All-Silksworth duels in two County finals

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A FINE week of quality bowls means Wearside will be represented in tomorrow’s singles, pairs and Under-25s Durham County finals at Newton Hall.

The singles final will be an all-Silksworth affair, with David Bolt taking on 1995 champion Paul Baker.

Bolt defeated Dunston’s Alec Bryden 21-8 in his semi-final, while Baker overcame Houghton Dairy Lane’s Ken Briscoe 21-14.

The pairs final will see Bolt and Baker face each other again.

In the semis, Bolt and Keith Avery beat Roker Marine’s Bobby Graham and Ray Robinson 24-15, while Baker and son Scott defeated Mainsforth’s Ritchie Walker 22-7.

Should the father and son duo win the final, they will become only the third family combination to become county champions.

There was disappointment in the triples semi-finals as Silksworth’s Scott Baker, Gary Farquhar and Wayne Funnell were left rueing an early dropped six and went down 20-11 to 2009 county champions Clive Black, Tony Macey and Andrew Kirtland (Darlington RA).

The triples final will be an all-RA affair as Neil Buckley defeated Owton Lodge’s David Fenwick 21-12.

The fours semi-finals provided double disappointment as Silksworth’s Billy Ferry, Paul Baker, Keith Avery and Bolt crashed 23-6 to RA’s Andrew Kirtland.

In the other semi-final, Roker Marine’s Phillip Dixon, Ray Robinson, Peter Thomson and Bobby Graham grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory – letting slip a 13-6 lead to lose 19-17 to Dipton’s Michael English.

All the winning semi-finalists are guaranteed a place at Worthing in next month’s national championships.

In the Junior Singles, only the actual county champion will progress to Worthing but there is still local interest as Roker Marine’s Phillip Dixon saw off reigning county champion Barry Hopkin (RA) 21-9. In the final, Dixon faces another RA prospect, Keith Burton, who outgunned Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar 21-14.

Barnes Park’s Tommy Jopling’s hopes of making the county two-bowl final were dashed as Dipton’s David Warnaby ran out a 21-11 winner to set up a final against Hundens’ 2003 champ, Graham Peacock, who pipped Owton Lodge’s Tom Grainger 21-20.

Next season, the two-bowl county champion will progress to Worthing – although whether the 600-mile round trip for what in theory could be a 30-minute game may not be appealing!

The county finals take place tomorrow at Newton Hall, next to the Durham indoor club.

With several duplications, the finals day has been split with the pairs, triples and two-bowl finals starting at 10am, followed by the singles, fours, Under-25s and champion of champions singles at 2pm.