HOUGHTON Dairy Lane will take two fours squads to the National Championships at Worthing next month.
This week saw the county finalists decided, with the lure of a Worthing place for all semi-final victors, making defeat the worst nightmare for bowlers.
In the fours, the county final will be an all-Houghton Dairy Lane affair as both squads recorded victories, sealing their trips to Sussex for the nationals in the process.
Ken Briscoe’s quartet of Mel Owen, Gordon Agar and Alan Thurlbeck eased to an impressive 21-10 win over Dunston’s Alan Jobling, while John Thurlbeck led Jimmy McKinney, David Morgan and Ian Lambert in scrapping all the way for a terrific 20-19 win over Andy Kirtland’s 2011 county champions from Darlington RA.
Silksworth’s Michael Laydon and Ian Riches secured a Worthing spot with a comfortable 22-6 pairs semi-final win over Dunston’s Malcom Johnston to set up a county final against Darlington RA’s Neil Buckley.
A second county title could come Silksworth’s way as Gary Farquhar beat Darlington South Park’s Keith Burton 21-17 in the junior singles and will now face RA’s Liam Macey in the county final. Macey ended Silksworth bowler Phil Dixon’s hopes, winning 21-13.
In the George Turley Champion of Champions singles, Barnes Park’s Kevin Richardson produced one of the results of the night by drubbing Dunston’s Bret Arkley 21-5. In the final, Richardson will face Bob Watson from Stockton.
The county finals take place at Lancaster next Sunday, July 28 (2pm) subject to duplications.
* More bowls news in today’s Sunderland Echo