Bowls: Unbeaten Durham will provide testing challenge for confident Sunderland

Houghton B bowler Keith Waterson will look to help clinch a Seniors Inter-Club League win on Wednesday

Houghton B bowler Keith Waterson will look to help clinch a Seniors Inter-Club League win on Wednesday

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Sunderland face a difficult task when they return to Inter-County League action tomorrow.

Confidence is high after last month’s victory against Gateshead A, but the Wearsiders go up against an unbeaten Durham team.

Houghton will need to be at their best against table-topping Hartlepool, while South Shields will be looking to pick up points against bottom-of-the-table Gateshead A, although all four rinks will be travelling away.

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

Houghton team – at Houghton: M Baker, J Biggerstaff, B Henderson, B Henderson (snr); J Doyle, K Waterson, T Patterson, I Whorlton; At Hartlepool: J Sutherland, R Thorpe, D Todner, AJ Dunn; M Wright, D Wright, D Armstrong, J McAdoo

South Shields team – at Gateshead: RP Forster, I Scott, M Baker, G Brass; R Craggs, K Taylor, D Wilson, W Upsall; S Hubbard, K Thompson, T Halcrow, E McCord; P Sainthouse, D Wilson, E Wightman, M Byrne

Latest standings: Hartlepool played 2 pts 19½, Parks 4-19, Durham 2-17, Houghton 3-16½, Sunderland 4-16½, South Shields 2-8, Gateshead A 3-3½

There is also Inter-Club Seniors League action in midweek.

In Area 2, Sunderland will travel to Ferryhill on Wednesday with both squads still looking for their first win of the season.

Sunderland team: R Usher, D Gowland, A Grimes, R Jobling; G Brown, W Roberts, R Robson, J Jones; P Thomson, E Downes, P Brickle, F Froud

Latest standings: Darlington B 7-32, Hartlepool A 6-21½, Stanley A 7-12½, Ferryhill 6-9, Sunderland 6-5

In Area 4, Houghton B entertain The Parks A at Houghton on Thursday.

The home side are still looking for their first win of the season, while The Parks are in a fight for the second play-off place with Hartlepool B

Houghton B team – at Houghton: S Barnes, P Taylor, F Sanderson, F Kell; P Hicks, I Richardson, T Baister, B Johnson; K Waterson, D Forth, G Charlton, R Thorpe

Latest standings: Durham B 5-22, Parks A 5-17, Hartlepool B 6-17, Gateshead B 6-11½, Houghton B 6-2½

Houghton Ladies are in Inter-Club League action on Wednesday as they entertain Gateshead.

The hosts will be looking to bounce back from a 32-shot defeat against Hartlepool.

Houghton team – at Houghton: J Watt, R Turnbull, J Brown, S Forster; B Prudhoe, J Classen, B Robson, E Gaith; A Latimer, H Collingwood, A Banks, JB Smith; At Hartlepool: M Hall, E Barkes, A Vout, N Stephenson; J Hume, C Martin, M Metcalf, F Phythian; G Eltringham, D Fenwick, M Glover, J Baker

After the pre-Christmas rush, Houghton’s club competitions have been whittled down to the semi-final stages in most events. The closing stages recommence in April.

Singles quarter-finals: P Thomson v S Tindale, B Henderson (snr) v S Patterson, Pat Thomson v J Sutherland, B McKeown v P Thomson (snr)

Pairs semi-finals: TW Todd v AJ Dunn, W Piggott v T Burt

Triples semi-finals: T Patterson v D Todner, W Piggott v AJ Dunn

Fours semi-finals: D Simm v S Kempster, R Johnson v J McAdoo

Over 60s singles semi-finals: P Thomson v R Jobling, F Froud v M Wright

Over 60s pairs semi-finals: R Jobling v AJ Dunn, W Piggott v P Brickle

Over 60s triples semi-finals: W Piggott v TW Todd, F Froud v AJ Dunn

Over 60s fours semi-finals: W Piggott v J Scullion, F Froud v TW Todd

Durham County seniors have moved to the top of the Midlands League after defeating Warwickshire at Doncaster.

With one game to play, Durham have a seven-point lead at the top over Yorkshire. A Durham win against Nottinghamshire in their final game will secure the title.

South Shields star David Bolt will be looking for more National glory as he makes the 700-mile round trip to Hayling Island to compete in the final stages of the Champion of Champions competition.

In the last 16, Bolt takes on Egerton Park’s Rob Morphett.

In the local stage of the Over-50s triples, Durham’s Michael Laydon enjoyed a cracking 16-9 win at Stanley against Brett Arkley.

In the area semi-finals, Laydon’s triple will entertain South Shields’ Dave Paterson.

In the mixed pairs, the area will be represented by the Jackie Tallack and David Bolt of South Shields. They defeated Aycliffe’s Barry Attwood 15-12 in the area final to secure a place at the final stages at Loddon Vale, in Reading, in three weeks.