Silksworth on brink of Earl Cup title delight – again

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SILKSWORTH took another big step towards retaining the Earl Cup Division One title – after easing to a 7-0 victory in the battle of the top two.

Silksworth’s resounding triumph against Roker Marine moved them 13 and a half points clear, with only three matches to play.

Over the last three seasons, Silksworth’s dominance of the Earl Cup is evident as they are unbeaten in their last 26 games and have suffered only a single defeat in three seasons.

Houghton Dairy Lane boast some of the best facilities in the area and have been a willing host for Bowls Durham events, however they have fallen foul of the Sunderland and District League rules – by hosting the County semi-finals a fortnight ago they had to cancel their home fixture against Seaham Town.

Unfortunately, clubs are not allowed to play games after the set date and the seven points have been awarded to Seaham. Whether this rule is promoting the sport is debatable.

Those points gave Seaham a real chance of avoiding relegation however a 6-1 defeat at third from bottom Ryhope leaves them still in the relegation places.

Thompson Park’s 5-2 win at Hylton CW maintained their slim lead at the top in Division Two – only two points cover the leaders, South Hylton and Sunderland.

Roker Park’s 6-1 home success over second-placed Hetton Workmen’s moved the hosts out of the bottom two.

Pemberton missed the chance to close the gap on the top two in Division Three as they went down by a quarter of a shot at Grindon Mill, while the Herrington derby saw the Workmen finish 6-1 victors.

The top three in the Swan Cup First Division all won. Leaders Houghton Dairy Lane maintained their eight-point advantage with a 5-2 win at Barnes Park.

This season has seen a change in format for both Earl and Swan leagues – the change was meant to produce three equal standard leagues. Although the loss of three teams caused some disruption across the six divisions, more teams have more to play for at this stage of the season than under the old format.

In the Storey Bowl, leaders Hetton Workmen’s defeated Pennywell 7-0 to maintain their 22-point lead over Houghton Town.

Results – Harold Howey Trophy, Div One: Ryhope B 1 Thompson Park B 3, Barnes West End 44 Lumley 23

Div Two: Houghton Town A 0 Seaham Town A 4, Hylton CW A 4 North Biddick 0, Hylton CW B 4 Dawdon 0, Whitburn 3½ Roker Park B ½

Div Three: Pemberton B 2 New Herrington 2, Sunderland B 4 Mowbray 0