Silksworth retained the Earl Cup without bowling a bowl, with the weather washing out the leaders game at Barnes Park their nearest challengers Roker Marine in one of only two games played could only manage a 70-66¼ (4½-2½) win over Usworth in a game that ended in complete darkness, that result left Marine still half a point adrift handing Silksworth there sixth title in seven years plus it completed a Earl and Swan league double. The champions did however complete their campaign at Barnes Park later in the week with a last end 51-48 (5-2) win to break the ninety point barrier. Holders Houghton Dairy Lane finished off with a win 59½-54 (5-2) at Barnes West End while Hylton Colliery Welfare in their first season back in the top flight defeated Hetton Workmen’s 39¾-28¼ (6-1), the two relegated teams clashed as Houghton Town jumped above Seaham Town with a 56¼-38 (5-2) away win. The only game to survive the weather in division two saw South Hylton defeat Grindon Mill 64-60 (5-2) to cement a mid table finish.           

The final of the Grindon league Tommy Thompson double fours took place at Dairy Lane, having already retained the league Silksworth completed a back to back double as they defeated Hylton Colliery Welfare 38-25 in the final (both pictured).

Final Grindon League standings – Silksworth 41½, Houghton DL 34½, Barnes West End 34, South Hylton 34, Wearmouth 23½, Usworth 23, Whitburn 20, Ryhope 18½, New Herrington 17, Hylton CW 16½, Grindon Mill 12½.

The remaining SWBA competition was played to a finish as Roker Park hosted the Round Robin Pairs competition sponsored by Jeff Wilson Ashbrooke Funeral Directors, the winners were the reigning champions Roker Marine’s Marilyn Dodds and Grace Maxwell, in the final they beat the Sunderland county duo of Charlotte Bayliss and Loraine Breheny on an extra end. 

The national championships at Leamington Spa came to a close last weekend, Durham and Silksworth star David Bolt’s hopes of repeating his 2011 title success were dashed at the semi final stage. A 21-12 quarter final win over Yorkshire’s Vinnie O’Neill set up a semi final clash against Devon’s Louis Ridout, a slow start saw Bolt trail 12-3 but battled back to 14-13, just when the momentum was turning in Bolt’s favour lady luck deserted the Silksworth star and eventually succumbed to a 21-16 loss. Having qualified in five events it has been a long two weeks for Bolt and losing three semi finals will hurt however there was some good news as he has been selected again for another England trial in September, somewhat bizarrely the two unbeaten rinks in the home international series one of which Bolt skipped have not been pre-selected and have to attend the trial.

Houghton Dairy Lane’s popular Open Pairs title went to the Silksworth duo of Gary Farquhar and David Bolt, in the final they beat club mate Jim Richardson and Dairy Lane’s Ian Lambert.

The Durham County ladies B team ended their Stella Logan campaign with a defeat, despite a spirited performance they went down 113-109 to Yorkshire as Sessay BC.

Durham County President Jeff Wilson’s team hosted Bedfordshire CBA at Dairy Lane this week, sadly it ended in defeat as the tourists ran out 120-116 winners, meanwhile Sunderland & District President John Patterson ended his season on a high as the District defeated Brampton 106-81 with Patterson top rink winning 21-5.

There was a double dose of sad news for the local bowls scene, first the former Laing’s, Barnes West End and Roker Park member Bobby Brewis (85) passed away, although not seen on the green for a few years due to ill health Bobby was a popular figure and a respected player. Secondly Alex Robinson (86) also passed away, again not seen on the green for a few years the former Thompson Park member was one of the most under rated leads of the nineties who was easily good enough for county honours, both will be missed by their respective clubs and fellow bowlers from that era.   

Seaham Town will be holding their club presentation evening at the Seaham Conservative club on Friday 5th October at 7pm, tickets are priced at £5 and available via Arthur Gregory 0191-5815206.

As the outdoor season ends its straight into the indoor season, bowlers at Houghton will now have the benefit of a new carpet and under lay which was funded by the club and the Active Centre, the internal leagues get underway this morning and members are reminded they need to have paid their membership before playing  in any of the leagues.

The first round of Inter club Vets fixtures take place this week, Houghton Sancroft head to Shields and Houghton Kepier host Hartlepool B.

South Shield’s were due to host the season’s first Open Singles Circuit event however with the outdoors just finishing it was always going to be touch and go if the entries came in, they did get forty but it has be decided to cancel and rearrange to a later date. At the moment there are only two local events on the circuit, Durham (Dec 2) and Hartlepool (April 19), the OSC are also introducing a Masters event limited to 32 players at Dolphin Indoor in Poole with a £2,000 first prize, the entry fee is £52.50p.


