24th September 2016 - HOUGHTON LADIES LOSS

The Houghton ladies Inter club squad made a losing start to their league campaign suffering a narrow 12 shot defeat at the hands of Durham. Things looked bright at the half way mark, across the green Houghton led 55-45 but a bad run from the tenth to fifteenth end saw then slip to 84-79 down, sadly they couldn’t bounce back and slipped to a 102-90 defeat. At Houghton Ellen Faith’s rink had a cracking 20-10 win over E.Horan while Jean Lewins narrowly went down 19-17 to A.Stafford, a 13-2 return in the middle of the game proved decisive for the third home rink skipped by Joan Rodgerson as they went from 12-8 down to 23-10 down, in the end Rodgerson went down 25-11 to Ann Bernard which left the home squad 6 shots in arrears. At Durham it was a case of déjà vu as the Houghton away squad also went down by 6 shots but the y can feel hard done to after leading for most of the game. Jenny Smith’s quartet had a cracking 17-6 win over D.Appleby while Norma Stephenson was a tad unlucky to go down 17-15 to H.Thompson, the remaining rink skipped by Margaret Eggleston were always playing catch up and finished 25-10 down against I.Pickford.

The latest round of Senior Inter club fixtures take place this week, in Area 2 Sunderland open up their campaign at Houghton against Hartlepool A,  last season Sunderland missed out on a play off place by a single point and did actually beat the group winners Hartlepool 4-1 in the corresponding fixture. The following team has been selected for Wednesday’s game.
J.Maxfield, R.Usher, F.Froud, R.Jobling, D.Gowland, A.Wood, G.Brown, W.Roberts, P.Thomson, E.Downes, P.Brickle, TW.Todd. Reserves – W.Hearne. R.Robson

In Area 3 Houghton A open up their campaign with a home game against the newly formed Stanley B team, no team details available.

The newly revamped Inter County league starts next Sunday with a local derby as Houghton and Sunderland meet in the opening round of fixtures, the format has been alters to a Denny style two  rinks home and away in order to help clubs around the area to field teams, the change has attracted Stanley back into the fold plus Gateshead now have two teams while Durham also have an extra team under the banner of Dunelm.

Despite the cracking weather the outdoor season is already a distant memory however the final tables have been confirmed, the only relegation that was left in the air was the Swan Cup Division one as Houghton Town finished above North Biddick by half a point to relegate the latter, the final places were follows

Earl Cup Division 1 – Houghton DL 73, Silksworth 60, Roker Marine 49, Barnes Park 38, Houghton Town 30, Thompson Park 23, Seaham Town 21

Division 2 – Hetton Workmen 63, Barnes WE 61, Hylton CW 39½, Sth Hylton 39, Usworth 37½, North Biddick 31, Sunderland 23

Division 3 – Whitburn 65½, Roker Park 60, Washington 51, Ryhope 36½, Grindon Mill 33½, Pemberton 31, New Herrington 16½

Swan Cup Division 1 – Houghton DL 103, Silksworth 94, Roker Marine 69½, Barnes WE 69½, Barnes Park 66½, Thompson Park 54½, Seaham Town 47½, Houghton Town 45, North Biddick 44½, Sth Hylton 36

Division 2 – Usworth 74½, Hetton Wkm 71½, Washington 53, Ryhope 51½, Roker Park 50, Hylton CW 45, Pemberton 23½, Grindon Mill 16

Harold Howey Division 1 – Barnes WE 61½, Houghton DL B 52, Houghton DL A 47½, Thompson Park B 46½, Hetton Wkm 41, North Biddick A 40½, Silksworth 39, Barnes Park B 38½, Sth Hylton 38½, Hylton CW B 37, Roker Marine A 36, Chester le St 34, Ryhope B 32½, Seaham Town A 31, Roker Park A 30½, Ryhope A 25, Thompson Park A 21, Washington A 16, Dawdon 12

Division 2 – Washington B 45, Hylton CW A 45, North Biddick B 41½, Sunderland B 40, Houghton Town A 39½, Seaham Town B 37½, Pemberton A 35½, Sunderland A 32, Houghton Town B 31½, Roker Marine B 31, Barnes Park A 30½, Whitburn 30½, Wearmouth 27½, Hetton Park 23, Pennywell 22, Pemberton B 21, New Herrington 11

Storey Bowl – Hetton Wkm 81, Seaham Town 61½, Thompson Park 49½, Roker Park 48, Houghton Town 44, Hylton CW 43, Dawdon 33, Wearmouth 25

The following games were not played therefore the offending team will be fined as per Association rules - Swan Cup Division 2 – Pemberton v Grindon Mill, Harold Howey Division 1 – Silksworth v Thompson Park, Storey Bowl Houghton Town v Wearmouth

