Things are looking up for Grindon Mill

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Grindon Mill are celebrating after finally securing their first victory in Division Three of the Earl Cup.

After waiting all season for the first, a second win soon followed.

A 7-0 victory at New Herrington and 6-1 win over Pemberton moved the Mill off the bottom of the table.

League leaders Whitburn beat Roker Park 5-2.

Unbeaten Division One leaders Dairy Lane sneaked home by a couple of shots at Roker Marine to extend their lead at the top to eight points over holders Silksworth.

Barnes Park won by 15 shots at Seaham Town, while Houghton Town’s 12-shot win over Thompson Park moved them out of a relegation spot.

Division Two leaders Barnes West End had a bye which allowed Hetton Workmen’s to reduce the lead to four points with a 6-1 win over North Biddick.

The Swan Cup Division One was disrupted by the bad weather.

Division Two saw leaders Hetton Workmen win 6-1 at Grindon Mill, while Usworth’s 6-1 win over neighbours Washington Glebe saw them leapfrog the Glebe into second place.

In the Harold Howey, there are new leaders as Barnes West End have a one-point lead over Thompson Park B.

The two Houghton Dairy Lane squads are chasing the top two, but they have played a game more.

In Division Two, Washington B have a seven-point lead over Hylton CW A, who moved into second after a 3-1 win over Sunderland B, coupled with Houghton Town Bs 3½-½ home loss to Pemberton A.

The Storey Bowl title could be decided soon as holders and leaders Hetton Workmen’s only need three points from their final three games to take the title.

Last Saturday, a 6-1 win at Seaham Town extended their lead to 17½ points over Roker Park, who notched a third consecutive 6-1 win.

It has been make or break in the County competitions as the semi-finals were completed this week, and with places at the National Championships only guaranteed to the County finalists, defeat at this stage is a bitter pill to swallow.

In the Singles, Silksworth’s former national singles champion David Bolt had to work hard for a 21-17 win over Stockton’s Joe Ballentyne.

However, hopes of an all Silksworth county final were dashed as Scott Baker narrowly went down 21-19 to Dipton’s Michael English.

In the Pairs, Houghton Dairy Lane’s Ken Briscoe and John Thurlbeck secured a semi-final spot with a comfortable 25-7 win over Roker Marine’s John Smith and Richie Mckie.

However, the Dairy Lane duo’s hopes were dashed in the semi-final with a 26-15 loss to Stockton’s Paul Mosley.

Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar and David Bolt were left to rue a 20th end dropped six in the quarter-finals as Dipton’s Michael English secured a 20-18 win.

In the Triples, Dairy Lane’s Jimmy McAdoo (sub), David Armstrong and Dan Todner produced the result of the week against Elm Tree’s Glenn Skipp, David Fenwick and Colin Boston.

Going into the last end, Todner was 12-10 down, but a last end three secured a cracking 13-12 win.

In the Fours, the Silksworth quartet of Shaun McIntosh, Stevie Cairns, Billy Ferry and Gary Farquhar collected a match winning five on the 20th end to go 21-15 up against Dipton’s Michael English.

The Silksworth quartet dropped a double on to the last end to finish 21-17 up.

Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna had a cracking week when the talented youngster secured county final places in the Two Bowl Singles and the Under-25 Singles.

In the Two Bowl semi-final, McKenna held his nerve to beat Dunston’s Malcolm Johnston 15-12, while in the Under-25 Singles, McKenna proved too strong for Stockton’s Mark Hodgson with a 21-10 victory.

Barnes West End’s Brian Sanderson’s run in the Champion of Champions was ended by Lyndhurst’s Peter Hudspith 21-14.

Other semi-final results: Pairs: M.English (Dipton) 24 C.Higgins (Old Boys) 17. Triples: D.Oram (Hartlepool Park) 22 D.Stoker (South Moor) 4. Fours: P.Mosley (Stockton) 21 M.Johnston (Dunston) 14. Under-25s Singles: B.Hopkins (Darlington RA) 21 J.Ballentyne (Stockton) 12. Champion of Champions: P.Mosley (Stockton) 1 G.Robson (Leadgate) 0.

The County finals are due to take place at Stockton on Sunday, July 31, but with a few player duplications, the dates and times may change.

County Finals: Singles: D.Bolt (Silksworth) v M.English (Dipton). Pairs: P.Mosley (Stockton) v M.English (Dipton). Triples: D.Armstrong (Houghton DL) v D.Oram (Hartlepool Park). Four: P.Mosley (Stockton) v W.Ferry (Silksworth). Two Bowl Singles: J.McKenna (Silksworth) v C.Higgins (Old Boys) or P.Coulson (Darlington RA). Junior Singles: J.McKenna (Silksworth) v B.Hopkins (Darlington RA). Champion of Champions: P.Mosley (Stockton) v P.Hudspith (Lyndhurst).

There was some good news for the County Ladies Walker Cup Double Fours team as they secured a semi-final spot at the National Championships at Leamington Spa in August.

In the regional event, Durham defeated Yorkshire 52-42 before they secured their place with a cracking nine-shot win over Cumbria. At Leamington, Durham will face Devon in the semi-finals.

The first Sunderland and District final line-up has been decided and there will be a repeat of last year’s 3-2-1 Triples final as holders Barnes West End will face Roker Marine.

In the semi-finals, the holders beat Usworth 224-208, while Marine beat Houghton Town 226-206. The final takes place on Tuesday, August 2, at Houghton Dairy Lane.

H There were mixed feelings following the unveiling of plans for the council owned greens.

There was sadness that Pemberton, Hetton Park and one green each at King George, Thompson Park and Usworth were to close, but it could have been a lot worse.

The remaining greens will require clubs to agree to a £850 licence from the council unless two clubs are sharing, whereby it would be £635 per club.

There will be more responsibility on clubs to contribute to the general maintenance and brush greens daily before 9am.

The council’s remit mainly covers maintenance outside of the club pavilions.

The green fees will be increased although the fees will go direct to the club, while the council will look into the possibility of installing irrigation systems, the licences are to be reviewed every year.