The final of the Sunderland & District Silver Jack’s took place at a soggy Barnes West End, the final was an all Silksworth affair as Jaxon McKenna & Billy Ferry took on Jimmy Richardson & Gary McPheators (pictured) , in a low scoring final it was the Richardson/McPheators combination that came out on top 13-9.

After agonisingly missing out on a fourth consecutive Storey Bowl title last season by half a point Hetton Workmen have sealed this year’s title with a game to spare. They clinched the title at home when they cruised to a 98-37½ (7-0) win over Roker Park to secure a ninth Storey title, defending champions Seaham Town pushed them all the way and even a 76-64 (6-1) win over Hylton Colliery wasn’t enough, the champions finish the season off at Pennywell today.

The Earl Cup took another twist as leaders Silksworth were beaten 67-64 (5-2) at relegation threatened Seaham Town, the defeat has seen Silksworth’s lead cut to just two points as Roker Marine ground out a 77-73 (5-2) win over Barnes Park, Barnes West End are back in the title race after they beat Hetton Workmen’s 60-46 (5-2), West End now trail the leaders by five points, the top two clash at Silksworth this week. Houghton Town’s relegation was confirmed with a 89-23 (7-0) loss at neighbours Houghton Dairy Lane.
In division two North Biddick’s 85-52 (6-1) win at Sunderland not only secured promotion but also ensured they go up as champions, Washington’s promotion hopes were hit when they went down 58-49 (5-2) at Thompson Park, Grindon Mill’s 54½-50 (5-2) win at Whitburn moves them up to third and are only 6½ points behind Washington with a game in hand.

The Swan Cup title is heading to Silksworth, a 7-0 home win over South Hylton coupled with Roker Marine only managing a 5-2 win at Hetton Workmen’s means with one game to play no one can catch Silksworth, both relegation places have been filled, Seaham Town defaulted 7-0 and Hetton Workmen’s defeat sent both down, the two meet in the final round of fixtures with only the wooden spoon to fight over.
In division two Usworth go up as champions after a 60¾-54¼ (5½-1½) win at Roker Park, that defeat for Roker enabled Grindon Mill to leap into the other promotion spot following a 60¾-55 (6-1) win at Washington, in the final games Grindon host Roker with the winners likely to be promoted.

In the Harold Howey Barnes Park B (pictured) only needed one point from their final game against Roker Park to win the title, as it happens Barnes ran out 4-0 winners to secure a sixth Howey success. Both Dairy Lane squads ended the season with wins, the B team beat Roker Marine A 34-28 (3-1) to finish second and the A team beat Whitburn 56-19¼ (4-0) to finish third. With Whitburn already relegated South Hylton’s 4-0 loss at Barnes West End has left them sweating on the result of Hylton Colliery A to see who fills the second relegation place. In division two with long time leaders Chester le Street on a bye Thompson Park B took advantage and are promoted after defeating Thompson Park A 41-29 (4-0), at the foot of the table New Herrington hauled themselves off bottom spot with a 34-33 (3-1) win over Pemberton B.

The final round of Grindon league fixtures have been played, already crowned champions Silksworth maintained their unbeaten record with a 58-17 (4-0) win over New Herrington, Wearmouth and Usworth played out a 36-36 (3½-3½) draw while the early leaders Whitburn ended a run of six defeats with a 45¾-35 win over Hylton Colliery, the remaining game between South Hylton and Houghton Dairy Lane was cancelled, the latter will finish runners up if they secure a minimum of 3½ points in the rearranged fixture.

The Champion of Champions has been taking place this week and there will be new names added to the roll of honour, the main final will feature Silksworth’s Jimmy Richardson and Seaham Town’s Bryan Henderson (snr), in the quarter finals Richardson produced a Houdini comeback against Grindon Mill’s Alan Patterson from 17-4 and 19-9 down to win 21-20 while Henderson secured a final spot with an impressive 21-14 win over past winner West End’s Bryan Sanderson. In the Seniors the final will see Roker Marine’s John Smith tackle North Biddick’s Bill Piggott, in the semi finals both got home 21-19 against Washington’s Malcolm Thompson and Barnes Park’s Michael Wright respectively.

The national championships at Leamington Spa are entering the final ten days, in the fours the Silksworth quartet of Phil Dixon, Neal Ridley, Ian Riches and David Bolt nearly repeated their 2014 title success, an opening 41-7 win over Sussex’s Mike Christian was backed up with a 22-10 win over Berkshire’s Gordon Ballantyne, a last sixteen 25-6 win over Essex’s Russell Harmour set up a 23-7 quarter final win over Somerset’s Peter Birmingham, in the semi final against Lancashire’s Chris Gale the Silksworth lads looked on course for another final appearance as they led 13-8 however things went downhill rapidly and they eventually succumbed 25-13. The other Durham representative in the fours Leadgate’s Garry Robson went out in the second round 20-17 to Northamptonshire’s Neil Corbyn.

