Bowls: Sunderland seniors still searching for first Inter-Club League success

Terry Todd skipped his rink to a 14-7 defeat in Sunderlands Senior Inter-Club League defeat. Picture by Stu Norton
Terry Todd skipped his rink to a 14-7 defeat in Sunderlands Senior Inter-Club League defeat. Picture by Stu Norton
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Sunderland’s search for a first win of the Senior Inter-Club League season goes on.

Despite a spirited performance, they were beaten 5-0 at home by leaders Darlington B in their Area 2 fixture.

Joe Maxfield, Tony Grimes, Billy Roberts and John Jones did lead 12-6 after 11 ends, but the wheels came off in spectacular fashion as a 10-1 return in Darlington’s favour over the last four ends sealed a 16-13 loss to Alan Henderson.

Peter Thomson, Eric Downes, Peter Brickle and Terry Todd only scored on three of the 14 ends and went down 14-7 to Alan Stephenson.

The remaining rink of Tony Wood, Michael Carr, Frankie Froud and Richie Jobling never recovered from a 16-2 deficit and finished 23-15 down to Stan Blewitt, sealing an 18-shot defeat overall.

With only two competitive games left, Sunderland head to Ferryhill in a fortnight’s time where a win would lift them off the bottom of the group.

Latest standings, Area 1: Spennymoor played 5 pts18, Shildon 4-15½, Darlington A 5-13½, Great Aycliffe 5-11, Durham A 5-2

Area 2: Darlington B 6-27, Hartlepool A 6-21½, Stanley 6-11, Ferryhill 5-5½, Sunderland 5-5

Area 3: South Shields 6-24, Houghton A 6-20, Gateshead 5-10, Stanley B 5-9, Parks B 6-7

Area 4: Durham B 4-17, Hartlepool B 5-14, Parks A 4-12, Gateshead B 4-9½, Houghton B 5-2½

Sunderland’s Inter-County League squad will be looking to build on their previous win over Gateshead as they return to action next weekend.

They face Durham, who have won both of their opening matches.

Sunderland team – at Houghton: E Downes, D Gibson, M Davis, R Mckie; A. Grimes, G Simpson, W Roberts, R Jobling; At Durham: P Thomsonn, A Wood, P Brickle, P Thomson; G Brown, M Carr, TW Todd, J Jones

The local stages in this season’s national competitions have continued this week.

In the singles, Durham’s Gary Smith eased to a 21-6 win over The Parks’ Brian Houghton 21-6.

Smith will have home advantage in the semi-final against West Denton’s Peter Duffy, who progressed with a cracking 21-19 win at Shields against Stewart Hubbard.

In the pairs, Durham’s Mark Higgins saw his run come to an end after a narrow 19-18 extra end home loss to Stanley’s Brett Arkley.

The Stanley pair will now have home advantage in the semi-finals against Gateshead’s Alec Bryden.

South Shields’ Jamie Brass moved into the fours semi-finals thanks to a 17-12 win at Gateshead over Brian Orrell.

In the County singles Champion of Champions competition, Houghton’s Peter Thomson failed to take advantage of a home draw and was beaten 21-16 by Durham’s Bill Routledge.

Local interest remains in the following events, with all semi-finals to be played on neutral greens.

Singles semi-final draw: G Skipp (Hartlepool) v D Bolt (South Shields), W Maddison (Shildon) v W Routledge (Durham)

Pairs semi-final draw: F Froud (Houghton) v B Arkley (Stanley), J Hutchinson (Durham) v D Quickmire (Aycliffe)

Seniors fours semi-final draw: E Dent (South Shields) v I Whorlton (Houghton), B Hutchinson (Aycliffe) v B Poulter (Gateshead)

Round six of the Seniors Premier League was held at Houghton.

Leaders Gateshead A were made to work hard to retain their position at the top against a resolute Ferryhill B, with the table-toppers sneaking home 19-17.

Last year’s winners and runners-up, Stanley and Darlington B, have both recovered from a slow start to the season to record their biggest wins to date.

Stanley A overcame club-mates Stanley B 23-11, while Darlington B defeated Houghton 28-11.

Durham picked up their second win of the season as they beat Darlington A 18-15, while the shock result of the day was the defeat of second-placed Ferryhill A, beaten 21-12 by bottom club Gateshead B.

Latest standings: Gateshead A 6-12, Ferryhill A 5-8, Stanley A 5-6, Darlington B 5-6, Ferryhill B 5-4, Houghton 5-4, Durham 5-4, Darlington A 5-2, Stanley B 5-2, Gateshead B 4-2

The Durham County senior squad return to Midlands League action this week as they head to Doncaster to face Warwickshire.

Durham are 11 points behind leaders Yorkshire, but, with 22 points on offer, Durham, after three straight wins, will be hoping for a good points haul.

Cumbria are still on course for a unique double. After already securing a semi-final place in the Liberty Trophy, they have also moved in the Denny Cup last four after defeating Spalding 73-64. In the semi-finals Cumbria will face Exonia.

The Sunderland & District League fixtures for this year are out.

Earl Cup holders Houghton Dairy Lane have a home local derby against Houghton Town to kick off their First Division title defence on Monday, May 8, while Barnes West End meet Hetton Workmens and Roker Marine entertain Silksworth. Barnes Park have a first-week bye.

Dairy Lane’s Swan Cup title defence starts with a home tie against newly-promoted Hetton Workmen’s on Wednesday, May 3.

Second Division champions Usworth begin at Barnes Park, while Seaham Town head to Roker Marine, Silksworth tackle Houghton Town and Thompson Park welcome Barnes West End.

Harold Howey Trophy holders Barnes West End are at home to Thompson Park B in their opener on Thursday, May 4, while Second Division champions Washington B begin their top-flight adventure with the visit of Chester-le-Street.

Hetton Workmen’s attempt to secure a fourth consecutive Storey Bowl title opens at home against Roker Park on Saturday, April 29.

Dawdon start at Thompson Park, while Wearmouth visit Houghton Town and Seaham Park meet Hylton CW. Pennywell have a bye.

Following the retirement of Bowls Durham’s B team manager, Paul Heath, the County are seeking a suitable replacement.

Candidates for the post should have a detailed knowledge and experience of managing and/or the selection of bowls teams.

The successful candidate would be appointed for an initial period of three years (subject to review by the County management committee throughout this initial tenure) and be responsible for the selection and management of the team with the support of the assistant County secretary and two selectors.

It will involve travel to home and away County B team fixtures and, whenever possible, at those of the A team and U25 team.

If anyone is interested, they can contact County secretary Foster Johnson further information. His email is f.johnson23@ntlworld.com

The Over-50s International Seniors Double Fours series takes place at Hayling Island this weekend.

The eight-man England team includes Hartlepool’s Glenn Skipp and former Sunderland player Keith Renwick. England last won the event three years ago.

At the World Indoor Championships at Potters Resort in Norfolk, England’s talented 21-year-old Katherine Rednall secured a second women’s singles after defeating defending champion England’s Ellen Faulkner 2-0 in the final.

The mixed pairs title went to Scotland’s Clare Johnston and England’s Nicky Brett with a 7-6, 7-9, 2-1 win against England’s Rebecca Field and Scotland’s Paul Foster.

The men’s pairs title was won with the final bowl by Wales’ Jason Greenslade and England’s Les Gillett, pipping the Welsh pair of Dan Salmon and Damian Doubler 7-7, 8-6.