THESE 10-pin bowlers have made history by bringing a national title back to Wearside for the first time in decades.
County Durham Men’s Bowling Team won the Adult Inter County Championship finals earlier this month.
The lads, who train and play matches at AMF Bowling at The Galleries in Washington, beat 11 other teams during two days of competition in Coventry, to take the title.
They won eight out of 11 games to put themselves in pole position, with the trophy now taking pride of place at AMF.
It is the first time the county has won the competition for 30 years.
Team member Barry Walker, 51, who recorded the highest individual score of any player during the event, said: “We are just dead proud of what we have managed to do.
“It was an unprecedented margin of win by almost 500 pins, which was brilliant.”
The North East enjoyed further success with Northumberland finishing second, the first time the county has had a side in the final reckoning for 20 years.
Dorset finished third, with Yorkshire winning the women’s competition.
“We won a bronze medal in the competition two years ago,” said Barry, of Millfield, who took up the sport a decade ago. “That was the first time in about 30 years the county had got a medal at the championships, but to win it like we have done is something else.”
The County Durham side has a strong Sunderland presence, with Anthony Robson and his sons Peter and Andrew from Sunniside, Andy Hall, from Fulwell, and Adam Cairns, of Seaburn.
“It’s a young team in general, but the likes of me and Gary are older and we all work well together.”
The team are now hoping to successfully defend their title at next year’s championships as they bid to make it two titles in a row.
“We’ve qualified for the finals the last five years off the belt,” added Barry, who has been in the county team for six years.
“So, without being too cocky, we are confident in our own ability that we can get through the qualifiers again next time.”