Seniors hoping for a happy new year

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FOLLOWING the Christmas break, the indoor bowls bandwagon starts again next week as the Seniors Inter Club groups recommence.

On Thursday, at 12.30, Houghton A host group three leaders Sunderland A in a game delayed from January 9.

With only four points covering leaders Sunderland, The Parks and Houghton, both teams will be keen to get a result.

The following players have been selected:

Sunderland: P.Collins, H.Shields, F.Knubley, W.Ferry, J.Flett, R.Robson, R.Robinson, R.Graham, A.Baker, W.Hearne, J.Jones, T.Jopling. Reserves EJ.Forster, R.Rollason, W.Longley.

Houghton: J.Doyle, M.Baker, J.Thurburn, P.Harding, D.Simpson, T.Joicey, J.Scullion, D.Sim, T.Winship, T.Hayes, J.Suntherland, E.Weightman. Reserves –F.Sanderson, V.Sowerby.

In Group Two, Sunderland B host Hartlepool A. With the Sunderland outfit propping up the group and trailing second-placed Hartlepool by ten points, nothing short of a 5-0 win will keep alive thei- slim hopes of sneaking into the second play-off place.

Team: P.Bulmer, P.Thomson, W.Roberts, R.Jobling, A.Grimes, E.Dent, F.Froud, P.Brickle, G.Brown, W.Conway, A.Ferguson, TW.Todd.

The game takes place on Wednesday at Houghton starting at 12.30.

H Houghton’s Inter Club squad return to action tomorrow as they look to record a third straight win against South Shields.

The Houghton outfit look favourites for promotion as they have a 12-point advantage over third-placed Shields as the league reaches the halfway mark.

The following side has been selected for a 2pm start at both venues.

At Houghton: M.Baker, B.Henderson (jnr), A.Pratt, B.Henderson (snr), J.Doyle, D.Brunskill, T.Burt, P.Harding, T.Patterson, T.Hayes, J.Biggerstaff, J.Scullion. Reserve – C.Wallace

At Shields: T.Joicey, F.Sanderson, E.Weightman, T.Ainsley, J.Sutherland, O.Lynn, J.McAdoo, AJ.Dunn, K.Armstrong, P.Gorton, W.Storey, S.Tindale. Reserve – V.Sowerby

Sunderland’s cancelled Inter Club fixture with Aycliffe will now take place on February 23.

H In the National Over 60s Double Fours competition, Houghton’s gallant run was abruptly halted by the 2012 national champions Stanley.

Both Houghton rinks were heavily beaten as the game only lasted 15 ends instead of the 21. Stanley will face Cumbria in the last 32, with Featherstone awaiting the winners.

Latest National Competition Draws (Area 1)

Singles Semi Finals: B.Arkley (Stanley) v P.Duffy (West Denton), D/Bolt v GR.Smith (both Stanley)

Pairs Semi Finals: I.Riches (Shields) v GR.Smith (Stanley), J.Hutchinson (Park View) v B.Arkley (Stanley)

Triples Semi Finals: G.Robson v D.Bolt (both Stanley), R.Mckie (Sunderland) v D.Patterson (Shields)

Fours Semi Finals: B.Arkley v D.Morgan (both Stanley), M.Laydon (Stanley) v JH.Taylor (Durham)

Under 25 Singles Area Final: J.Minto (Parks bt D.Forster (Cumbria) 2-1

H This year’s World Indoor Singles Championship gets under way at Potters.

Former Sunderland star Gary Smith will make his debut in the event on Thursday against Mark Royal.

The game gets under way at 7.30pm and there will be live score updates via the club’s website.