SUNDERLAND go into this weekend’s crunch Inter Club league fixture against holders The Parks with a one-point lead at the top of the table over Darlington.
It is over 20 years since the Crowtree outfit last won the league and a win will go a long way to maintaining their chances of ending that barren run.
Due to other commitments, there have been a few enforced changes from the selected team. The new-look team is as follows:
At Crowtree: G.Brown, M.Kilty, R.Robinson, W.Ferry, M.Wright, G.Embleton, A.Ferguson, TW.Todd, P.Collins, W.Hearne, J.Jones, T.Jopling. Reserve - M.Carr.
At The Parks: N.Ridley, K.Hopper, J.Flett, P.Thomson, P.Dixon, G.Simpson, LJ.Todd, G.Farquhar, S.Baker, V.Avery, M.Laydon, H.Shields. Reserve P.Thomson (snr).
Full fixtures: Hartlepool v Gateshead, Sunderland v The Parks, Shildon v Darlington.
Table (all played 3 games): Sunderland 26 (+65), Darlington 25 (+60), The Parks 22 (+67), Shildon 19 (+12), Hartlepool 9 (-82), Gateshead 7 (-122).
H With both Sunderland senior squads enjoying byes during the last round of fixtures and with only two games remaining, both now have a clearer idea of their respective play-off hopes.
In Group two, Sunderland B can still qualify but it would take a minor miracle as they can only reach 28½ points. Leaders Darlington are out ot sight while second-placed Stanley already have 28 points, plus a better shot difference.
Sunderland A are top of group 3 and are guaranteed a play-off place but with the group winners handed a quarter-final home draw in the play-offs, they need to match or better South Shields’ results as both are locked on 29 points, but Sunderland have the better shot difference.
Latest Group standings
Group 2: Darlington B 30½, Stanley 28 (+77), Hartlepool B 22½, Park View 20½, Sunderland B 18½ (+35), Consett 5.
Group 3: Sunderland A 29 (+136), Sth Shields 29 (+66), Hebburn 21, Houghton A 19, The Parks B 13½, Gateshead A 13½.
H Next Sunday, the Durham Select return for the second annual friendly at Crowtree. The game starts at 2pm.
Squad: Mrs A.Todd, JS.Thompson, A.Grimes, LJ.Todd, Mrs K.Hulley, Mrs E.Barren, W.Conway, D.Hulley, Mrs D.Kerrigan, J.Kerrigan, Mrs E.Barkes, TW.Todd, Mrs A.Curtis, J.Eggleston, Mrs M.Eggleston, A.Ferguson, Mrs M.Jobling, K.Waterston, R.Jobling, Mrs E.Baker, G.Reay, Mrs J.Reay, Mrs M.Williamson, A.Baker.
H The Sunderland ladies will finally return into inter club action as the long overdue game against Durham will take place on Wednesday, February 22. The following team has been selected:
At Crowtree: A.Curtis, P.Wayman, P.Johnson, E.Baker, S.Davies, J.Milner, B.Forrest, A.Bevan, D.Kerrigan, M.Robins, H.Snell, M.Firth. Reserve - E.Manley.
At Durham: K.Hulley, R.Mallaburn, M.Eggleston, E.Pattinson, A.Todd, E.Barren, A.Rush, M.Mitchinson, J.Brown, M.Ramshaw, E.Barkes, F.Rodenby. Reserve - B.Thompson.
The game starts at 12.30 and the mini-bus for the away squad leaves from The Londonderry at 11am.
H The club competitions at Crowtree are reaching the latter stages, the various draws are as follows:
Mens Competitions, Singles Q/Finals: G.Farquhar v F.Froud/D.Bolt, R.Graham/P.Dixon v D.Todner, Pete Thomson v GR.Smith, N.Ridley v G.Brown
Pairs Q/Finals: G.Simpson v Pete Thomson, G.Farquhar v W.Ferry, TW.Todd v D.Todner, P.Dixon already in semi finals
Triples Q/Finals: J.Flett v G.Farquhar, W.Ferry v T.Todd, D.Hulley v M.Laydon, S.Angus already in semi finals
Fours Q/Finals: W.Ferry v D.Todner, G.Farquhar v J.Flett, M.Laydon v F.Knubley, GR.Smith v D.Fenwick
2 Bowl Singles Q/Finals: F.Froud v M.Laydon/M.Ramsey, W.Hearne v A.Grimes, T.Jopling v T.Todd/R.Robinson, J.Flett v R.Borthwick
Senior Competitions, Singles Semi Finals: F.Knubley v T.Jopling, L.Todd v J.Flett
Pairs Q/Finals: G.Simpson v R.Hart, A.Baker v D.Hulley/T.Todd, L.Todd v F.Knubley, W.Roberts v W.Ferry
Triples Semi Finals: R.Graham v D.Hulley, W.Ferry/R.Hart v J.Flett
Fours Final: R.Graham/W.Ferry v J.Flett
2 Bowl Singles Q/Finals: G.Simpson v R.Borthwick, J.Coundon v A.Grimes, J.Flett v G.Brown, T.Jopling already in the semi finals.
Mixed Pairs Final: R.Robinson v L.Todd
Novice Pairs Final: D.Fenwick v M.Laydon
Ladies Competitions, Singles Semi Finals: M.Eggleston/M.Williamson v E.Baker, A.Curtis/A.Bevan v E.Barkes
Pairs Semi Finals: M.Williamson v S.Davies, E.Baker v M.Mitchinson
It has been agreed to move the start time for the next round of both the Ladies competitions to 12.30 and not 2.30 as orignally planned.