In champion of champions last sixteen Bolt defeated Norfolk’s Tom Segolo 21-15 however having been on the green for over 10 hours in humid conditions fatigue took over and in the quarter final as Bolt went down 21-12 to Northamptonshire’s Jamie Walker although not taking anything away from the winner.  

In the Junior Singles Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna defeated Suffolk’s Kyle Leeks 21-19 and then Derbyshire’s Connor Barrett 21-10, in the last sixteen McKenna ended Northumberland’s Jack Millers hopes 21-11 before succumbing in the last eight 21-14 to Berkshire’s Lloyd Sabatini, Durham’s other hope was Darlington RA’s Keith Burton, sadly the RA star was beaten in the first round 21-17.

The triples has just got underway, there was disappointment for Darlington RA’s Andrew Kirtland who suffered a 19-17 prelim loss to Herefordshire’s Shaun Jones, the Silksworth trio of Phil Dixon, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt have progressed to the last sixteen, wins over Suffolk’s David Brown 19-8 and Essex’s Lee Chaplin 22-12 has set up a tie against Herefordshire’s Ryan Atkins.          


Last weekend Houghton Dairy Lane hosted this year’s Northern Counties Championships, over the two days there were seven titles on offer, it turned out to be a tremendous weekend for Durham County as they collected five titles. For Durham it was once again Silksworth’s David Bolt who stole the show as he landed three titles. On the first day Durham landed three of the four titles on offer, in the Fours the Silksworth rink of Scott Baker (sub), Neal Ridley, Ian Riches and David Bolt took the title with a 21-13 win over Lancashire’s Shayne Rimmer, in the morning semi final Bolt had to fend off a late fight back by Northumberland’s England star Chris Yeoman to get home 21-16.
In the Under 25 singles Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna was Durham’s representative, sadly Mckenna suffered a heartbreaking 21-20 last bowl semi final loss to Northumberland’s Jack Miller, in the final the Northumberland star let slip a 14-3 lead and succumbed to a 21-16 loss against Lancashire’s Anthony Booth-Young. The second Durham title came in the invitation Under 25’s fours, only three of the five counties provided squads but it was still played on a round robin format with each game lasting an hour, Durham’s quartet of Jordan Harston (Hundens), Jaxon McKenna (Silksworth), Bryan Henderson (Seaham Town) and Josh Halcrow (Silksworth) took the honours after winning both their games, an opening 15-5 win over Yorkshire was followed up by an impressive 11-4 win over Lancashire to take the title.

The first day was capped off in style as Durham landed a third title this time in the two bowl singles with Silksworth’s main man David Bolt once again the shining light, a hard fought 15-12 semi final win over Lancashire youngster Anthony Booth-Young was then followed up by a more straight forward 19-9 win over Yorkshire’s Chris King.

Day two was hit by the weather but once again Durham enjoyed a fruitful day as they secured two of the three titles on offer. In the blue riband singles the David Bolt band wagon rolled on again, after a comfortable 21-4 semi final win over Lancashire stalwart Rhys Vaughan the Silksworth star went onto beat Yorkshire’s former England internationalist Mark Walton 21-16 in a cracking final, that win leaves only the triples missing from Bolt’s Northern Counties collection.
The second Durham title of the day and fifth in total came in the pairs as the Dipton duo of Michael English and George Williams defeated Lancashire’s Dominic McVittie 19-16 in the final, the DIpton lads defeated Northumberland’s Paul Ging 18-10 in the semi final. In the triples the Darlington RA squad of Keith Burton (sub), Mark Jones and Tony Macey (sub) lost out on an extra end 16-15 in the semi finals against the eventual champion Yorkshire’s Phil Emmerson.

The two day bonanza was brought forward from early September to give the players ideal preparation for the national championships at Leamington, the premise of the Northern Counties is to bring together each of the five county champions, the winning of a Northern Counties title was once a highly sort after honour, sadly the pulling power of the championships has somewhat waned over recent years due to the lure of cash prizes and player commitments therefore the rules were relaxed to allow counties to send the runners up or even the beaten semi finalist’s should there champions not be able to compete, even then places were not filled by some counties.  The only disappointment over the two days was the low spectator turn out to support the Durham players especially as the weather on the Saturday was glorious, however what was lacking in quantity was made up for in quality.

