Durham County A are off to a flier in their Northern Counties Muras Trophy campaign, after recording an impressive 123-85 win over Northumberland at Houghton Dairy Lane.
Dominant Durham collected 19 of the 22 points on offer to give new team manager David Bolt, of Silksworth, a winning start.
Bolt’s rink ended up all square, but Durham won in four of the other five to run out convincing winners, Bill Ferry storming to a 27-8 success and Phil Smithson securing an equally resounding 30-11 victory.
Scores (Durham skips first): P Smithson 30 P Ging 11, D Bolt 13 S Richardson 13, A Kirtland 20 R Train 12, W Ferry 27 C Yeomans 8, P Mosley 21 C Cooper 14, J Mansfield 12 S Harvey 27
The other game in the group saw Yorkshire defeat Lancashire 18-4.
This weekend sees the title decided as the now-traditional double header takes place – Durham face Yorkshire at Gosforth and then Lancashire at Backworth.
Durham v Yorkshire: J Ballantyne (Stockton), P Thomson (Silksworth), C Boston (Elm Tree), P Mosley (Stockton); S Baker (Silksworth), I Jackson (Park), G Farquhar (Silksworth), W Ferry (Silksworth); M Gleeson (Leeholme), J Wells (Parks), C Higgins (Old Boys), J Mansfield (Park); D Fenwick (Elm Tree), D Livingston (Dunston), B Hopkins (Darlington RA), A Kirtland (Darlington RA); K Burton (Darlington RA), M Laydon (Silksworth), I Riches (Silksworth), D Bolt (Silksworth); J McKenna (Silksworth), N Buckley (Darlington RA), C Jefferson (Silksworth), P Smithson (Silksworth)
Durham v Lancashire: N Cummings (Darlington RA), P Thomson (Silksworth), C Boston (Elm Tree), P Mosley (Stockton); S Baker (Silksworth), M Gleeson (Leeholme), G Farquhar (Silksworth), W Ferry (Silksworth); M Peach (Houghton DL), A Ward (Owton Lodge), C Higgins (Old Boys), J Mansfield (Parks); L Macey (Darlington RA), J Hills (Darlington RA), B Hopkins (Darlington RA), A Kirtland (Darlington RA); P Dixon (Silksworth), N Ridley (Silksworth), I Riches (Silksworth), D Bolt (Silksworth); V Rewcastle (Darlington RA), N Buckley (Darlington RA), K Donkin (Silksworth), P Smithson (Silksworth)
Next Saturday, Durham County ladies return to John’s Trophy group stage action as they take on Lincolnshire at Copmanthorpe, in a repeat of last season’s quarter-final, won by Lincolnshire by 15 shots.
Susan Foster, Glynis Morgan, Joan Rodgerson (all Dairy Lane), Sunderland pair Jean Graham and Sue Almond and Norma Stephenson (Hetton Workmens) have all been selected to play.
There was disappointment in the ladies’ County fours for Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson as, for the second year running, the fancied quartet were beaten at the semi-final stage,
Lyndhurst’s Edna Atkinson inflicted a 20-17 defeat on Rodgerson.
The eventual winners were Newton Hall, skipped by Ann Bernard, who cruised to a 29-5 win over Atkinson in a one-sided final.
In the Silver Jacks draw, defending champions David Bolt and Gary Farquhar (Silksworth) have been drawn away at Houghton Dairy Lane to face Ray Robinson and Jeff Wilson.
In the Burkett Shield, holder Bobby Graham (Roker Marine) entertains Pemberton’s S. Wilson in the first round.
In the national double fours, Silksworth A turned on the style to enjoy a good 47-29 win at Lyndhurst to set up a trip to Darlington RA, while Houghton Dairy Lane A received a walkover against Consett Park and will entertain Silksworth B in the next round.
Seaham Town’s Laughlin Todd suffered a 21-13 defeat in the senior singles preliminary round, while Houghton Dairy Lane’s Keith Makepeace recorded a comfortable 26-8 triumph over Pelton Fell’s Brian Brown to progress in the senior pairs.
In the ladies senior pairs, Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson ground out a cracking 22-20 win over Consett Park’s Gill Jones, while, in the family pairs, the Silksworth father and son combination of Scott and Paul Baker were beaten 25-10 by Darlington South Park’s Scott Morland.
County competition results – singles: J Tulip (Sunderland) 7 P Thomson (Silksworth) 21, J Maddison (Sunderland) 2 D Bolt (Silksworth) 21, Pat Thomson (Silksworth) 21 T Jopling (Silksworth) 9, N Ridley (Silksworth) 21 S Baker (Silksworth) 17, J McKenna (Silksworth) 21 P Baker (Silksworth) 16, E Dent (Roker Marine) 11 G McPheators (Sth Hylton) 21, C Jefferson (Silksworth) 21 L Taylor (Barnes Park) 13, N Ridley (Silksworth) 19 JS Richardson (Roker Marine) 21
Pairs: B Poulter (Usworth) 0 S Krimpen (Houghton DL) 1, I Whorlton (Houghton DL) 23 R Robinson (Houghton DL) 21, W Piggott (North Biddick) 14 LJ Todd (Seaham Town) 24, D Wright (Seaham Town) 21 D Morgan (Houghton DL) 16, R Mckie (Roker Marine) 22 G McPheators (Sth Hylton) 8, E Cook (Roker Marine) 28 M Laydon (Silksworth) 12, W Ferry (Silksworth) 25 J Kelly (Silksworth) 13, A Thompson (Sth Hylton) 5 D Bolt (Silksworth) 27
Triples: L Taylor (Barnes Park) 22 T Jopling (Barnes Park) 12
Two-bowl singles: B Sanderson (Barnes WE) 18 T Jopling (Silksworth) 14
There was some sad news for the local bowls scene as South Hylton’s Gordon Hedley (78) sadly passed away.
He was a much respected member of the late Pyrex club, which eventually changed its name to South Hylton.
He was best known for his work with the Grindon League, where he worked his way up from an executive member in 1977 to vice chairman in 1981, chairman in 1982 and completed the set as treasurer in 1983 – a post he held for 17 years.
No one person has dedicated more to the Grindon League over its 82 years.
Gordon will be missed both on and off the green.