Barnes Park star Richardson bags county title

WINNER: Kevin Richardson receives his Champion of Champions trophy from County president Ken Raper.

WINNER: Kevin Richardson receives his Champion of Champions trophy from County president Ken Raper.

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WEARSIDERS picked up two titles in the delayed BowlsDurham County finals at Lanchester.

Barnes Park’s Kevin Richardson claimed the George Turley Champion of Champions singles championship in a thrilling final against Stockton’s Bob Watson, edging home 21-20.

Richardson topped off a terrific run in the competition by coming from behind to snatch the title. The Barnes star looked down and out at 16-8, but he held his nerve to get back to 17-17. Three consecutive dropped singles saw Richardson go 20-17 down, but again he hit back to win the next four ends to seal a tremendous one-shot win.

Sadly for Richardson, the competition is not contested in the National Championships at Worthing.

The fours final was an all-Houghton Dairy Lane affair as Stevie Krimpen, Gordon Agar, Alan Thurlbeck and Ken Briscoe faced Jimmy McKinney, David Morgan, Ian Lambert and John Thurlbeck.

The early exchanges saw the lead change hands several times, but, with the score at 7-7 after seven ends, the Thurlbeck quartet took the final by the scruff of the neck, and an 18-1 return over a nine-end spell saw Thurlbeck race into a 25-7 lead, which was the signal to shake hands with only 16 ends played.

In the junior singles final, Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar was looking to repeat his 2007 success. This time, Farquhar faced Darlington RA’s Liam Macey, who had earlier in the day won the triples title.

The early stages saw Farquhar in control, winning five of the opening six ends to lead 8-4, however the Silksworth star lost his way in dramatic fashion and dropped five trebles in the space of six ends to trail 19-9.

Despite getting back to 19-12, the damage had already been done and Macey finished a 21-12 winner.

The pairs final saw Silksworth’s Michael Laydon and Ian Riches up against Darlington RA’s Peter Coulson and Neil Buckley.

Any hopes of a Silksworth win were dashed in an eight-end spell where the Darlington duo notched up a 21-1 return to lead 23-3 after 12 ends. Despite a late fightback to 23-12, ends ran out for the Silksworth pair, and they eventually went down 26-12.

The other finals saw Neville Cross youngster Noah Cummings take the two-bowl title with a 14-11 win over Leadgate’s Gary Robson and Darlington RA’s Liam Macey, Vince Rewcastle and John Hill land the triples with a 20-11 success against Leeholme’s Barry Attwood.

H Worthing stages the National Championship two-week extravaganza for the final time, starting today, with Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar facing Suffolk’s Liam Harris in the first round of the junior singles.