Silksworth trio seal Burkett Shield success

Sunderland & District President David Simpson, left, with Burkett Shield winners Phil Dixon, Eric Downes and David Bolt.
Sunderland & District President David Simpson, left, with Burkett Shield winners Phil Dixon, Eric Downes and David Bolt.

The remaining Sunderland & District final was held at Usworth this week as the delayed Burkett Shield final was played.

The Hetton Workmen’s duo of Peter Harding and John Purdy were looking to complete a domestic double after clinching the Silver Jack pair’s title.

They were joined by Terry Murphy in the final against the Silksworth trio of Eric Downes, Phil Dixon and David Bolt.

It was the Silksworth squad who were quickest out of the traps as they raced into an 11-1 lead after only five ends.

A Bolt treble on the tenth end extended the lead to 17-4 and despite a minor comeback by Purdy to 18-9, the writing was on the wall as Bolt ran out a 25-9 winner.

The win was Eric Downes first success at this level and somewhat surprisingly it was also a first Burkett Shield title for both Dixon and Bolt.

The Silksworth squad had another member in Gary Farquhar, and this will too count as a first Burkett for him as well.

The remaining relegation place in the Swan Cup First Division was finally decided when Seaham Town’s 7-0 win over Thompson Park condemned Usworth to the Second Division.

Over the season, there were 132 occasions where a team played short; Earl Cup (40), Swan Cup (42), Howey (34), Storey Bowl (16).

A breakdown to club level is as follows: Thompson Park (34), Pemberton (17), Roker Park (16), Dawdon (14), Hetton Workmen (9), Grindon Mill (8), Seaham Town (7), Hylton CW & Washington (5), Ryhope, Sunderland, New Herrington, Silksworth, Houghton Town (2), Whitburn, South Hylton, Usworth, Barnes Park, Pennywell, South Hetton, Roker Marine, Barnes West End (1).

The list of league winners is as follows: Earl Cup Division One Champions: Silksworth, relegated Hetton Workmen and Thompson Park. Earl Cup Division Two Champions: Usworth, promoted Hylton Colliery Welfare, relegated Roker Park and Thompson Park. Earl Cup Division Three Champions: North Biddick, promoted Washington. Swan Cup Division One Champions: Houghton Dairy Lane, relegated Usworth and Thompson Park. Swan Cup Division Two Champions: North Biddick, promoted South Hylton. Harold Howey Division One Champions: Barnes West End, relegated Thompson Park B and Chester-le-Street. Harold Howey Division Two Champions: Houghton Town A, promoted Whitburn. Storey Bowl Champions: Seaham Town.

The destination of the Grindon League title has finally been confirmed as the only outstanding game left between Silksworth and South Hylton was played.

Host club Silksworth only needed a point to secure the title, however, they ran out 5-0 winners by 26 shots overall to pip Houghton Dairy Lane by 3½ points.

Final Table: Silksworth 37, Houghton DL 33½, Whitburn 27½, Usworth 25, South Hylton 23, Barnes West End 19½, Grindon Mill 19, Wearmouth 18½, Hylton CW 16½, Pennywell 5.

The popular Ashbrooke Funeral sponsored Women’s Round Robin Pairs was played to a finish at Roker Park, where 24 pairs competed in groups before a knock out finale.

The winners were the Roker Marine duo of Marilyn Dodds and Grace Maxwell.

In the final they defeated the Whitburn pair of Brenda Harper and Muriel Felce 12-4.

A complete list of the various winners of the SWBA competitions is as follows: SWBA Rinks: J.Graham, C.Hopper, J.Sykes, S.Almond (Sunderland). SWBA Triples: J.Graham, J.Sykes S.Almond (Sunderland). SWBA Pairs: K.Hulley, A.Raine (Whitburn). SWBA Singles: F.Rodenby (Whitburn). Marjorie Marshall Trophy: B.Hardy, S.Wright, M.Mitchinson (Ryhope). Champion of Champions: B.Forrest (Ryhope). Round Robin Triples: M.Clarke, S.Maddison, B.Parkins (Sunderland). Round Robin Pairs: M. Dodds, G. Maxwell (Roker Marine).

During the competitions, the women raised £320 which will be will shared between St Benedict’s Hospice and The Great North Ambulance.

The National Championships 30-day bonanza at Leamington Spa produced lots of highs and lows for the Durham qualifiers, but sadly no silverware returned north.

The final hopes of success was in the Mixed Fours, a comfortable 27-6 last 16 win over Surrey’s Mike McDonagh saw the Silksworth quartet of Nina Riches, Ann Upsall, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt face a quarter final against Essex’s Edward Morris.

However, an early dropped six left the Silksworth quartet playing catch up and they succumbed to a 25-14 loss, there will be little consolation to the Silksworth squad that Morris went on to to lift the title.

Bowls England have announced the trial team for next year’s home international series where there was good news for Silksworth’s David Bolt, as he has avoided the trial and retained his place by being pre-selected straight into the team for the series in June at Leamington Spa.

The Durham County women’s Stella Logan team ended their season on a disappointing note when they were beaten by 36 shots overall by Yorkshire at Hemsley, the 9-1 point’s loss means Durham finish fourth in the five-team group.

The outdoor season finale takes place at Gosforth today and tomorrow as the Northern Counties Championships take place.

In today’s triples, the Silksworth county champions of Phil Dixon, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt have landed in the prelim’s against Lancashire’s Chris Gale.

The following day in the Pairs, Farquhar and Bolt face a semi-final against Lancashire’s Gordon Niven, the action starts at 9.30am both days.

The first of the season’s Open Singles Circuit events started yesterday at South Shields and is played to a finish today. A field of 64 players are competing for the £750 first prize.

Durham’s Gary Smith will be looking to get off to a flier before his attempt at defending his overall title at Potters in November, at the Shields venue, Smith faces J.Henderson in the first round.

The indoor season gets underway this weekend at Houghton as the various leagues commence. Next week the Vet’s Inter Club leagues kick off.

With Sunderland not competing in any County leagues, Houghton have entered three teams and they have moved away from the ABC naming to names of local historical meaning – Gilpin, Kepier and Sancroft.

In Group Two, Houghton Gilpin have a bye, in Group Three Houghton Sancroft head to South Shields A and in Group Four Houghton Kepier entertain Hartlepool B.