Seniors edge closer to title

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SUNDERLAND’S senior A team moved one step closer to the Seniors County League play-off title after defeating last year’s winners Darlington B 3-2 (61-47) at Crowtree.

Tommy Jopling’s rink of George Brown, Billy Hearne and John Jones, put in a five-star performance to defeat G.Lamb 29-6.

Dropping only four ends in the process, Jopling led the way so the other two rinks only needed to keep things tight.

With Joe Flett missing due to illness, Ted Forster was drafted in as lead for Bobby Graham, and alongside Hendy Shields and Ray Robinson, only went down 15-14 to S.Summers.

The remaining rink of Pat Collins, Ronnie Robson, Fred Knubley and Billy Ferry also kept things tight and only lost 20-18 to A.Stephenson.

In the semi final, Sunderland will now play The Parks on Friday, April 12, at Darlington, with a 1pm start and the dress code is all whites. The final will be at Darlington on Monday, April 15.

H The club competitions are now nearly at the final stages and the remaining place in the singles final will be decided on Wednesday, 6.30pm, as Pete Thomson faces the task of defeating current holder Gary Smith. The winner will face David Bolt in the final.

The pair’s final will take place on Thursday, 6.30pm, and will see Gary Farquhar and Neil Ridley attempt to defeat England internationals David Bolt and Gary Smith.

On Sunday, April 14, the four pair’s finals will take place – the Novice Pairs, Mixed Pairs, Ladies Pairs, Men’s Senior Pairs.

Live scores on all the club finals are available via the clubs website – www.cityofsunderlandibc.co.uk.

H The final club committee meeting takes place at Crowtree on Sunday, 10.30am, with the club’s AGM on April 14, at 10.30am.

The final chance to play at Crowtree, on April 21, is proving popular as 84 members have nominated.

Everyone will be playing in what will be a surreal 10-a-rink fixture.

To date, 234 of the current club members have paid their membership fees for next season, even though they have nowhere to play.

It is vital that when the club and council locate a venue, and then applys for various funding, that they can demonstrate a healthy membership that is ready to use a bowling facility.

The current figure equates to 66 per cent of the current membership. It is hoped to get to over 70 per cent before Crowtree closes in April.

The club and council have as yet not located a suitable venue.

On Wednesday, April 17 (6.30pm), the club will run a two hour variation 20/20 pairs competition.

There will be no prize money on offer, but it gives members a final chance to use the Crowtree surface. The entry sheet is on the notice board.

National entries for next season must be paid for by next weekend.

Members can still enter from Sunderland, as it has been confirmed by the EIBA they can use any green in Area 1, or play all their ties away from home.

It hasn’t been decided yet whether Sunderland will enter next season’s Denny Cup.

H At the National Championships, there has been some national success for the region as Darlington’s talented youngster Noah Cummins took the EIBA National Under 16 title.

In the final, Cummins defeated Barking’s Craig Massey. Otherwise it’s been a quiet week for the local representatives.

Stanley’s Gary Smith’s disappointment at making a second-round exit in the singles will have been eased as his conqueror, Blackpool’s Mark Dawes, went on to take the title 21-16 over Westlecot’s Neil Smith.

In the triples final, the City of Ely’s Nicky Brett, defeated Plymouth’s Stuart Evans 19-11.

The local triple, from West Denton, went out in the first round 23-4.

In the fours, Stanley’s Gary Smith’s conquerors, Malvern Hills’ Ryan Atkins, reached the semi final before losing to the eventual winner, Bournemouth’s Pete Ward.

The pairs event is just getting underway with Stanley’s Brett Arkley and John Thurlbeck flying the flag against Hosham’s Mathew Ives, in the first round.

The ladies singles title went to Carol Baker (Diss), while the pairs title went to Nottingham’s Pamela Cutts and Sue Mart.

Bournemouth’s Jean Arnuad, Julie Leake and Viv Manell took the triples title, while the fours title went to Boston’s Di Wilson.