17th September 2016 - BOLT SEALS NORTHERN TITLE

The Northern Counties championships were held last weekend at Heaton Park Manchester, out of the six competitions Durham secured the singles title and missed out on the fours title on an extra end. In the singles Silksworth’s David Bolt ended his outdoor season on a high note, a preliminary round 21-12 win over Lancashire’s Jason Norris was followed by a 21-5 semi-final win over Yorkshire’s Phillip Margerrison. In the final Bolt was not to be denied but had to be at his best to hold off the challenge of Northumberland stalwart Mick McGreevy 21-19, the win was Bolt’s second Northern Counties singles title following on from his 2012 success. The remaining five competitions provided very little of note apart from the four’s where Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna (sub), Stevie Cairns, Billy Ferry and Gary Farquhar missed out on a first Northern Counties Fours title going down agonisingly 18-17 on an extra end to Northumberland’s Simon Richardson in the final.

List of Northern Counties Finals Results
Singles – D.Bolt (Durham) bt M.McGreey (Northumberland)
Pairs – R.Sterling (Lancashire) bt D.Foster (Cumbria)
Triples – C.Gale (Lancashire) bt N.Brignall (Yorkshire)
Fours – S.Richardson (Northumberland) bt G.Farquhar (Durham)
U25 Singles – S.Walton (Yorkshire) bt C.Hodgson (Cumbria)
Two Bowl Singles – P.Humphreys (Yorkshire) bt R.Gallagher (Cumbria)

The Under 25 Tom Butler trophy was also played at Heaton Park and was eventually won by Northumberland, the Durham squad defeated Lancashire 9-7 but then lost to Northumberland 16-8 and Yorkshire 14-11.

A Northern Counties team of twenty four Under 25’s head to Sighthill Bowling club today to face The Scottish Young Bowlers Association as they fight it out for the Federation Cup, Durham’s Joe Ballantyne, Josie Hodgson, Jordan Hartson, Mark Hodgson and Barry Hopkins have all be selected to play.

England completed a Home International series clean sweep as the Under 25’s clinched the series held at Moray Bowls club Scotland. With eight new caps England defeated the hosts Scotland by five shots before getting out of jail against Wales in their second game, with one end left to play Wales were four shots up on the game only for England skip Ryan Atkins to draw a 4th shot with the final bowl of the game to snatch a draw overall. In the series decider against Ireland the English lads put in a classic performance to run out winners by 40 shots and seal a third series in the last four years, England now haven’t lost a Under 25 game since 2012 having won 10 and drawn 2 of their last 12 games.

Bowls England have announced the regional winners of its 2016 club of the year - North: Fitz Park BC, Cumbria, South: Gildredge Park BC, Sussex, East: White Hall BC, Essex,
West: Wellington BC, Somerset

The first round of Inter club senior’s fixtures took place this week with Houghton B the only local squad in action as they played host to Hartlepool B, sadly for the Houghton squad the season opener ended in a 5-0 defeat. The pick of the bunch was Bob Johnson’s quartet who saw a point slip away on the last end, leading 15-12 Johnson dropped a four to finish 16-15 down, sadly the other two rinks suffered heavy defeats, Frank Kell 20-6 and Richard Thorpe 24-4 which sealed a 50-25 defeat overall.

Houghton ladies are due to be in action on Wednesday (1230) as they face Durham in the opening round of Ladies Inter club fixtures, last season Houghton finished 5th out of six teams with Durham 4th.

Sunderland will continue to operate out of Houghton for at least another year, they will continue to compete in the Inter Club league however instead of two Senior squads this has reduced to just one, the senior squad will also compete in the Over 60’s Double Fours

The draw for the various Durham County Champion of Champions competitions has taken place, local interest is as follows.
Singles – A.Hind (Ferryhill) v D.Bolt (Sth Sields), P.Thomson (Houghton) v W.Routledge (Durham)
Pairs – J.McKenna (Sth Shields) v J.Moore (Park View), F.Froud (Houghton) v M.Ralphs (Ferryhill)
Triples – C.Higgins (Hartlepool) v W.Piggott (Houghton), J.Moore (Park View) v GR.Smith (Sth Shields)
Fours – J.Taylor (Durham) v J.Sutherland (Houghton), GR.Smith (Sth Shields) v G.Peacock (Darlington)
Senior Singles – B.Hutchinson (Gt Aycliffe) v M.Wright (Houghton)
Senior Triples – W.Bell (Stanley) v W.Holmes (Houghton), S.Summers (Darlington) v E.Dent (Sth Shields)
Senior Fours – E.Dent (Houghton) v B.Turnbull (Park View), I.Whorlton (Houghton) v E.Henry (Stanley)