In the Bowls England Top club area final Darlington RA’s run came to an end at Scunthorpe as they were beaten 3-2 by Leicestershire’s New Lount, the winner’s now head to Leamington for the latter stages.

The destination of the Burkett Shield has been decided , in the final played at Barnes West End the Silksworth trio of Neal Ridley, Ian Riches and Billy Ferry faced Hetton Workmen’s John Doyle, Peter Harding and John Purdy.
The early exchanges saw Ferry lead 12-3, a count of four to Hetton raised their hopes at 12-7 however with Ferry in terrific form the Silksworth trio regrouped and eventually finished 18-9 victors.

The semi finals of the Silver Jacks were played at Barnes Park, Silksworth’s Gary McPheators & Jim Richardson booked a final place with a 20-14 win over Ryhope’s Bill Barkess and Dale Fenwick, it will be an all Silksworth final as Jaxon McKenna & Billy Ferry beat Houghton Dairy Lane’s Ray Robinson & Jeff Wilson 18-15, a Ferry win would put him in a band of select players to hold both the Jacks and Burkett in the same year.

As the outdoor season enters the final three weeks the various league titles are still up for grabs, although with the night’s drawing in early starts may be the order of the day, the Earl Cup leaders Silksworth returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion as they hit Hylton Colliery for a ton 102-32¼ (7-0), Roker Marine moved into second place after defeating Barnes West End 73-66 (6-1) and are now only five points behind the leaders, with only two games to play Silksworth head to Seaham while Marine host Barnes Park, bottom of the table Houghton Town were beaten at home 66¼-58½ (6½-½) by Hetton Workmen while second bottom Seaham Town were also beaten 72-59¾ (6-1) at Barnes Park, Usworth had a good 74-52 (6-1) win over holders Houghton Dairy Lane. In the second division North Biddick’s 77-62½ (6-1) win over Roker Park means they only need four points from their remaining two games to seal promotion, Washington Glebe’s 75-44 (6-1) win over Sunderland has put them 11½ points clear of Thompson Park although the two sides meet this week.

The Swan Cup title race took another twist as leaders Silksworth were beaten at Dairy Lane 64-53 (5½-1½), that win puts Dairy Lane a point behind the leaders with two games to go however Dairy Lane have their bye this week, that result has opened the door ajar for Roker Marine who defeated Barnes West End 76-69 (5½-1½), Marine are 5½ points adrift but they meet Silksworth in the final game in a fortnight’s time. In a weather restricted game Seaham Town kept alive their hopes of escaping the drop with a 51-43 (6-1) win over North Biddick, Hetton Workmen’s 53-49¾ (5-2) loss at South Hylton has seen them drop to bottom.  In the second division Usworth secured promotion with a thrilling 61-60¾ (5-2) win over Washington, the leaders can seal the title if they defeat second placed Roker Park, the latter beat Houghton Town 56-45¾ (5-2), Thompson Park’s promotion hopes took a hit as they lost at home 56-31 (6-1) to Hylton Colliery.

The destination of the Harold Howey will be decided this week as the final round of games take place on Thursday, Barnes Park B’s 45-28 (4-0) win at North Biddick A means they only need a point in their final game at home to Roker Park to secure a fourth Howey success, second placed Houghton Dairy Lane B defeated Ryhope A 43-28½ (3½-½) but may rue that dropped half point and will need all four points at Roker Marine A and hope Barnes slip up. The battle to avoid the drop will also go to the final week, the all Hylton Colliery Welfare derby saw the B team defeat the A team 33-31 (3-1) that result coupled with South Hylton’s  34-28 (4-0) win over Washington means Hylton Colliery A must win their final game 4-0 against North Biddick A and hope other results to go their way to avoid joining Whitburn in division two. The race for promotion from the second division will go to the final games as any two from Thompson Park B, Chester le Street, Washington Glebe A and Pennywell are still in with a chance to go up.

The Grindon league Tommy Thompson double fours final will be between Hylton Colliery and Silksworth, last week’s semi finals saw Hylton defeat Barnes West End 31-29 and in a repeat of the 2017 final Silksworth defeated Usworth 34-25. 

