SILKSWORTH’S David Bolt and Phil Dixon both came from behind in the County singles to move within three wins of qualification for the inaugural Bowls England National Championships at Leamington Spa in August.
The District 2 singles, pairs and two-bowl singles green finals were held at neutral Barnes Park.
Former national title winner Bolt (Silksworth) survived an early scare against Sunderland’s Michael Carr, turning round a 6-1 deficit to run out a 21-13 singles winner.
He next meets Owton Lodge’s T.Grainger.
Dixon sensationally recovered from 19-12 down against Silksworth clubmate Ian Riches to collect a four and a 21-19 victory, setting up a clash with G. Alderson (Nevilles Cross).
Bobby Graham defeated Ray Robinson 21-6 in all-Roker Marine showdown, and next tackles Darlington RA’s John Fielding.
In the pairs, Silksworth’s Phil Smithson and Bolt defeated clubmates Alfie Ferguson and Terry Todd 18-16 to set up a tie against Darlington RA’s Tony Macey at Owton Lodge.
Patrick and Pete Thomson overcame Roker Marine clubmates David Woodward and Richie Mckie 22-16, and next meet Hartlepool Old Boys’ Billy Maddison at Nevilles Cross.
In an all-Barnes Park affair, played on the Barnes West End green, Les Taylor and Albie Hill ran out 23-7 winners over Alan Thompson and Kevin Richardson, and now face Hartlepool Park’s Ian Jackson at Bishop Auckland.
In the three two-bowl finals, Silksworth’s Neal Ridley held his nerve to pip clubmate Phil Dixon 16-14, Roker Marine’s Jimmy Richardson edged a hard-fought battle against clubmate Keith Ford 14-12, while Marine’s Ebby Dent defeated Silksworth’s Michael Laydon 16-9.
The defending County fours champions looked on the way out in the District 4 green final as North Biddick’s Bill Piggott led Houghton Dairy Lane’s John Thurlbeck 17-2, but the holders rallied to level before securing the win with a seven.
District 2 & 3 second stage qualifiers – Singles: D Bolt (Silksworth) v T Grainger (Owton Lodge), R Graham (Roker Marine) v J Fielding (Darlington RA), P Dixon (Silksworth) v G Alderson (Nevilles Cross), B Henderson (Seaham) v J Taylor (Leeholme) at Owton Lodge, S Patterson (Hetton) v opponent TBC
Pairs: P Thomson (Roker Marine) v W Maddison (Hartlepool OB) at Nevilles Cross, A Hill (Barnes Park) v I Jackson (Hartlepool Park) at Bishop Auckland, D Bolt (Silksworth) v T Macey (Darlington RA) at Owton Lodge, S Krimpen (Houghton Dairy Lane) v J Jolly (Leeholme), B Henderson (Seaham) v I Peacock (Leadgate), K Brisoce (Houghton Dairy Lane) v B Attwood (Leeholme)
Triples: W Ferry (Silksworth) v J Hutchinson (Pelton Fell) at Bishop Auckland, M Laydon (Silksworth) v A Kirtland (Darlington RA) at John Whitehead Park, P Baker (Silksworth) v B Poulter (Usworth) at Pelton Fell, M Thompson (North Biddick) v M English (Dipton) at Bishop Auckland,
FourS: D Bolt (Silksworth) v P Baker (Silksworth) at Silksworth, G Farquhar (Silksworth) v J McAdoo (Seaham), J Taylor (Leeholme) v J McKinney (Houghton Dairy Lane) at Leadgate, K Briscoe (Houghton Dairy Lane) v opponent TBC.
Two-bowl singles: J Richardson (Roker Marine) v G Robson (Leadgate), N Ridley (Silksworth) v M Johnson (Dunston), E.Dent (Roker Marine) v opponent TBC, D Morgan (Houghton Dairy Lane) v B Hopkins (Darlington SP) at John Whitehead Park