Following on from there recent success in the Jeff Wilson sponsored Open Pairs the Sunderland duo of Charlotte Bayliss & Lorraine Breheny (pictured left) added the Town Pair’s title to their CV’s. The final was played on a scorched Barnes West End green in front of a good sized crowd, in the final the Sunderland pair faced Whitburn’s Brenda Harper and Muriel Felce. The Sunderland pair trailed once in the final 7-6 after eight ends and going into the final end they led 14-13, as the end progressed Felce converted to hold shot and a possible extra end however Breheny held her nerve and trailed the jack to secure a 17-13 win, it is worth noting the Sunderland pair have only been bowling for a couple of years.
The SWBA Champion of Champions single’s final also took place on Barnes West End and featured Sunderland’s Jean Graham (pictured left) against Barnes Park’s Margaret Eggleston. Trailing 13-9 Eggleston turned the final on its head to lead 15-13 however Graham was not to be out done and went onto to win seven of the next nine ends to secure a 21-17 win.

As the outdoor season comes to an end there are still a few league results missing to enable the final league standings in the Sunderland & District to be distributed although the majority of promotion and relegation places have been filled. In the Harold Howey Barnes West End (pictured right) celebrated their first Howey title for 22 years with a final game of the season 4-0 win over Roker Marine A, the two Houghton Dairy Lane squads finished 2nd and 3rd while the long-time leaders Thompson Park B had to settle for a creditable 4th place, last year’s champions Silksworth finished 7th while Washington A and Dawdon were relegated. In the second division Washington B go up as champions albeit on shots difference alongside Hylton Colliery Welfare A who bounce back at the first attempt after being relegated last season.

The Northern Counties championships take place at Heaton Park Manchester today and tomorrow with the Durham representatives looking to improve on last year’s poor showing. Locally in the singles Silksworth’s David Bolt will be aiming to repeat his 2014 success but first has to get past Lancashire’s Jason Norris in the preliminary round. In the fours Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar will be looking for a first Northern Counties title, in the semi-finals Farquhar plays the winner of the Robert Sterling (Lancashire) and Nigel Brignall (Yorkshire) prelim. Its eight years since Durham last had any success in the Two Bowl Singles, trying to change that will be Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna, in the semi-final McKenna faces Northumberland’s Brian Davidson.

The other Durham hopes are as follows –
Pairs (Semi-Final) Michael English (Dipton) v Robert Sterling (Lancashire)
Triples (Semi-Final) Dale Oram (Hartlepool Park) v Robert Sterling (Lancashire)
Junior Singles  (Semi-Final) Barry Hopkins (Darlington RA) v Cumbria/Lancashire

The National Championships at Leamington Spa came to an end last weekend and there was nearly late silverware for the region in the Tony Allcock Trophy, the format is a double mixed fours competition and the Darlington based Hundens club had progressed to the final after defeating Princes Riseborough (Buckinghamshire) 49-24 in the semi-final. Sadly in the final Hundens narrowly went down 36-30 to Lindfield (Sussex). The Durham County ladies Under 25’s squad were beaten in the last sixteen of the Amy Rose Double fours championship 30-28 by Leicestershire.

After retaining the Home International series the selectors have named the trialist’s for the 2017 series, there was good news for Durham’s international skip David Bolt as he has been included in the eight players that have been pre-selected for the England team and is not required to attend the trial, the 2017 series takes place at Belmont Bowling club over in Ireland. The women’s England team manager Edna Bessell has decided to stand down from the role after five years in charge, under Bessell’s leadership England have won three of the last four women’s series. The list of trialist’s for the 2017 series has been released with more frustration for north east bowls as the furthest northern player coming from Lincolnshire.

As the indoor season starts at Houghton this week there was good news Cumbria, just 268 days after being completely flooded during Storm Desmond the club opened again as it hosted the first of the season’s Professional Bowling Association qualifiers for the Scottish Open and the International Open. The place in the Scottish Open went to the host club’s Trevor Taylor after a 6-4, 4-4 sets win over the now Durham based Gary Smith. The following day Taylor went onto to complete a double as he secured the Scottish Open spot by beating John McCorie 8-2,7-1. Locally Stanley's playing surface has always been recognised as one of the best in the country however the current surface reached its end of life so both the underlay and a new blue coloured surface have been fitted, the move from the traditional green playing surface is due to the blue surface being the preferred colour by TV companies. 

