Ferry good show as Sunderland seniors grab derby bragging rights

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Sunderland A kept up their Senior Inter-Club League play-off hopes with a 4-1 derby success against Houghton A in a crunch Group Three match.

Peter Bulmer, Barney Walsh, Michael Davis and Billy Ferry raced into a 16-2 lead after only six ends against Tom Winship, John Godfrey, Jimmy Swinney and Foster Johnson. In the end, Ferry finished 23-11 up.

Pat Collins, Billy Hearne, Fred Knubley and John Jones collected their first win of the season, seeing off Ian Whorlton 13-9, while Arthur Baker, Michael Carr, Ronnie Robson and Ray Robinson recovered from 13-1 down to finish only 17-14 down against Joe Sutherland, Peter Noble, Freddie Fletcher and David Wright.

The win maintained Sunderland’s play-off challenge and travel to The Parks next, while Houghton have a bye.

In Group Two, the play-off hopes of Sunderland B were dealt a body blow after going down 4-1 at Hartlepool A.

The only winning Sunderland rink was Peter Thomson, Ernie Downs, Peter Brickle and Terry Todd, who ran out 19-10 winners against Jimmy Ainger. Tony Grimes, David Gowland, Frankie Froud and Richie Jobling saw a 14-6 lead wiped out in the space of five ends as they dropped 17 shots to eventually go down 24-17 against Albert Ward.

The remaining squad of George Brown, Tony Wood, Billy Conway and Billy Roberts suffered an 18-11 loss at the hands of Keith Wilford to leave Hartlepool 42-37 winners.

Sunderland B entertain Darlington B next.

The top two in each group qualify for end-of-season play-offs, with each sectional winner getting home advantage in the quarter-final draw.

Latest group standings (played-points), Group 1: Great Aycliffe 5-19, Shildon 6-16½, Darlington A 6-13, Spennymoor 4-12½, Durham A 5-4

Group 2: Hartlepool A 6-20, Stanley 5-18½, Darlington B 5-12½, Sunderland B 5-11½, Park View 5-2½

Group 3: South Shields 6-27, Sunderland A 5-14, Gateshead 5-10, Houghton A 6-10, The Parks 6-9

Group 4: Hartlepool B 6-22½, Parks A 6-21, Durham B 5-16, Gateshead B 6-10, Houghton B 6-9½, Ferryhill 5-6

In the Inter-County League, Houghton will look to make it three wins out of three as they take on Shildon tomorrow.

Having only dropped a single point from their first two games, Houghton will be looking another good return before facing group leaders The Parks next month. There is a change in starting time at both venues to 1pm.

Houghton team – at Houghton: J Doyle, T Patterson, J Scullion, P Harding, L Williams, R Johnson, R Thorpe, I Whorlton, M Baker, S Patterson, D Wright, BHenderson (snr); at Shildon: J Sutherland, D Armstrong, J Godfrey, AJ Dunn, K Armstrong, M Henderson, F Fletcher, J McAdoo, K Waterson, F Sanderson, T Joicey, T Burt

Latest standings (played-points: The Parks 2-23½, Houghton 2-23, Durham 2-15, Shildon 2-8½, Spennymoor 2-1, Ferryhill 2-0

Houghton Ladies were due to play Cumbria in the Yetton Plate next weekend, however Cumbria have conceded the tie. In the last 16, Houghton will face either Scarborough or Hartlepool on January 30.

The ladies are due to be in action on Wednesday as they entertain Durham in the latest round of Inter-Club League fixtures.

On Thursday, Ferryhill will host the next round of the Seniors Premier Threes competition (12.30pm start). John Doyle, Terry Todd and Peter Harding will be flying Houghton’s flag as they take on Great Aycliffe.

Following a hectic December, the majority of the club competitions at Houghton have reached the latter stages and are mothballed until March.

Latest draws – singles semi-finals: R Robinson v P Thomson, J Wilson v W Holmes

Pairs semi-finals: F Fletcher v J Wilson, W Holmes v J Coundon

Triples semi-finals: V Hendry v W Holmes, P Thomson v W Piggott

Fours quarter-finals: F Fletcher v W Piggott, P Thomson v B Henderson, D Sim v W Davis, AJ Dunn v F Froud

Over-60s singles semi-finals: F Fletcher v W Laidler, M Wright v A Grimes

Over-60s pairs semi-finals: P Thomson or R Robinson v W Piggott, W Roberts v D Armstrong

Over-60s triples semi-finals: AJ Dunn v J Wilson, T Pescod v W Holmes

Over-60s fours semi-finals: AJ Dunn v R Johnson, F Johnson v W Piggott

The details for Durham’s Liberty Cup tie against flood-hit Cumbria next Saturday have been confirmed.

With the Carlisle club out of action until March, the tie has been moved to Penrith with a 4pm start. The selected Durham team has already suffered four withdrawals.

The Durham County seniors suffered a 18-4 defeat in the latest round of Midland League fixtures. The 15-shot defeat leaves Durham 30 points adrift of unbeaten leaders Yorkshire

Latest standings (played-points): Yorkshire 4-70, Durham 3-40, Lincolnshire 3-32, Leicestershire 4-28, Nottinghamshire 3-23, Warwickshire 1-16, Derbyshire 2-11

The World Indoor Singles Championship are underway at The Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk.

South Shields-based Gary Smith flies the region’s flag and, in the first round, he will again take on former world champion David Gourlay, with the tie due to take place on Thursday (2pm), with live coverage on the World Bowls Tour internet stream.

Two regional clubs are holding a round of the Open Singles Circuit. On March 5, South Shields so far have a field of 34 committed to the event. Entries can be made via David Bolt, with the entry fee £22.50 and a prize pot of around £1,150.

On March 25, Hartlepool are holding a round with a prize pot of £1,500. Entries can be made via Carl Higgins.

Last year, Bowls England moved its headquarters and National Championships to Leamington Spa, however a proposed change in car parking regulations by Warwickshire County Council could see Bowls England review the championship’s future at Leamington.

The new proposals would see reduced free parking near the championship greens, with a maximum four-hour stay reduced to two hours with no return within four hours between 8am and 10pm. One of the reasons Worthing lost the event was due to car parking issues, so these proposals are being closely monitored by Bowls England.