Sunderland endured disappointment in the latest round of Inter-Club senior fixtures, as visitors Ferryhill scraped home 41-40 at Houghton, for a 3-2 points win.
In the first ever seniors meeting between the two clubs, Sunderland actually recorded wins on two of the three rinks, however debutant Colin Young, Tony Wood, Bobby Usher and Billy Roberts had an afternoon to forget and only managed to score on three of the 15 ends to go down 22-3 to Colin Larcombe.
Terry Todd’s quartet of Peter Thomson, Eric Downes and Michael Carr collected a full-house eight on the ninth end on the way to a 21-7 win over Harry Wilson.
The remaining rink of David Gowland, George Brown, Richie Jobling and Frankie Froud led 10-0 after six ends but had to settle for a 16-12 win thanks to a late five on the 14th end, so the visitors got home by a single shot which leaves Sunderland at the foot of the table with a trip to Stanley, in two weeks, next on the horizon.
Latest standings, Area 1: Spennymoor played 2 pts 9, Great Aycliffe 2-5, Darlington A 2-4, Durham A 1-1, Shildon 1-1
Area 2: Darlington B 3-14, Hartlepool A 2-8, Ferryhill 3-5, Stanley A 3-4, Sunderland 3-3
Area 3: South Shields 3-14, Gateshead A 3-8, Houghton A 2-5, Stanley B 3-5, Parks B 3-3
Area 4: Hartlepool B 3-8, Parks A 2-7, Gateshead B 2-5, Durham B 1-4, Houghton B 2-1
There was double disappointment for Houghton as both the men and ladies Denny Cup and Yetton Trophy squads made first round exits, dropping into the respective plate competitions.
In the Denny Cup, Houghton’s men needed to be at their best as they faced a revitalised South Shields.
At Houghton, the home squad put in a cracking performance as Frankie Froud steered Michael Wright, Tom Patterson and Richie Jobling to a cracking 19-13 win over Shields’ internationalist, David Bolt.
The other home rink of Mal Baker, Peter Harding, Jimmy McAdoo and Brian Henderson were a touch unlucky to LOSE 16-12 to Gary Farquhar, leaving Houghton 31-29 up.
However, it all went astray at Shields. Freddie Fletcher, David Armstrong, Dan Todner and Peter Thomson were holding their own against Ian McIntosh and were only 11-10 behind at halfway, but a 14-2 return in McIntosh’s favour sealed a 25-12 defeat for the Houghton squad.
The other rink of Joe Sutherland, Stevie Tindale, Alan J. Dunn and Ian Whorlton were five down at halfway against Shaun McIntosh, but things slipped away and Whorlton succumbed 19-9. That left the away squad 44-21 down, sealing an overall 73-52 Shields win.
Houghton drop into the Plate and will face Stanley, who suffered a surprising 32-shot defeat to Gateshead, who next play Shields in the Cup.
In the Yetton Trophy, Houghton ladies faced The Parks, who ended a six-year wait for a victory in the competition with a 68-55 triumph.
At Houghton, Jenny Smith steered Joan Watt, Olwyn Charlton and Brenda Robson to a hard-fought 20-17 win over Pat Browne, while Betty Prudhoe, Doreen Fenwick, Gwen Eltringham and Ellen Faith were always playing catch-up against Margaret Paton and went down 18-13, leaving Houghton trailing 35-33 at home.
At the Parks, Maureen Hall, Ann Todd, Audrey Vout and Norma Stephenson did well to finish 16-13 down to E. Snaith, while Jenny Hume, Eleanor Barren, Mary Metcalf and Joan Baker were beaten 17-9 by Margaret Redpath to leave the away squad 11 shots behind.
Houghton drop into the Plate, while The Parks face South Shields in the next round of the Trophy.
Both the Denny and Yetton formats have been tinkered with, having been reduced to 18 ends and 3½ hours. Although the changes are only being trialed, the time change has been accepted however the drop from 21 ends has not been welcomed around the country.
In the Area stage of the national singles, South Shields’ David Bolt defeated club-mate Phil Dixon to set up a second round tie at home to Gateshead’s Alan Jobling.
Shaun McIntosh (Shields) also progressed, with a 21-17 win at The Parks against Phil Mason.
In the pairs, Billy Ferry (Shields) ground out a 19-17 win at Gateshead against Brian Orrell, while David Bolt (Shields) eased to a 27-12 success against Houghton’s Sam Patterson.
In the Champion of Champion singles, Houghton’s Peter Thomson went down 21-18 at Gateshead against Mark Smith, who then went out 21-13 to Durham’s Wayne Routledge.
In the next round, Routledge has a trip to Shields to face David Bolt, who narrowly beat Stanley’s Brett Arkley 21-20 and was then given a walkover.
Durham County’s Over-60s Liberty squad’s hopes of progressing in the Inter-County Knockout were dashed as they were beaten for the third year running by Lincolnshire, this time 106-92 at York.
Durham only had two rinks up. Darlington’s Alan Stephenson won 23-16 and Hartlepool’s Keith Wilford triumphed 19-13, however there were single shot defeats for South Shields’ Billy Ferry and Durham’s Alan Musgrove.
The damage was done, however, in the double figure defeats inflicted on Stanley’s David Webb and Derek Craig.
Durham progressed into the next round of the Top Club competition after defeating The Parks 10-6.
There was a rare outing in a Two-Bowl tie for Gary Smith and an even rarer defeat for the former Sunderland star. Durham will next face Hartlepool, who beat Aycliffe 16-0.
Smith will be looking to be at his best this weekend as he heads to Northampton for the Grand Finals day of the Open Singles Circuit.
Last season’s top 48 ranked players will be competing for a £1,500 first prize. As Smith was No 1 in the rankings, he will be one of the favourites to take the title. Smith plays the winner of Shaun Jones (Malvern Hills) and Nicole Rogers (Loddon Vale). Next year’s Grand Finals will be held at The Potters Resort in Norfolk.
In the latest Co-op Funeralcare men’s test match played at New Earswick, Scotland lifted the David Bryant Trophy with a 6-5 win over England.
After day one, Scotland led 3-2 and halfway through the singles ties went into an unassailable 6-2 lead before England won the last three rubbers to make the score a bit more respectable.
There was some sad news for the local bowls scene as Laurence Williams (67) sadly passed away.
The long-time Washington Glebe member was a much-respected bowler and was due to be installed as the new Sunderland & District president at the forthcoming AGM.