Baker marches on in county singles, but Silksworth clubmate Farquhar suffers narrow defeat

Fred Sanderson (Seaham Town) bowls in the recent Storey Bowl clash with Roker Park as Alan Ganley (Roker Park) looks on
Fred Sanderson (Seaham Town) bowls in the recent Storey Bowl clash with Roker Park as Alan Ganley (Roker Park) looks on
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Silksworth had mixed fortunes in the chase for the County singles title.

Silksworth’s Scot Baker booked a quarter-final place with an impressive 21-10 win over Barry Watson of host club Stockton, however Baker’s club-mate, Gary Farquhar, narrowly went down 21-19 to Dipton’s Michael English.

There was disappointment, too, for Houghton Dairy Lane’s Dan Todner after a 21-19 loss to Stockton youngster Joe Ballentyne.

Seaham Town’s Henderson father and son combination went down 21-14 to Dipton’s Michael English in the pairs. Three other local pairs are due to play their ties next week.

In the triples at Blackhall, the Silksworth trio of Gary McPheators, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt eased to a 21-3 win over Barnes Park’s Kevin Richardson to join Dairy Lanes’ David Armstrong in the last eight.

The expected fours classic between Silksworth’s David Bolt and Darlington RA’s Andrew Kirtland looked like being a damp squid as Bolt led 18-9, however Kirtland battled back and a last-end three levelled it up at 19-19 to force an extra end.

If the disappointment of losing the lead wasn’t enough for the Silksworth quartet, they had to watch Kirtland get the decisive match-winner with the final bowl of the extra end, to win 20-19.

There was better news for the other Silksworth squad, skipped by Billy Ferry, as they ground out an 18-16 win over Mainsforth’s Jimmy Maddison. Sunderland’s S. Summers quartet were beaten 30-13 by Hartlepool’s R.Tompkins.

Quarter-final line-ups - Singles (at Stockton, Monday July 11): G Robson (Leadgate) v D Bolt (Silksworth), J Ballentyne (Stockton) v C Jefferson (Silksworth), P Mosley (Stockton) v M English (Dipton), S Baker (Silksworth) v N Reid (Silksworth)

Pairs (at Leadgate, Friday July 15): C Higgins (Old Boys) v G Robson (Leadgate), P Mosley (Stockton) or P Heath (Spennymoor) v L Macey (RA) or G Alderson (Vane Tempest), D Bolt (Silksworth) v M English (Dipton), J Thurlbeck (Dairy Lane) or J McKinney (Dairy Lane) v N Buckley (RA) or R Mckie (Roker Marine)

Triples (at Blackhall, Wednesday July 13): B Attwood (Leeholme) v D Stoker (South Moor), D Armstrong (Dairy Lane) v I Jackson (Hartlepool Park), D Bolt (Silksworth) v C Boston (Elm Tree), D Oram (Hartlepool Park) v M Ralphs (RA)

Fours (at Silksworth, Tuesday July 12): W Ferry (Silksworth) v R Tompkins (Hartlepool Park), M Johnson (Dunston) v R Mckie (Roker Marine), M English (Dipton) v B Henderson (Seaham Town), P Mosley (Stockton) v A Kirtland (RA)

Barnes Park held the second half of the two-bowl singles tournament.

Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna secured a semi-final place with two impressive performances, a 16-6 win over clubmate Neal Ridley, and then an equally impressive 16-9 win over another clubmate, Phil Dixon.

The other semi-final spot went to Hartlepool Old Boys’ Carl Higgins, who saw off Spennymoor’s Ian Brown 18-6 before ending Dairy Lane’s Ray Robinson’s hopes 16-13.

Semi-final line-up: C Higgins (Old Boys) v P Coulson (RA), J McKenna (Silksworth) v M Johnston (Dunston)

Durham County’s B team head to Wigton today to face unbeaten Cumbria in the Alsop Trophy.

Following Cumbria’s third consecutive 20-2 win over Northumberland, the Cumbrians only require three points to secure the Alsop title.

Durham, after two very disappointing defeats, are only playing for pride.

