Play-off place in sight for Seniors after vital win

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Sunderland’s Senior A squad claimed a vital 5-0 (52-22¼) win over The Parks to surge to the summit of Group Three in the Inter-Club Seniors competition.

With only one game left to play, the Crowtree outfit need one point from the trip to Gateshead to guarantee them a play-off place.

George Brown, Arthur Baker, Fred Knubley and Billy Ferry eased to a 19-9 win over C. Wright.

Pat Collins, Ronnie Robson, Hendy Shields and John Jones defeated J. Phillip 17-6¼.

Joe Flett, Billy Hearne, Ray Robinson and Bobby Graham beat R. Thompson 16-7.

Group 3 Standings: Sunderland P9 29½Pts, Sth Shields 9-25, Houghton A 8-24, Hebburn 8-20½, Gateshead A 8-16, Parks B 8-14½

H Sunderland’s Tommy Jopling sealed another crack at the County Seniors Champion of Champions title after defeating Darlington’s Barry Cooper 21-19.

Jopling will now face John Kelso, of South Shields, in the final at Darlington on either March 13 or 14.

H Last weekend, the area final of the National Singles took place at South Shields, and with a place at the National Championships at stake, Stanley’s current England international Gary Smith, recovered from a 6-1 deficit to defeat The Park’s under-25 international Chris Yeomans, 21-11.

Smith will face Desborough’s S.Jones on Thursday, March 28, at 12.30pm.

H In the latest round of the Midland League fixtures, Durham County Seniors lost to Notts by 18 shots.

The defeat means Durham will head to Solihull on Wednesday to face Warwickshire, with the losers likely to get the wooden spoon.

Sunderland’s Tommy Jopling, Ray Robinson, Joe Flett, Billy Hearne, Stanley’s Hendy Shields, Houghton’s Eric Weightman and Tom Haynes all travel.

H With time called on Crowtree, last weekend saw Sunderland play host to the Durham Select for the final time.

The second fixture between the teams saw the visitors complete a double when the Select ran out winners 109-88.

Sunderland’s top rink was Marjorie Smith, Jim Scot Thompson, Bobby Usher and Frankie Froud.

Scores (Sunderland skips only): F.Froud 19-13, TW.Todd 12-23, D.Hulley 9-35, A.Baker 18-16, G.Farquhar 18-17, L.Todd 12-15.

In light of the news that Crowtree is to close in April, the 365 Sunderland members will be homeless.

However, in an attempt to provide members with other options, the club has posted a list of available sessions at Houghton, Hartlepool and Durham.

The club is looking to maintain the running of the Men’s Inter-Club team and the two Senior teams.

Anyone interested in playing is advised to add their name to the sheets on the notice board.

Houghton have offered use of the green as a home venue.

Meanwhile, Sunderland’s committee are looking for a suitable venue to transform into a bowls venue.

Anyone interested in helping the club find a new venue can contact the club via the clubs website at www.cityofsunderlandibc.co.uk.

The report outlining the decision to demolish Crowtree is to be brought before the Council during the cabinet meeting on March 13.

The local bowls scene suffered another loss following the passing away of another gent in Larry Conifey (90).

H Part one of this year’s National Finals have started, with Melton Mowbray holding nine events over a ten-day spell.

The Melton club once held all the National Finals, but in 2007 the EIBA moved them 20 miles up the road to Nottingham.

However, within 18 months, Melton is back on the roster.

The first final to be completed saw Lincoln Ladies take the Yetton Trophy after a 81-63 win over Egham.

The other events taking place at Melton are the Men’s Over 60s Fours, Ladies’ Fours, Under-25s County Two-Rink, Ladies Triples, Men’s Over 60s Singles, Men’s Over 60s Pairs, Ladies’ Pairs, Inter Club Under 25s Two Rink.

The outdoor 2013 County competition draws for men and ladies are now available to view on the bowlsdurham website at www.bowlsdurham.com.