Sunderland and Houghton both endured 7-3 defeats in the latest round of Inter-Club League fixtures.
Sunderland snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as they led on three of the four rinks, and by 20 shots after 13 ends, but ended up going down 63¼-61 against The Parks.
At Houghton, Karl Armstrong, Dennis Gibson, Peter Brickle and Phil Dixon were a tad unlucky to lose on the final bowl, 18-17 to Roy Goldsmith, while Peter Bulmer, Mel Milner, Richie Jobling and Richie Mckie squandered a 15-5 lead to sneak home 16-14 against Alan Hall.
That left the home squad only a single shot to the good.
At The Parks, George Brown, Tony Wood, Terry Todd and Stevie Angus dropped a last end treble to seal a 14¼-12 defeat against a man-light John Morgan.
The other rink of Peter Thomson, Eric Downes, John Jones and Peter Thomson were cruising, 16-6 up with six ends to play, but they failed to score again and were pipped 17-16 to Malcolm White to seal a 31¼-28 defeat for the away squad.
The scale of the late Sunderland collapse across the green is demonstrated by the 35-7 return in the North Tynesiders’ favour from the 13th end.
Sunderland’s next game is against defending champions Hartlepool in December.
Houghton, meanwhile, succumbed to a 78-54 defeat to South Shields.
At Houghton, Mal Baker, Bryan Henderson (jnr), Jules Bickerstaff and Brian Henderson (snr) raced 16-5 up against James Sneller and looked set for a decent win, but, in the end, they had to settle for a 19-15 success.
John Doyle, Tom Patterson, Jack Scullion and Peter Harding were left to rue an early dropped five as they went down 16-15 to Gary Farqhuar.
That left Houghton with a slim three-shot advantage at home,
However, things went astray at Shields.
Joe Sutherland, Dave Armstrong, Freddie Fletcher and Alan J Dunn started brightly and led Jamie Brass 6-1, however a shocking set of eight ends saw Dunn drop 23 shots, including three five counts, to trail 24-7. A spirited finish left Dunn 25-14 down.
It got no better on the other rink as Michael Wright, Keith Waterson, Ian Whorlton and Jimmy McAdoo dropped a couple of fives and a six as Stevie Cairns ran out a 22-6 winner. The away squad ended 27 shots down as Shields won by 24 overall.
Houghton’s next game is in the New Year as they have a bye next month.
The National competitions continue apace.
Houghton’s Peter Thomson was beaten at home 21-18 by West Denton’s Clive Knott in the singles, while Shaun McIntosh beat Gary Farquhar 21-8 in an all-Shields clash.
McIntosh will host Durham’s Andrew Barkess in the next round.
Shields’ Neal Ridley lost 21-14 at home to Gateshead’s Brian Orrell.
In the pairs, Billy Ferry beat Shields club-mate Ian McIntosh 21-15 and will host Stanley’s James McKenna next.
Two Houghton triples made first round exits. Freddie Fletcher was beaten 23-3 at Shields against Jamie Brass, while Sam Patterson went down 18-8 at Durham to Andrew Barkess.
Gary Farquhar’s Shields quartet eased to a 25-9 win over Andrew Barkess at Durham.
Houghton’s Sam Patterson lost 2-1 to Shields’ Josh Minto in the junior singles, while Michael Wright’s run in the Over-60 singles came to an abrupt halt with a 21-5 home loss to Shields’ Alan Lawton.
Lawton also progressed in the two-bowl singles, beating club-mate Jonathon Morgan 21-11.
There have a been a couple of decent wins for Houghton squads in the County Champion of Champions this week.
In the pairs, Pat Thomson (subbing for Billy Roberts) and Frankie Froud held their nerve to get home on the last end, 19-18 against Ferryhill’s Mark Ralphs. They are away to Stanley next.
In the triples, Billy Piggott had a tremendous 19-11 win at Hartlepool over Carl Higgins and will entertain Stanley’s John Thurlbeck next, while, in the senior fours, Jimmy Swinney, George Brown, Foster Johnson and Ian Whorlton had a cracking 19-13 win over Stanley’s Eddie Henry.
Their reward is a home tie against Hartlepool’s Mark Pavin.
The Denny Cup continues today with an intriguing tie between South Shields and Stanley.
Over the last 12 months, Durham has had an influx of players from Stanley and Shields, notably Gary Smith, and today’s game should be a competitive affair.
Shields are boosted by the return of Wearsider David Bolt from success in Hong Konh.
The winners will most likely face Cumbria, who should see off Copeland.
After hitting Redcar for a ton, Hartlepool will be looking to avoid defeat against an Aycliffe outfit that will still be on a high after the win over Darlington.
The Denny Plate also resumes today with two of the region’s clubs looking to rebuild their reputations after surprise Denny Cup exits. Stanley meet West Denton, while Darlington take on Thornaby.
The Yetton Trophy also resumes today. Locally, South Shields face Durham and Hartlepool tackle Redcar.
In the Plate, Houghton ladies are away to West Denton.
Both men’s and ladies County squads are in action tomorrow.
The men’s squad are holding a squad game at Hartlepool ahead of next weekend’s Liberty Trophy clash at Cumbria, while the ladies are playing a friendly at Durham.
Houghton’s senior squads return to action this week.
On Wednesday, Houghton A travel to Gateshead in Group Two (2.30pm start). With only two points between the teams, victory would cement Houghton’s play-off hopes.
Houghton A team: J Sutherland, B Race, T Joicey, D Sim; J Doyle, P Noble, J Thuburn, F Fletcher; P Collins, J Godfrey, J Swinney, F Johnson.
Houghton B will look for their first win of the season when they host second-bottom Gateshead B on Thursday (12.30pm start). Houghton have only picked up a single rink point out of nine.
Houghton B team: S Barnes, D Forth, P Taylor, F Kell; P Hicks, J Eggleston, A Glover, R Johnson; K Waterson, GW Charlton, F Sanderson, R Thorpe.
Houghton Ladies will face Hartlepool in the Inter-Club League on Wednesday, December 14 (12.30pm start)
Houghton team – at Houghton: N Colling, J Classen, G Eltringham, J Rodgerson; J Watt, D Fenwick, J Brown, S Forster; B Prudhoe, M Eggleston, B Robson, E Faith; At Hartlepool: M Hall, E Barren, A Vout, N Stephenson; M Metcalf, R Turnbull, A Todd, F Phythian; J Hume, M Glover, J Baker, JB Smith
At the recent Bowls Durham AGM, Silksworth’s Michael Carr was installed as County president for 2017.
Carr becomes the first Silksworth County president and the 35th Sunderland-based president.
Sunderland & District also held their AGM last weekend.
All the notices of motion were defeated, barring the return of the 28-day rule whereby all games cancelled due to bad weather must be played within 28 days and all cancelled games must be played before the set date.
Usworth’s David Simpson was installed as president, with Seaham Town’s Arthur Gregory as senior vice and Silksworth’s Michael Carr as new junior vice.
After 37 years of service, Association Secretary Eric Weightman will be stepping down after next season, as will competition secretary George Charlton.
Two long-serving executive council members have also stood down – Alf Ferguson (Silksworth) and Harry Welsh (Roker Park).