Durham County suffered blow after blow last weekend as all three teams were beaten.
In the Middleton Cup opener, the men’s A team suffered an 18-4 defeat to Lancashire in Manchester.
Despite a slow start, Durham got back within four shots but could not maintain the charge and eventually went down by 15 as Lancashire repeated last year’s win.
Silksworth’s David Bolt maintained his rink’s unbeaten season with a cracking 23-11 win over Chris Gale, while Stockton’s Paul Mosley fought back to beat Dan McVittie 24-15.
The remaining four Durham squads went down by a combined 36 shots.
In the other group game, Cumbria saw off Derbyshire 18-4, so Durham must beat Derbyshire and hope Cumbria defeat Lancashire in the next round for Durham to have a crack at Cumbria in the final group game.
Scores (Durham skips first): D Bolt 23 C Gale 11, P Mosley 24 D McVittie 14, J Fielding 13 S Rimmer 28, G Skipp 16 I Mayne 26, A Kirtland 16 B Kitson 23, J Mansfield 15 R Wood 19
The second Durham blow came in the ladies’ Johns Trophy, as Lincolnshire ran out 37-shot 20-2 winners at Copmanthorpe to all but end Durham’s hopes of progress in the three-team group.
The only bright spot saw Houghton Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson run out 26-15 winners, however the other five Durham squads all lost.
It will take an extraordinary couple of results for Durham to top the group. It is likely that only pride will be at stake in their final game against Yorkshire.
Scores (Durham skips only): S Almond (Sunderland) lost 17-20, J Rodgerson (Dairy Lane) won 26-15, N Stephenson (Hetton Workmen) lost 12-19, A Anderson (Darlington Woodlands) lost 9-37, T Pearson (Newton Hall) lost 16-17, G Jones (Consett Park) lost 14-23
The third Durham defeat came in the Northern Counties Alsop Trophy as the men’s B team were beaten 18-4 by Yorkshire at Dairy Lane.
The host club’s Dan Todner made a winning county skipping debut with a hard fought 16-14 win, Sunderland’s Jack Devison making his bow at second, with Whitburn’s Josh Halcrow at three.
The only other Durham win (24-16) was skipped by Hartlepool’s Dale Oram, who continued his impressive run. The B team face Northumberland next weekend at Stockton, where Durham haven’t lost for three years.
Scores (Durham skips first): AJ Dunn 12 P Reeves 27, D Oram 24 M Pulvers 16, H Dougherty 13 D Phillips 17, D Todner 16 T Richardson 14, J McAdoo 17 P Jackson 22, A Hill 12 J Phillips 24
There should be some cracking action at Dairy Lane tomorrow as Durham face Cumbria in the first round of the Balcombe Trophy double fours (noon).
Durham: P Dixon (Silksworth), C Boston (Elm Tree), P Mosley (Stockton), D Bolt (Silksworth); M Peach (Houghton DL), M Jones (Darlington RA), A Kirtland (Darlington RA), J Fielding (Darlington RA). Res: G Farquhar (Silksworth), G Skipp (Elm Tree), J Mansfield (Hartlepool Park)
The singles and pairs took centre stage as Barnes Park hosted the District 2 green finals. Silksworth had a clean sweep, securing all five singles victories.
Gary Farquhar’s great form continued with an impressive 21-6 win over Roker Marine’s Stevie Don, while former national singles champion David Bolt was in majestic form as he defeated Marine’s Richie Mckie 21-10.
The remaining three finals were all-Silksworth affairs. Neil Reid defeated Kevin Donkin 21-15, Colin Jefferson beat Jaxon McKenna 21-9 and the ever-improving Scot Baker outgunned Phil Dixon 21-7.
In the three pairs finals, Silksworth were again to the fore. Gary Farquhar and David Bolt eased past clubmates Gary McPheators and Michael Laydon 23-8, while Phil Dixon and Kevin Donkin inflicted a 29-8 defeat on Marine’s Jimmy Richardson and Alan Middleton. The two pairs will face each other at Leadgate in the next stage.
Silksworth’s hopes of a clean sweep were dashed as Marine’s John Smith and Richie Mckie knocked out last year’s county runners-up Lee Maughan and Billy Ferry, winning 25-13.
The remaining two-bowl singles green finals are: M Laydon (Silksworth) v J McKenna (Silksworth), P Dixon (Silksworth) v JS Richardson (Silksworth), B Sanderson (Barnes WE) v N Ridley (Silksworth)
The Earl Cup returned to action on Monday, with holders Silksworth easing to a 7-0 win at Roker Marine to move second behind new leaders Houghton Dairy Lane, who won 6-1 at Thompson Park. Houghton Town ran out 5½-1½ winners at Seaham Town.
In Division Two, Hetton Workmen’s 6-1 win over South Hylton moved them into pole position, while Hylton CW had a good 5-2 win over Barnes West End and Sunderland beat winless North Biddick 5½-1½.
Whitburn’s 7-0 home win over Ryhope has shot them 10 points clear of Roker Park in Division Three.
In the Swan Cup, holders Dairy Lane made it five wins on the spin with a 6½-½ success at Silksworth, while resurgent Barnes Park moved second with a 7-0 home win over Seaham Town.
Thompson Park are still looking for their first win after a 5-2 loss at South Hylton.
Hetton Workmen’s moved top in Division Two after handing Washington a first defeat, 5-2, while Usworth’s 5-2 win over Roker Park saw them up to third.
Thompson Park B are the Harold Howey Trophy First Division leaders, after five straight wins, while the A team prop up the table. Dairy Lane B beat their A team 4-0 to climb into second spot.
Hylton CW A top Division Two after a 4-0 win over Roker Marine B, but, sadly, a second team has been lost, with Grindon Mill resigning.
The Storey Bowl has new leaders as Thompson Park maintained their unbeaten start with a 5-2 win over Seaham Town.
In the Silver Jacks competition, North Biddick’s Jack Harrison and Billy Piggott had a cracking last-end win at Barnes West End against Bobby and Brian Sanderson.
Alan J. Dunn (Dairy Lane) beat Trevor Todd of Silksworth 26-15 in the Burkett Shield first round.
In the 3-2-1 Knockout Triples, Ryhope beat Dawdon 233-199 and will entertain either Usworth or Wearmouth in the quarter-finals.
Houghton Dairy Lane were beaten 4-1 by a strong Darlington RA squad in the national Top Club event, while both Silksworth squads exited the double fours.
The A team went down by 17 at Elm Tree, while the B team lost by a single shot at Leadgate. Dairy Lane succumbed by 27 at Gosforth.
In the senior singles, Dairy Lane’s Jimmy McKinney lost 21-8 at Dunston to Alan Jobling, while Silksworth’s Billy Ferry was beaten 21-14 at Elm Tree and Houghton’s Jeff Wilson suffered a narrow 21-19 loss at Lyndhurst.
On a positive note, Dairy Lane’s Ken Briscoe progressed in the senior pairs with a 21-18 win at Pelton Fell, while Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar enjoyed an impressive 21-13 Champion of Champions success against Leadgate’s Gary Robson.
Dairy Lane’s Jimmy McKinney is the last local hope in the mixed fours. After a 22-12 win at Hundens, the Houghton squad head to Pelton Fell or Newton Hall.