Wearsider David Bolt heads to the National Championships in good spirits after landing his first indoor County Champion of Champions title.
The first of the season’s finals went under the radar this week as the singles final was played at Darlington.
Originally planned for today, the final was brought forward and Bolt cruised to a 21-4 win over Shildon’s Billy Maddison, securing South Shields’ third County Champion of Champions title.
The remaining finals take place tomorrow at Hartlepool. Stanley’s Brett Arkley and John Thurlbeck take on Aycliffe’s Dave Quickmire and Barry Attwood in the pairs at 10am.
There is a double header at 2pm, featuring the triples final between Billy Maddison (Shildon) and David Quickmire (Aycliffe) and the fours clash of Brett Arkley (Stanley) and Brian Poulter (Gateshead).
The National Championships get underway at Melton Mowbray today.
A full week of action will see 12 national titles decided.
The fours opens proceedings today. Local hopes lie with the South Shields quartet of Phil Dixon, Mal Peach, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt, who face Westlecot’s Neil Smith in the last 16.
The tie of the round is the clash of Andy Thomson (Cyphers) and Stephen Farish (Cumbria).
The Ladies’ fours is also on today, with the Durham quartet of Sandra Hind, Faye Slinn, Eileen Horan and Anne Bernard taking on Lincoln’s Penny Strong in their last 16 tie.
On Monday, Hartlepool’s Carl Higgins, Marc Squirrell and Paul Hartley face Bedford Borough’s Wayne Bailey in the triples. Then, on Wednesday Higgins and Hartley face Adur’s David Hubbard in the pairs’ last 16.
The blue riband event, the singles, gets underway on Friday, with Hartlepool’s Glenn Skipp meeting Bedford Borough’s Russell Thompson.
There is no local interest in the Ladies’ pairs or triples, however Hartlepool’s Lauren Mosley faces Lincoln’s Penny Strong in the singles.
Four team events conclude the week.
In the Under-25 double fours, Devon face Lincolnshire, while Lincoln meet Palmerston in the Ladies’ Vivienne Trophy final.
The Over-60s Inter-County final will feature Kent and Norfolk, and the same two counties meet in the final of the Ladies’ Atherley Trophy.
England’s men won the Home International Series title for a third successive year in Belfast last weekend.
As has been the norm in recent years, the series was decided by the auld enemy clash against Scotland.
England ran out 118-112 winners to compete their title hat-trick and seal a 37th Hilton Trophy success.
South Shields’ David Bolt played third to Jamie Chestney and the rink was unbeaten in their three matches. Overall, England only had three losing rinks out of the 18 played.
The final round of Inter-County League fixtures take place next weekend.
The curtain on 35 years of competing in the league finally falls on Sunderland as they face South Shields in their final fixture.
Sunderland team – at Houghton: R Usher, W Roberts, R Jobling, F Froud; E Downes, P Thomson, M Davis, P Thomson; At South Shields: G Brown, M Carr, TW Todd, S Angus; A Grimes, P Brickle, J Jones, P Dixon
Houghton end their campaign against Durham, with the team still to be selected.
Houghton’s Joe Sutherland, Freddie Fletcher and Foster Johnson ran out 21-15 winners over Durham in Week 10 of the Seniors Premier League at Gateshead.
The win was Houghton’s fourth out of 10. The final round of fixtures takes place at Ferryhill in April with leaders Gateshead A needing a point against Ferryhill A to take the title. Houghton’s final fixture is against Gateshead B.
Latest table: Gateshead A played 8 pts 14, Stanley A 7-10, Darlington B 8-10, Houghton 8-8, Durham 8-8, Ferryhill A 7-8, Darlington A 7-6, Gateshead B 7-6, Ferryhill B 8-4, Stanley B 8-2
The Seniors Inter-Club League’s end-of-season play-offs are taking place.
Durham B defeated Shildon 3-2 to reach the last four and will meet either Darlington A or B in Tuesday’s semi-final at Darlington (12.30pm).
Hartlepool A beat South Shields in the other half of the draw and next meet The Parks or Houghton A.
The final will be at Darlington on Wednesday (12.30pm).
The Durham County Seniors maintained their unbeaten record to secure the Midlands League title with a 151-101 win over Nottingham at York.
The 18-4 points return saw Durham leapfrog Yorkshire at the top of the table to take the title by five points.
Final table: Durham 94, Yorkshire 89, Nottinghamshire 59, Warwickshire 44, Lincolnshire 32, Leicestershire 10
The latter stages of the Houghton club competition dates have been confirmed.
Singles quarter-finals – Tuesday, April 6 (6.30pm): P Thomson (jnr) v S Tindale, B Henderson (snr) v S.Patterson, Pat Thomson v J Sutherland, E McKeown v P Thomson (snr)
Pairs semi-finals – Monday, April 10 (6.30pm): TW Todd v AJ Dunn, W Piggott v T Burt
Triples semi-finals – Friday, April 7 (6.30pm): S Patterson v D Todner, W Piggott v AJ Dunn
Fours semi-finals – Friday, April 7 (6.30pm): D Sim v S Kempster, R Johnson v B Henderson
Over-60s singles – Wednesday, April 5 (10.30am): P Thomson v R Jobling, F Froud v MWright
Pairs semi-finals – Sunday, April 9 (10am): F Froud v AJ Dunn, W Piggott v P Brickle
Triples semi-finals – Monday, April 10 (10.30am): W Piggott v TW Todd, F Froud v AJ Dunn
Fours semi-finals – Saturday, April 8 (10.30am): W Piggott v R Johnson, F Froud v TW Todd
Ladies singles final – to be confirmed: N Stephenson v E Faith
Pairs semi-finals – Friday, March 24 (2.30pm): S Moody v N .Stephenson, E Faith v M Eggleston
Triples final – Friday, March 31 (2.30pm): E Faith v N Stephenson
Mixed pairs semi-finals – Thursday, April 6 (2.30pm): E Faith v B Robson, F Phythian v J Watt
As the outdoor season is now less than a month away, the Bowls Durham County competition draws have taken place.
The old six districts have now been reorganised into four areas.
Locally, Houghton Dairy Lane, Hylton Colliery and Washington Glebe have moved into Area 2 alongside the majority of the Sunderland-based clubs.
Seaham, Dawdon and Hetton Workmen’s have moved into Area 4, which will see a bit of travelling as they are in with Hartlepool & Stockton clubs.
The other change will see all the ties played on a set night, with the County finals played at Silksworth on Sunday, July 30.
There is a Grindon League meeting on Wednesday (6.45pm) at Grindon Mill.