Durham B: G Dougherty (Park), N Willey (Stockton), R Robinson (Houghton DL), AJ Dunn (Houghton DL), J Sutherland (Houghton DL), S Tindale (Houghton DL), S Land (Spennymoor), D Oram (Park), C Howey (Park), D Edney (Lyndhurst), A Middleton (Roker Marine), H Dougherty (Park), J Harston (Hundens), J Devison (Sunderland), M Hodgson (Stockton), D Todner (Houghton DL), A Greathead (Park), P Hudspith (Lyndhurst), P Coulson (Darlington RA), J McAdoo (Houghton DL), B Poulter (Usworth), J Godfrey (Houghton DL), A Taylor (Park), A Hill (Barnes Park). Squad members J Wilson (Houghton DL), S Patterson (Hetton Workmen)

Durham’s remaining game against Lancashire already has nothing at stake barring the wooden spoon and may not be played.

The A team’s final Middleton Cup group game against Cumbria will take place at John Whitehead Park in Billingham.

It had originally been scheduled for Silksworth, but, due to a below-par playing surface, it was switched to Spennymoor, however another below-par surface has forced a third switch.

Durham County ladies’ Stella Logan squad suffered a third defeat in four games as they went down 126-101 (9-2) at Darlington Woodlands against unbeaten leaders Lancashire.

In the John’s Trophy, Durham ladies’ very slim hopes of a quarter-final spot were ended as Lincolnshire defeated Yorkshire 20-2. Next weekend’s Durham-Yorkshire clash is now meaningless.

Silksworth’s David Bolt heads to Wales this weekend as Llandrindod Wells hold the Home International series, Bolt will return to his skip’s role as England look to retain the series and repeat their 2008 series win at the same venue.

Houghton Dairy Lane made it six wins from six in the Earl Cup this week, with a 7-0 home win over neighbours Houghton Town.

Silksworth’s 6½-½ win over Barnes Park saw the holders slip to three points behind Dairy Lane, while Roker Marine’s 7-0 success against Seaham Town cemented them in third place.

Silksworth could go top on Monday as the leaders are on a bye.

In the Second Division, Barnes West End’s 5-2 win over Usworth, coupled with Hetton Workmen’s bye, enabled West to go top. Hylton CW beat Sunderland 6-1, while North Biddick notched their first win of the season, 5½-1½ at South Hylton.

Washington’s 6-1 victory at Roker Park moved them into second place in Division Three, while Ryhope defeated Pemberton 6-1.

In the Swan Cup, holders Dairy Lane had a good week even though their game was rained off, as second-top Silksworth went down 6-1 at Roker Marine and third-placed Barnes West End lost 5-2 at home to South Hylton.

Division Two leaders Roker Park lost the chance to open up a gap at the top as they were beaten 6-1 at home by Hetton Workmen.

In the Harold Howey Trophy First Division, front-runners Thompson Park B are now unbeaten in nine after a 3½-½ triumph at Ryhope A and now lead Barnes West End by 7½ points.

Holders Silksworth are languishing in 16th place, some 18 points behind the leaders.

In the club’s 60th anniversary year, Washington B vets have a four -point lead in the Third Division following a 4-0 win at Pemberton A.

Storey Bowl holders Hetton Workmen are racing away at the top of the table, a 7-0 win over Roker Park opening up a 16½-point lead over Thompson Park.

July 19 could be a massive day in the future of outdoor bowls in Sunderland as clubs playing on council-maintained greens will be informed of the council’s proposals regarding the future maintenance of them.

Clubs have already attended meetings in which the council have outlined the likely hood of 11 greens to be closed, although four of them - LNER, Barley Mow, Services and Mowbray - have already gone, which leaves another seven under threat.

The council’s favoured option is for neighbouring clubs to amalgamate as they look to save on the maintenance of the playing surfaces.

It has been mooted that a leasing the green option to clubs is also a possibility which could cost the clubs around £1,000 a year, which could signal the end of a few.

Whatever the outcome, the bowling fraternity has felt the brunt of council cutbacks after already losing the indoor venue at Crowtree.

With the council oblivious to the benefits that the sport brings, both physically and mentally, to an age group that is so often disregarded, the sport locally is being forced to face up to some big challenges.