The National Championships are currently taking place at Leamington Spa, it has been a quiet week for the Durham qualifiers, in the ladies two bowl singles prelim’s Dairy Lanes Susan Forster  defeated Hampshire’s Sue Dadson 17-8 however Forster’s hopes were dashed in the next round going down 16-9 to Norfolk’s England star Rebecca Field, in the same competition Stockton’s Teresa Parnell was beaten 14-13 by Sussex’s Jennie Sandford. In the triples both Durham hopes went out early doors, Newton Hall’s Anne Bernard lost 27-11 to Devon’s England star Natalie Chestney and Pelton Fell’s Olive Brown lost 26-9 to Surrey’s Margaret Smith.  The men’s part of the championships gets underway today, in the Junior Singles Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna takes on Suffolk’s Kyle Leeks while Darlington RA’s Keith Burton tackles Wiltshire’s Tom Newman. Tomorrow the prelim’s of the men’s fours take place and it will signal the start of a long two weeks for Silksworth’s David Bolt, after his exploits in the Northern Counties Bolt will be brimming with confidence as his quartet of Phil Dixon, Neal Ridley and Ian Riches face Sussex’s Mike Christian.


There has been local success at the National Championships currently taking place at Leamington Spa, the Houghton Dairy Lane pairing of Glynis Morgan and Joan Rodgerson (pictured) are the 2018 Bowls England Senior Pairs champions. A first round 29-12 win over Sussex’s Gillian Lamprey was followed by a 20-17 win over Norfolk’s Joyce Webster, in the quarter finals the Dairy Lane duo defeated Buckinghamshire’s Denise Newport before a thrilling extra end 16-15 semi final win over Dorset’s Penny Cresswell. In the final they faced the defending champion Hampshire’s Margaret Holden, the early exchanges saw Hampshire lead 8-5, by the 15th end the Dairy Lane pair had edged ahead 11-9, they were still ahead by the 19th end 14-12, it was however the 20th end that sealed the deal as Rodgerson collected a four to lead 18-12, a last end treble was the icing on the cake as it finished 21-12 and a first national title for both players.

The fifth combined men’s and ladies National Championships are spread over 30 days with 35 national titles on the line, in the ladies Under 25 singles both Durham qualifiers went out in the first round, Stacy Pattison (Darlington North Park) lost a thriller 21-20 to Worcestershire’s Maddie Burgess and Nicole Kirtland (Darlington North Park) narrowly lost 21-19 to Huntingdonshire’s Merisha McKeran. In the ladies fours both Durham squads were beaten in the first round, Stockton’s Teresa Parnell was well beaten 25-8 by Middlesex’s Ann Halliday and Darlington Woodland’s Ann Anderson missed out losing 23-17 to another Middlesex quartet skipped by Sue Butcher. Dipton’s Michael English’s hopes of going one further in the Senior Fours were dashed this time at the quarter final stage, an opening 27-14 win over Sussex’s Keith Holman was followed up by a 22-19 win over Dorest’s Bob Atkins, last year English lost in the national final sadly their journey ended in the quarter finals as they went down 24-9 to Isle Of Wight’s Martin Butchers. There was also disappointment in the men’s Junior Pairs as the Darlington RA duo Keith Burton and Liam Macey lost their opener 19-10 against Hampshire’s Dan Smith.

The Middleton Cup final saw Leicestershire spring a surprise defeating hot favourites Devon, the thrilling final finished 119-119 which meant all the rinks had to return to the green to play an extra end each which Leicestershire won 9-1, in the semi finals Leicestershire ended Yorkshire’s hopes 113-103. The final of the ladies John’s Trophy was a more straight forward affair as Surrey ran out 125-109 winners against Wiltshire, in the semi final’s the latter defeated Yorkshire 129-79.

In the area final of the Bowls England champion of champions Silksworth’s David Bolt defeated Nafferton’s Stephen Dilk’s 21-15 at Thirsk, the wins lands Bolt a fifth trip to Leamington Spa, in the last sixteen the Silksworth star will face either Richard Parkinson (Cambridgeshire) or Tom Segolo (Norfolk) on August 21.

The Northern Counties championships take place at Houghton Dairy Lane this weekend with a full programme running from 10am through to 6pm, tomorrow Silksworth’s Phil Dixon, Neal Ridley, Ian Riches and David Bolt will be looking for a first NC Fours title, in the morning semi final they face Northumberland’s Chris Yeomans. Bolt will also be looking for a first NC Two Bowl title, in the afternoon semi final Lancashire’s Anthony Booth-Young stands in the way of a final place. It is fifteen years since Durham had a NC Under 25 champion, Darlington RA’s Keith Burton will be flying the flag in the semi final against Northumberland’s Jack Miller. On Sunday Bolt will look for a third NC Singles success, in the semi final Lancashire’s Anthony Booth-Young provides the opposition again, in the Pair’s semi final Dipton’s Michael English is up against Northumberland’s Paul Ging while Darlington RA’s Andrew Kirtland will be going for a 4th Triples title, in the morning semi final Kirtland faces Lancashire’s Chris Gale.

