Smith bows out at the quarter-final stage

Gary Smith.
Gary Smith.
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SUNDERLAND’S Gary Smith’s hopes of lifting the national champion of champions title were dashed at the quarter-finals stage.

The event, held at Hayling Island, featured 16 club champions from around the country.

In the last 16, Smith, pictured, defeated Hartlepool’s Glen Skipp 21-18 before going down 21-7 to Kingsthorpe’s Neil McKee.

Smith’s conqueror then lost in the semi-finals to the eventual winner Clarrie Dunbar’s Graham Shadwell 21-17. The ladies title went to Egham’s Doreen Hankin.

H Following the devastating news that Crowtree will close its doors for good in April, the week was capped off with a disappointing 4-1 (55-37) defeat for the Sunderland B seniors team at the hands of Hartlepool.

The only bright spot came from the rink of Peter Thomson (snr), Bobby Usher, Alfie Ferguson and Terry Todd, who eased to a 20-7 win over M.Parvin.

Dennis Hulley’s quartet of Peter Duke, Billy Conway and Billy Roberts never recovered from a 12-0 deficit and eventually went down 21-7 to P.Squirrell while the remaining rink of Eddie Cook, Ebby Dent, Peter Brickle and Tom Jones went down 27-10 to former England internationalist Cliff Simpson.

The defeat doesn’t end the B team’s play-off hopes but with games running there is no room for any more slip-ups. Next is a trip to Darlington in two weeks’ time.

Latest standings: Group 2: Hartlepool A (p) 8(pts) 24½, Park View 7-20½, Stanley 7-19, Sunderland B 7-19½, Darlington B 6-14½, Consett 7-7.

In Group Three, the delayed crunch fixture between Houghton A and Sunderland A takes place this week.

Group 3: Sth Shields (p)8 (pts) 24, Houghton A 8-24, Hebburn 8-20½, Sunderland A 7-20, Gateshead A 8-16, Parks B 7-10½.

H The Sunderland inter county squad return to action this weekend as Ferryhill provide the opposition, with the Crowtree outfit unbeaten and some 20 points clear at the top a win over the bottom of the table side would ironically almost certainly seal a return to division one.

The following team has been named with the action starting at 2pm at both venues.

At Crowtree: M.Wright, W.Roberts, M.Davis, W.Ferry, K.Ford, M.Carr, D.Todner, P.Thomson, G.Brown, R.Usher, R.Robinson, J.Flett.

At Ferryhill: N.Ridley, J.McKenna, P.Dixon, TW.Todd, P.Collins, W.Hearne, M.Laydon, M.Higgins, A.Grimes, K.Hopper, A.Ferguson, J.Jones

Latest table: Sunderland (p) 4 (pts) 40½, Durham 3-20, Gateshead 2-17, Hebburn 3-15, Houghton 4-13, Park View 3-10½, Ferryhill 1-4

H The Sunderland ladies complete their inter-club campaign with a fixture against Darlington. The following team has been selected:

At Crowtree: A.Curtis, P.Wayman, P.Johnson, E.Baker, M.Smith, J.Milner, E.Barkes, M.Mitchinson, M.Robins, M.Ramshaw, H.Snell, E.Manley, reserves - J.Pallas, E.Watson

At Darlington: K.Hulley, B.Thompson, R.Mallaburn, E.Pattinson, D.Kerrigan, J.Reay, M.Eggleston, M.Firth, A.Todd, E.Barren, G.Eltringham, F.Rodenby

The mini bus will leave from the Londonderry at 1045am.

H The local stages of this season’s national competitions have reached the area finals.

In the singles area final, Stanley’s Gary Smith faces The Parks’ Chris Yeomans. In the pairs, the Stanley duo of Brett Arkley and John Thurlbeck eased to a 24-8 win over South Shields’ Ian McIntosh to seal a place at the national finals in Nottingham where they will face Horsham’s Matthew Ives in the last 32.

The triples area final saw West Denton’s Martin Cooper defeat the Parks’ Steven Harvey 21-17 while in the fours, Stanley’s David Bolt faces Gateshead’s Brian Orrell.

The qualifiers for the senior events were:

Over 60’s Singles B.Houghton (The Parks), Over 60’s Pairs E.Henry (Stanley), Over 55 Triples B.Orrell (Gateshead), Over 60’s Fours B.Slinn (Durham), Mixed Pairs M.Cooper (West Denton), Mixed Fours M.Cooper (West Denton).

H The Durham County selectors have named the Liberty Trophy side that will face Cumbria at Carlisle on March 9.

The selectors have made a few changes to the team that defeated Norfolk in the quarter-finals.

Stanley’s Gary Farquhar replaces clubmate Alan Lawton at second bowl in Gary Smith’s rink while Phil Dixon gets the nod and drops in second bowl in John Thurlbeck’s rink.

Glen Skipp’s front end of Dave Quickmire and Dave Fenwick are moved to the bench and have been replaced by the Hartlepool duo of Carl Higgins and A.Portway.

H Following on from the passing of Herrington Workmen’s swalwart Jim Irwin (81), just over a fortnight later his wife Mary (84) sadly passed away.

During the 1980s, Mary was one of the finest lady bowlers in the city and was a part of the Sunderland Indoor ladies’ greatest triumph – the national Yetton Cup win in 1982.