Bowls: Bolt seals Scottish Open place – against former world champion

David Bolt
David Bolt

South Shields-based Wearsider David Bolt secured his place in the World Bowls Tour’s Scottish Open by winning the qualifier at Carlisle.

Wins over Robert Gordon (Lanarkshire), Connor Cinato (Kingsthorpe), Vinnie O’Neill (Hartlepool) and David Crawford (Galleon) set up a semi-final against Hartlepool’s Josh Halcrow.

A straightforward 2-0 set win over Halcrow saw Bolt move into a mouthwatering final clash against Durham’s Gary Smith.

The first set went to Bolt 6-1 before Smith took the second set 8-7 to send the tie into a best of three-end tie breaker. Bolt duly won 2-0 to clinch a place in the televised event at Perth from November 4-11.

Bolt has a tough opener, though, having been drawn to face Scotland’s former world champion, Alex Marshall.

In the International Open qualifiers, also at Carlisle, hopes of a repeat Bolt performance were ended in the last 16 with a 2-1 loss to Cumbria’s Kevin Harrison.

Smith missed out again, this time in the semi-finals, as eventual winner Cumbria’s Ian Gallagher inflicted a 2-0 defeat on the Durham star.

The newly-named Houghton Kepier and Houghton Gilpin went head to head as the Inter-County League got underway last weekend.

It turned out to be a good day for the Gilpin lads, who ran out winners by 21 shots overall, winning on all four rinks.

The pick of the Gilpin wins was the 29-16 success for Joe Sutherland, David Armstrong, Bryan Henderson (jnr) and Alan J. Dunn over John Doyle, Tom Williamson, Trevor Joicey and Gary Wallace.

After trailing 6-5, Dunn collected 15 shots in the middle of the game which laid the foundations for the win.

The other three games could have gone either way.

Mal Baker, Sam Patterson, David Wright and Brian Henderson (snr) turned a 9-8 deficit against Tony Grimes, Tony Wood, George Brown and Richard Thorpe into a 17-13 win.

The John Jones quartet of Michael Noble, Tom Patterson and Michael Davis recovered from 11-4 down to defeat Michael Wright, Alan Patterson, Jimmy McAdoo and Richie Mckie 20-17.

Gilpin’s clean sweep was completed by Bobby Usher, Freddie Fletcher, Ian Whorlton and Frankie Froud, who pip Eric Downes, Peter Thomson (snr), Terry Todd and Peter Thomson (jnr) 17-15.

Points wise, it was a 10-0 win for Gilpin. Elsewhere, Durham beat The Parks 9-1, Darlington lost 8-2 to Hartlepool and, in Division Two, Dunelm saw off Gateshead A 7-3.

In the next round of fixtures, Gilpin face Gateshead B, while Kepier tackle The Parks.

In the Seniors Inter-Club League, Houghton Gilpin finally got their season underway as they entertained a Hartlepool squad who made last season’s play-off semi-finals.

Despite a gallant effort, Gilpin were beaten 37-35.

The sole Gilpin win came from Peter Noble, Fred Sanderson, Denis Gibson and Billy Roberts, who recovered from 11-3 down, with only five ends to play, to beat former England internationalist Dave Kilner 13-11.

Eric Downes, Arthur Gregory, Charlie Wallace and Ronnie Robson were unlucky to lose 15-12 to A. Bridgewater, while D. Robson, P. Robinson, Bill Longley and Richard Thorpe ended up on the wrong end of a low-scoring 11-10 loss to John Ainger.

Houghton Ladies are in Yetton Trophy action this morning as they face a tough first round tie against South Shields.

Team – At Houghton: J Watt, J Clemmet, G Eltringham, E Faith; E Barkes, M Glover, B Robson, JB Smith. Reserve: OJ Charlton; At Shields: M .Metcalf, R Turnbull, M Eggleston, F Phythian; M Hall, E Barren, A Vout, J Baker

On Wednesday, Houghton Ladies look to bounce back from their opening Inter-Club League defeat against Gateshead when they take on Ferryhill.

Team – At Houghton: S Forster, B Johnson, A Banks, E Faith; J Watt, A .Latimer, B Robson, JB Smith; At Ferryhill: M Metcalf, J Hume, M Eggleston, F Phythian; M Hall, R Turnbull, A Vout, J Baker. Reserves from: H Collingwood, E Barkes, E Barren, M Glover

A 36-man squad has been selected for Durham’s Liberty Trophy campaign, including 13 Hartlepool players, nine from South Shields and seven from Durham.

A squad game has been pencilled in for Saturday, October 28 at Hartlepool, ahead of the first round clash with Cumbria on December 16.

The Houghton Feast Open Singles will be played to a finish today as the remaining 16 players brave the outdoor elements. Leadgate’s David Warnaby is still in the running to successfully defend his title.

Following the English Indoor Bowling Association’s annual general meeting, the proposed annual affiliation fee of £4.50 per member was defeated.

It was then resubmitted at a special general meeting, at £4, but again this was defeated. It has now been resubmitted for a third time at a second SGM this month, at £3.15 per member.

The affiliation fee is the sport’s biggest income but has always been a bone of contention with the larger private clubs. The EIBA are planning to look at a change to per rink rather than per member.