The latter stages of the Sunderland & District Burkett Shield are taking place this week with the final due to be held at Barnes West End tonight (6.30pm), the semi final line up is John Purdy (Hetton Workmen) v Alan Patterson (Grindon Mill) and Billy Ferry (Silksworth) v Stephen Copeland (Usworth).

It has been another unpredictable week in the race for the Earl Cup title and with only four games remaining anyone from four teams can lift the title, leaders Silksworth suffered only their second loss of the season as they were beaten 72-55 (7-0) at Houghton Dairy Lane, the latter are now only 9½ points adrift with a game in hand on the leaders, second placed Barnes West End’s 84-62 (6-1) win over bottom of the table Houghton Town has closed the gap at the top to just a couple of points, Roker Marine’s 63-60½ win at Seaham Town moves them to within four points of the leaders, Usworth’s 70-55½ (6-1) win at Hetton Workmen’s virtually makes them safe from the drop while Hylton Colliery gave themselves some breathing space with a 74¾-53 (5-2) win over Barnes Park. In division two the top three all lost, leaders North Biddick narrowly lost 72-68 (6-1) at Ryhope, second placed Washington Glebe were beaten 66-53¾ (5-2) at Roker Park and Grindon Mill’s promotion hopes took a battering as they lost 81-47¾ (6-1) at Thompson Park, the remaining game saw bottom of the table South Hylton beat Sunderland 75-66 (6-1).

In the Swan Cup, leaders Silksworth had a bye so the chasing pack had a chance to close the gap at the top, Houghton Dairy Lane did just that beating Hetton Workmen’s 87-43¾ (6-1), third placed Barnes West End failed to take advantage as they suffered a 67-62 (6-1) home defeat against South Hylton while allowed Roker Marine to move into third with a 83-61 (5-2) win at North Biddick. In the second division it was a case of lucky thirteen for the bottom club Pemberton, after twelve straight defeats they produced the result of the night to notch their first win of the season stunning leaders Usworth 64¾-61 (4½-2½), despite the loss it was still a good night for the leaders as second placed Thompson Park went down 91-46 (7-0) at Roker Park a result that see’s Roker leap into second place, third placed Washington Glebe also went down 73-51 (6-1) at home to Houghton Town, the other game saw Grindon Mill win at Ryhope 66-47 (6-1).

With leaders Hetton Workmen on a bye the race for the Storey Bowl took another twist, following Seaham Town’s 76-41 (7-0) win at bottom of the table Thompson Park holders Seaham move 4½ points clear although Hetton have two games in hand on the new leaders, Houghton Town’s title hopes took a knock as they were beaten 69-52 (6-1) at home to Hylton Colliery, Pennywell got back to winning ways beating Wearmouth 79-49 (5½-1½), the latter host Hetton today who could go back top as Seaham are on a bye.

In the Harold Howey Silksworth are the new leaders following a 49-13½ (4-0) win at Hylton Colliery B, relegation threatened Ryhope A had a cracking 39-22 (4-0) win over Roker Park, Seaham Town A won a thrilling local derby against Ryhope B 32-31 (3-1) while North Biddick have a good 37-22 (4-0) win at Roker Marine A, Washington Glebe B came out on top in a mid table clash against Houghton Town A 40-39 (3½-1½). With only two games left the top teams in division two both lost, leaders Chester le Street suffered back to back defeats this time 34-29 (3-1) at Sunderland, second placed Thompson Park A were beaten 38-21½ (4-0) at bottom of the table Pemberton B who recorded only their second win of the season. Wearmouth had a good away win 41-19 (4-0) at New Herrington while North Biddick B and Roker Marine B played out a draw 28-28 (2-2), the other result saw Sunderland B enjoy an away win at South Hetton 37-34 (3-1).                   

The semi finals of the Burkett Shield took place at Barnes Park, Hetton Workmen’s John Doyle, Peter Harding and John Purdy booked a final place after defeating Grindon Mill’s Alan Graham, Michael Noble and Alan Patterson 18-15, the Grindon trio were left rueing a slow start which saw them trail 13-1. The other semi final saw Silksworth’s Neal Ridley, Ian Riches and Billy Ferry hold off a late charge from Usworth’s Brian Poulter, Mal Smith and Stephen Copeland 19-16, the final is due to take place at Barnes West End.

The destination of the Grindon league title is Silksworth, their 51-34 (4-1) win at Hylton Colliery coupled with second placed Barnes West End’s 46½-33 (4-1) loss at Usworth means with only one round of games to play Silksworth cannot be caught. New Herrington’s 61-30 (5-0) win over Ryhope moves them to mid table while the early leaders Whitburn suffered a sixth straight loss this time 57-33 (5-0) at Houghton Dairy Lane. The semi finals of the Tommy Thompson double fours take place at Roker Marine, in a repeat of last year’s final Usworth will take on holders Silksworth and Barnes West End take on Hylton Colliery. 

