Bowls: No end to Houghton’s Egham Trophy woes as Durham inflict 25-shot defeat

Houghton bowler Freddie Fletcher

Houghton bowler Freddie Fletcher

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Houghton’s record in the Egham Trophy has not been great in recent years.

Indeed, they have failed to progress past the first round in their last four attempts.

Sadly, after last weekend, that figure increased by one as Durham inflicted a 25-shot defeat on Houghton in the mixed competition.

At Houghton, the home squad did finish one shot in credit, but the away squad were well beaten.

Freddie Fletcher’s quartet of Mal Baker, Margaret Eggleston and B. Robson convincingly led 17-10 after 13 ends, however they had to settle for a narrow 19-17 win over Graham Coates.

The other home squad of J. Watt, R. Turnbull, David Armstrong and Brian Henderson (snr) dropped six shots on the last two ends to go down 16-15 to Ann Bernard, which left Houghton 34-33 up.

The wheels came off at Durham, though. Maureen Hall, Joe Sutherland, Norma Stephenson and Jimmy McAdoo led 12-6 with five ends to play but they failed to score on those remaining ends, dropping 13 shots in the process to finish 19-12 down.

Evelyn Barkes, Peter Harding, Florence Phythian and Terry Todd went from 6-5 down to lost 25-6 against C. Stevenson, which left the away squad 44-18 behind.

Incredibly, after 13 ends across the green, it was a level game, but Houghton only scored eight shots on the run- in while dropping 33.

In the next round, Durham will face South Shields, who comfortably saw off The Parks 74-38.

Sunderland’s seniors put in a spirited performance in their latest Inter-Club fixture.

Facing a trip to group leaders Darlington B, the Sunderland squad went down 4-1, succumbing by 12 shots overall.

The only bright spot saw George Brown, Tony Wood, Ronnie Robson and Billy Roberts run out 14-9 winners over Stan Summers.

Peter Thomson, Eric Downes, Michael Carr and Terry Todd were unlucky to lose 16-13 to Steve Blewitt, after leading 13-9 with three ends to play.

The remaining rink of David Gowland, Colin Young, Bobby Usher and Frankie Froud were always chasing the game and were eventually beaten 18-4 by Brian Cooper’s rink.

Sunderland return to action on Wednesday as they entertain Ferryhill at Houghton (12.30pm).

Sunderland team: D Gowland, W Hearne, R Jobling, F Froud; C Young, A Wood, R Usher, W Roberts; P Thomson, E Downes, M Carr, TW Todd

This season’s Denny Cup and Yetton Trophy kick into life today.

Houghton face South Shields in the Denny, while Houghton ladies take on The Parks in the Yetton.

In the Denny Cup, Houghton’s men will need to be at their best to progress past a South Shields set-up which, on paper, has the potential to have a decent run.

The action starts at 10am, with the follow line-ups.

Houghton team – at Houghton: M Baker, P Harding, J McAdoo, B Henderson; M Wright, T Patterson, R Jobling, F Froud; At Shields: F Fletcher, D Armstrong, D Todner, P Thomson; J Sutherland, S Tindale, AJ Dunn, I Whorlton

South Shields team – at Houghton: M Peach, S Cairns, W Ferry, D Bolt; P Dixon, N Ridley, J Minto, G Farquhar; At Shields: D Paterson, S Hubbard, J McKenna, S McIntosh; J Brass, P Sainthouse, C Elliott, I McIntosh

In the Yetton Trophy tie, the Houghton ladies will be favourites to make progress against a Parks squad who have not won a game in the competition for six years. The winners will face South Shields in the next round.

Houghton team – At Houghton: J Watt, O Charlton, B Robson, J Smith; B Prudhoe, D Fenwick, G Eltringham, E Faith; At The Parks: J Hume, E Barren, M Metcalf, J Baker; M Hall, A Todd, A Vout, N Stephenson

In the Over-60s double fours, both local sides are in action on Tuesday, November 8.

Houghton will meet Durham B (10.30am) after The Parks conceded the preliminary round tie against Durham.

Houghton team – at Houghton: J Sutherland, M Baker, F Froud, I Whorlton; At Durham: J Doyle, P Collins, F Fletcher, P Harding

At the same time, Sunderland go head to head against previous national champions Stanley (10.30am).

Sunderland team – at Houghton: C Young, A Wood, R Usher, W Roberts; At Stanley: G Brown, E Downes, M Carr, T Todd

The Durham County seniors open up their national Over-60s campaign against Lincolnshire on Tuesday at York.

Locally, only Billy Ferry (Shields) and former Sunderland player Ray Robinson (Durham) make the starting line-up.

The local stage of this season’s national competitions has seen very little action to date, with only a first round triples win for Gateshead’s Mal Johnson over Durham’s Michael Laydon 13-11 of note.

England ladies had to withstand a late charge by their Scottish counterparts in the Co-op Funeralcare Test match played at New Earswick.

Leading 4-1 overnight, England looked set for a handsome win going into the six singles, however they had rely on Swale’s Sandy Hazell to chalk up a 7-3, 9-5 win to seal a narrow overall 6-5 win.

Two annual general meeting dates have been confirmed.

The Sunderland & District AGM will take place on Saturday, November 12 at Houghton Dairy Lane (2pm), while Bowls Durham’s AGM is on Tuesday, November 15, also at Houghton Dairy Lane (7pm).

The Houghton Feast outdoor title went to Leadgate’s David Warnaby. In the final, Warnaby defeated Dipton’s Lee Fowler 17-12.