3rd September 2016 - INSPIRED DUNN

The remaining three Sunderland & District finals were played at a sunny Houghton Dairy Lane and in front of a good crowd; the Silver Jack’s final after the previous wash out recommenced on the third end, the final featured host clubs Joe Sutherland and Alan J Dunn against Silksworth’s Hendy Shields a late sub for the EBF tied Jaxon McKenna and Billy Ferry. On the night Dunn couldn’t do anything wrong as the Silksworth pair found themselves 13-1 down after ten ends and with Sutherland backing his skip up the writing was on the wall hence after sixteen ends with Dunn leading 16-6 the Silksworth pair shook hands. This was a first Silver Jack’s title for the Dairy Lane duo, the last success for the club was 19 years ago when David Morgan and Ian Lambert lifted the title. The two Champion of Champions singles finals were played at the same time, in the main final Silksworth’s David Bolt faced Houghton Town’s Paul Wallace, despite a gallant effort by the Town player it was an inform Bolt that took the title 21-12, this success makes Bolt the only player to have notched four successes with his first some 22 years ago. In the Senior’s final Barnes West End’s Richie Jobling faced the 2002 champion Thompson Park’s Dennis Hulley, in a one sided final Jobling dominated from the start and eventually ran out a 21-9 winner to secure his first success and West End’s second in total.

Houghton Dairy Lane have had a cracking season, having already sealed a Earl Cup title they brought an end to their title winning Swan Cup campaign with a 5-2 win at Seaham Town which completed a domestic double. Over the two leagues Dairy Lane have played 30 games and only lost one while rattling up 176 points in the process. They also compete in the Durham & District league and have sealed the Division one title.

Final Earl Cup Tables

Division 1
Houghton DL 73, Silksworth 60, Roker Marine 49, Barnes Park 38, Houghton Town 30, Thompson Park 23, Seaham Town 21. (Thompson Park and Seaham Town are relegated)

Division 2
Hetton Workmen 63, Barnes West End 61, Hylton CW 39½, South Hylton 39, Usworth 37½, North Biddick 31, Sunderland 23. (Hetton Workmen and Barnes West End are promoted, North Biddick and Sunderland are relegated)

Division three still has a couple of outstanding games however Whitburn and Roker Park are promoted.

The popular ladies Open Pairs was again held at Roker Park with Ashbrooke Funeral’s again sponsoring the well supported competition, the title went to a couple of newcomers in the shape of Sunderland’s Charlotte Bayliss & Lorna Breheny (pictured right) after a 12-5 win over Barnes Park’s Maureen Burnett & Ann Callaghan.

The SWBA league title had been won by Sunderland ladies, only 1½ points covered the top three but Sunderland held of Whitburn by a point with Barnes Park a further half point behind, long time leaders Roker Marine finished 4th. The once proud league use to boast fourteen teams sadly times have changed and with Ryhope & Silksworth ladies both dropping out mid-season the league is down to just six clubs.

Final Table – Sunderland 29½, Whitburn 28½, Barnes Park 28, Roker Marine 25½, Houghton Town 22, Roker Park 16½.

The National Championships have entered the final week of competition’s, sadly all local hopes have been dashed. In the triples first round both Durham qualifiers went out, Houghton Dairy Lane’s Colin Brown, David Armstrong and Dan Todner found Suffolk’s former England internationalist Mark Royal too hot to handle going down 24-6 while Hartlepool Park’s Dale Oram was beaten 19-12 by Middlesex’s Craig Hill. In the pairs Stockton’s Paul Mosley notched up a couple of wins before losing in the last sixteen to the eventual winner Devon’s Sam Tolchard, the other Durham hope was Dipton’s Michael English who went out in the second round 23-28 to Yorkshire’s Scott Walton. Both hopes in the Two bowl singles failed to make progress, Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna was beaten 16-7 by Hereford’s Tom Holmes and Hartlepool Old Boy’s Carl Higgins narrowly went down 13-12 to Hertfordshire’s Bradley Coles. The final hope of glory lay with Silksworth’s David Bolt in the singles, after a hard fought 21-17 win over Hereford’s Ryan Atkins Bolt’s hopes were ended in the second round with a 21-18 defeat at the hands of Surrey’s Tom Orr, the other northern hope Dipton’s Michael English was beaten 21-9 by Northant’s Vernon Gearey in the preliminary round. Earlier in the week Leadgate’s Ian Peacock was beaten 21-14 in the last sixteen of the senior singles.

There has been plenty of local success on the Open tournament circuit - Houghton Dairy Lane Pairs Winners – Joe Sutherland and Jimmy McAdoo, Hexham Triples Winner – Frankie Froud, Chester le Street Open Triples Winner – Frankie Froud, Dawdon Open Pairs Winners – Bryan Henderson (jnr) and Brian Henderson (snr)  

The indoor leagues at Houghton commence on 9th September, all league players are reminded they must pay there membership fee's before playing in any of the leagues as per club rules. 































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