At the national championships the ladies singles has commenced, the first of the Durham qualifiers Consett Park’s Teresa Pearson has negotiated the preliminary round defeating Middlesex’s Janine Bancroft 21-10, Pearson tackles Dorset’s Lyn Howard and Dairy Lane’s Susan Forster faces Berkshire’s Jane Murphy in the first round.

The Sunderland & District president’s team defeated South Tyneside BA 80-69, both games planned for this weekend against Washington and Elvaston have been cancelled leaving next weekend’s trip to Brampton to bring their season to a close.

***LATE NEWS*** - The draw for the Sunderland & District Champion of Champions is now on the website


This season’s County final’s were held at Houghton Dairy Lane last weekend, locally we had high hopes of lifting eight of the nine titles on offer, in the end only three titles materialised plus a county first. It was always going to be a long day for Silksworth’s England international skip David Bolt as he had to play in four finals, first up in the fours final alongside club-mate’s Phil Dixon, Neal Ridley and Ian Riches they faced the current county champion Leadgate’s Garry Robson, despite the very trying weather condition’s Bolt steered his rink to a 25-12 win to repeat their 2014 success. Next for Bolt was the blue riband singles final against the host club’s Mal Peach who was looking for a first singles title, in a classic seesaw final Bolt got home 21-19 but full credit to Peach who pushed the England star to the limit. Bolt’s third final was the two bowl singles against Darlington RA’s Peter Coulson where he created a bit of county history, having never previously entered the two bowl it was therefore the only county title missing from Bolt’s CV, in the end the Silksworth player ran out a 17-4 winner, that success made Bolt the first player to have won all six major county titles during their career, since his first title in the Under 25 singles in 1994 Bolt has racked up twenty county titles. The end of a long day for Bolt however ended in disappointment in the triples final, alongside Phil Dixon and Gary Farquhar they missed out in the defence of their triples title going down 20-16 to Darlington RA’ s Andrew Kirtland.

The remaining finals proved disappointing for our local hopes, in the pairs the Dairy Lane duo of Ken Briscoe and John Thurlbeck had a tough day at the office as they were well beaten 24-4 by the Dipton duo of Michael English and George Williams. In the Champion of Champions Roker Marine’s Peter Thomson was left to rue a slow start against Dunston’s Alan Jobling and eventually succumbed 21-11. There was double heartache for Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna, first in the Under 25 pairs alongside Silksworth club mate Josh Halcrow they were beaten 15-13 by the holders Darlington RA’s Keith Burton and Liam Macey which was followed by a loss in the Under 25 singles final also against RA’s Burton 21-18, the latter becomes the first to have won both Under 25 titles in the same season.  The only final with no local interest was the Senior Fours where in a repeat of last season’s final the holder Dipton’s Michael English defeated Spennymoor’s Barry Attwood 20-3.

Having lost their first four games in the Northern Counties Stella Logan the Durham County ladies B team are ending the season on a high having now won their last three games on the trot, the long trip to Southport to face leaders Lancashire proved a fruitful one as they ran out 96-65 winners. Top rink was Horden’s Jenny Collins who steered her quartet to a 30-12 win which included Sunderland’s Charlotte Bayliss at second bowl, the 8-2 points return means Durham will most likely finish fifth in the table, the final game against Yorkshire in late August has been moved to Sessay BC .
Latest Standings – Lancashire 38½, Yorkshire 38½, Cumbria 36, Durham 31, Northumberland 16.

In the Bowls England champion of champions Silksworth’s David Bolt move dinto the area final after a 21-14 win over Cumbria’s David Foster, Bolt will face Nafferton’s Stephen Dilk’s for a place at Leamington.

The national championships get underway tomorrow at Leamington Spa, the thirty day bowls bonanza will see thirty five national titles won, this is the fifth combined men and ladies championships to be held at the Warwickshire venue which is now the home of Bowls England since its move away from Worthing. The two main team event’s get the championships underway, in the men’s Middleton Cup Yorkshire face Leicestershire and Buckinghamshire face the favourites Devon while in the ladies John’s Trophy Yorkshire face Wiltshire and Northamptonshire face Surrey. On Sunday the Houghton Dairy Lane duo of Gylnis Morgan and Joan Rodgerson are in Senior Pairs first round action as they take on Suffolk’s Pauline Anderson and Gillian Lamprey.       

