks, J.Eggleston, A.Newton, B.Johnson, J.Matthews, A.Gregory, K.Waterson, R.Thorpe

In October bowlers get the chance to watch 45 hours of live bowls as England face Wales, and Scotland (twice) in the CO-OP Funeralcare Test matches, the first test against Wales takes place at Bristol Indoor bowls club on Tuesday and Wednesday with live coverage on ITV4 from 1030am.

Despite the outdoor season having officially finished there is still one outdoor competition to be decided as Houghton Town hosts the Houghton Feast Open Singles today, a field of 50 players from around the area will take to the green from 1030am, the latter stages from the quarter finals etc will be played next Saturday.

Bowls England have confirmed that the qualification criteria for Counties to have three qualifiers in the National Championships has been amended, in the singles, two bowl singles, pairs, triples and four any county with 5% or more of the total number of entries in the National Championships from the previous year will be entitled to three qualifiers.

Following the success in the Home International series the England selectors have named the team for the 2017 series, Durham’s David Bolt was already guaranteed his place and will skip Lee Haywood (Devon), Louis Rideout ( Devon) and Northumberland’s Chris Yeomans, the series takes place at Belmont BC Belfast on Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd July.

The final few months of the outdoor season have been a testing time for many a bowling club following the council’s decision to impose cut backs which ultimately has seen nine greens placed on the closure hit list, sadly bowls isn’t deemed as one of the big profile sports and Sunderland council are oblivious to the benefits that the sport brings to a wide range of age groups, on Tuesday clubs are attending a meeting with council official’s whereby it is expected that the final draft of the planned green licence will be presented to the clubs.































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