Houghton veterans hold their nerve to seal double fours progress

Foster Johnson helped Houghton to their Over-60s double fours victory
Foster Johnson helped Houghton to their Over-60s double fours victory
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Houghton held their nerve to defeat Durham B by a single shot in the second round of the national Over-60s double fours competition.

At Durham, John Doyle, R. Johnson, Freddie Fletcher and Peter Harding recorded a cracking 17-14 victory, whil, at Houghton, Foster Johnson’s quartet of Mal Baker, Richard Thorpe and Joe Sutherland stayed cool on the last end to see the game out despite going down 21-19.

In the next round, Houghton will play either Stanley or The Parks.

Despite a spirited performance, Houghton were beaten by 48 shots in their Denny Cup clash with Stanley.

Both home rinks put in decent performances at Houghton. Mal Baker, Peter Thomson snr, Richie Jobling and Peter Thomson jnr impressed in a thrilling 22-19 win over Dave Webb, while Peter Harding’s rink of John Doyle, Tom Patterson and Freddie Fletcher were left to rue dropped counts of five and six as they went down 23-16 to John Thurlbeck, leaving the home squad four shots down.

At Stanley, it was always going to be a big ask for both Houghton squads and so it proved. Michael Wright, Stevie Tindale, Jimmy McAdoo and Ian Whorlton dropped an opening end seven on the way to a 41-8 defeat to an inspired Brett Arkley.

The other rink, of Alan J. Dunn, Joe Sutherland, Karl Armstrong and Dan Todner, got back to 14-12 before succumbing to a 23-12 defeat at the hands of Ian Peacock, ensuring a 44-shot defeat for the away squad.

Stanley’s win sets up a feisty tie in the next round (November 28) against South Shields, who will field several former Stanley players who have a point to prove.

Following last season’s relegation to Division Two, Houghton’s Inter-County squad have made a cracking start to the season, with a comfortable 12-0 win over Ferryhill.

At Houghton, Brian Henderson snr steered Mal Baker, Dave Wright and J. Biggerstaff to an impressive 33-6 win over Colin Larcombe.

Peter Harding’s quartet of John Doyle, B.Johnson and Freddie Fletcher defeated D. Hardwick 30-8, while Jack Scullion narrowly got home 23-21 against W. Latimer, leaving the home squad 51 shots up.

At Ferryhill, all three Houghton rinks returned home successful, winning by 29 shots for an overall 156-74 rout.

Ian Whorlton’s rink of Karl Armstrong, Matty Henderson and Jimmy McAdoo inflicted a 24-10 defeat on A. Weber, while Alan J. Dunn defeated K. Wellans 22-14 and Tom Burt beat R. Jefferson 24-15

Elsewhere, Durham thumped Spennymoor 11-1 and The Parks overcame Shildon 11½-½. Houghton’s next game is against Spennymoor on December 13.

Sunderland return to Inter-County action next Sunday against Gateshead and will be looking to bounce back from their opening defeat against Hartlepool.

The game has been brought forward to avoid a clash with the Shields Classic.

Sunderland team – at Houghton: P Bulmer, G Simpson, R Robinson, J Jones, R Rollason, P Thomson, M Davis, P Thomson, R Usher, M Lowis, W Roberts, R Jobling; At Gateshead: P Collins, M Carr, R Mckie, W Ferry, G Brown, A Wood, TW Todd, S Angus, M Wright, A Grimes, P Brickle, M Higgins

Sunderland A managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in their Seniors Inter-Club League Group Three clash with Gateshead A.

All three rinks dropped shots on their final ends to allow Gateshead to grab a last-gasp 38-37 win.

The only Sunderland success came from Billy Ferry’s rink of Peter Bulmer, Barney Walsh and Michael Davis, who defeated J. Wolfenden 16-12. Bobby Graham’s rink of Arthur Baker, Ronnie Robson and Ray Robinson went down 11-10 to I. Patterson, while Pat Collins, Billy Hearne, Fred Knubley and John Jones lost 15-11 to R. Charlton.

The 4-1 defeat keeps the Sunderland squad in second place, but they are now seven points adrift of leaders South Shields and are now not back in action until the New Year.

In the same group, Houghton A had a cracking 4-1 home win over The Parks B.

The pick of the rinks was David Wright’s quartet of Jimmy Swinney, Joe Sutherland and Freddie Fletcher, who hammered R.Harrison 25-3.

Ian Whorlton beat J. Phillip 22-7, with the only slip-up coming from Peter Harding’s rink, who were beaten 12-9 by Billy Blyth.

The 56-22 win lifted Houghton up to fourth place in the group. Houghton travel to Gateshead on Wednesday (2.30pm).

Houghton A: J Doyle, J Sutherland, J Thuburn, P Harding, T Winship, D Simpson, T Joicey, I Whorlton, F Fletcher, J Godfrey, J Swinney, F Johnson

Houghton B entertain Gateshead B on Thursday (12.30pm) in their Group Four fixture.

Houghton B: S Barnes, J Eggleston, W White, F Kell, P Hicks, A Taylor, T Baister, R Johnson, K Waterson, A Glover, R Thorpe, J Hibbert

Latest standings, Group 1: Gt Aycliffe 14, Spennymoor 12½, Darlington A 9, Shildon 8½, Durham A 1

Group 2: Stanley 15, Sunderland B 10½, Hartlepool A 9½, Darlington B 8½, Park View 1½

Group 3: South Shields 17, Sunderland A 10, Parks B 8, Houghton A 5, Gateshead 5

Group 4: Hartlepool B 17½, Parks A 17, Durham B 11, Houghton B 7½, Gateshead B 6, Ferryhill 6

Houghton Ladies are in Yetton Plate action today as they entertain West Denton.

Houghton team – at Houghton: J Watt, M Eggleton, S Forster, B Johnson, E Prudhoe, A Todd, E Faith, JB Smith; At West Denton: M. Hall, A Vout, M. Middleton, N Stephenson, M Metcalf, E Barren, J Baker, F Phythian

On Wednesday, the next round of the Mason double fours takes place. Houghton ladies face South Shields.

Houghton team – at Houghton: J Watt, M Eggleston, JB Smith, B Johnson; At Shields: M Hall, M Metcalf, M.Middleton, N Stephenson

In the national singles competition, Stanley’s Mark Higgins enjoyed a cracking 21-19 win at South Shields over Shaun McIntosh and will next meet club-mate Lee Maughan. Stevie Cairns lost an all-Shields affair 21-19 to Dan Targar.

Higgins then defeated Ian McIntosh (Shields) 19-16 in the pairs. Peter Duffy (West Denton) beat Gary Smith (Shields) 23-13, although Smith did not play and fielded a sub. In the fours, Dave Morgan (Shields) outgunned Brett Arkley (Stanley) 20-6 and will most likely face David Bolt in the next round.

The draw for January’s World Championship singles at Potters in Norfolk has been made, with South Shields’ Gary Smith drawn against David Gourlay in the first round. The BBC have signed a three-year deal to provide free-to-air coverage of the championships up to 2018.