The first of the season’s Sunderland & District titles was decided this week as the final of the 3-2-1 knock out triples was played at association president John Patterson’s home green Barnes West End. The final saw Silksworth who were aiming for a ninth 3-2-1 title against a Roker Marine outfit that had yet to win the competition although this was their third final appearance in the last four years. The early exchanges saw Marine lead by eight shots only for Silksworth to bounce back at the ten end mark to lead by twelve shots, that lead was extended to eighteen shots by the fifteen end mark but the games quirky scoring system saw Marine put in a spirited late surge however Silksworth held on for a 217-209 win and a ninth title.

Scores (Silksworth skips first)
P.Baker 55-53 R.Mckie, G.Farquhar 45-63 A.Middleton, W.Ferry 57-45 R.Graham, H.Shields 60-48 P.Thomson

The next Sunderland & District title to be decided will be the Burkett Shield, the quarter finals take place at Roker Park on Tuesday night, the semi finals on Thursday have been moved from Houghton Town to Barnes Park, the final will be played at Barnes West End the following night. The holders Silksworth’s Phil Dixon are out as they went down on an extra end to Barnes West End’s Frankie Froud.

The Sunderland & District President’s team have just returned from their annual yearly tour which was thoroughly enjoyed by all who travelled. This year they visited the Scottish Highland’s and were based in Kingussie, the tour party was ably led by President John Patterson and tour Secretary Malcolm Thompson. During the weeklong tour they played five games winning all five in the process, as usual the hospitality and friendship of the Scottish players was to say the least overwhelming.

Tours Results -
W94-87  Nairn BC, W87-51 Blair Atholl BC, W99-62 Newtonmore BC, W108-56 Fort William Railway BC, W88-68 Fraser Park (Inverness) 

 In 2019 the District are planning a tour around the Lincolnshire area anyone interested please contact Malcolm Thompson 0785 511 0883 or Jim Huntingdon 0792 604 3194 for details.

Silksworth tightened their grip on the Earl Cup with a 92-45½ (7-0) win over Hetton Workmen’s, the leaders are eight points clear of Barnes West End who had a good 71-47¾ (6-1) win at Seaham Town, Hylton Colliery remain outside the relegation places even though they went down 83-59 (7-0) at Roker Marine, the other result saw Usworth maintain a mid table position with a 81-48 (6-1) win over bottom of the table Houghton Town. In the second division the only result saw Whitburn defeat Thompson Park 61-45 (6-1).

In the Swan Cup Houghton Dairy Lane’s title defence took another hit as they were beaten 56-54 (4-3) at home by Barnes West End, Roker Marine cemented fourth with a 67-53 (6-1) win over Barnes Park while South Hylton eased their relegation worries with a 69-65 (5-2) win over North Biddick. This season the cancellation of league games has come under the spotlight, the lack of an option to play the game after the scheduled date unless its cancelled due to rain but within the 28 day rule has resulted in an unprecedented eleven games being conceded, in the Swan Cup the fact that North Biddick through no fault of their own have collected fourteen points off Hetton Workmen’s without bowling a bowl demonstrates the current rule isn’t fit for purpose and needs tweaking. In division two Usworth are way out in front at the top, win number eleven this time 93-36 (6-1) over Ryhope has seen them open up a fifteen point lead, Thompson Park moved into second after defeating Washington 87-38 (7-0), Roker Park’s promotion hopes were dented as they went down 67-51 (6-1) at Hylton Colliery.

The Harold Howey holders Barnes West End have moved to within half a point of the leaders following a 44-30 (3-1) win at Roker Park, Ryhope A’s relegation fears increased with a 31-24 (4-0) loss at North Biddick A however the Ryhope B team eased their relegation fears with a cracking 33-30 (4-0) win over Hetton Workmen’s, South Hylton remain in the drop mix up after losing 32-29 (3-1) at home to Seaham Town A. In the second division Thompson Park A moved joint second with a 34½-22 (3½-½) win over South Hetton, the only other results received saw Wearmouth defeat Sunderland A 50-17 (4-0) and Roker Marine B defeated Barnes Park A 43-29 (3-1).

The Storey Bowl title race took another twist as leaders Hetton Workmen’s were beaten 73-64 (6-1) at Hylton Colliery, that allowed Seaham Town to close the gap at the top to just three points after they defeated Houghton Town 68-50 (6-1), the early season leaders Roker Park slipped to a third straight loss this time 68-58 (5½-1½) against a Wearmouth squad who finally notched their first win of the season.

As the outdoor season starts to enter the final eight weeks thoughts turn to the indoor scene, there is some good news for Houghton Indoor bowlers as a much needed new carpet and underlay have been fitted. 
































Site last updated : Friday October 19, 2018 11:23 AM