Silksworth’s Earl Cup title ambitions dented by Houghton Dairy Lane’s stunning 24-shot success

Houghton Town's Earl Cup team line up ahead of their defeat to Roker Marine
Houghton Town's Earl Cup team line up ahead of their defeat to Roker Marine
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Silksworth’s big for a fifth consecutive Earl Cup Division One title suffered a setback as Houghton Dairy Lane confirmed their title aspirations with a cracking team performance in a 24-shot 6½-½ win,.

Roker Marine moved to the top with a 6-1 10-shot home defeat of last season’s Second Division champions, Houghton Town, while Thompson Park defeated Barnes Park 7-0.

In the Second Division, Barnes West End beat South Hylton 6-1, while Hylton CW and Hetton Workmen’s enjoyed 6½-½ wins over North Biddick and Usworth respectively.

Whitburn are the early Third Division leaders, after a 6½-½ win over Washington, while there were cracking 6-1 away wins for Pemberton and Roker Park.

Swan Cup holders Houghton Dairy Lane recorded a third straight win, beating North Biddick 6-1 (37 shots), while Seaham Town defeated Roker Marine 5-2 and South Hylton bagged a first win of the season, 5½-1½ at Houghton Town.

Hetton Workmen maintained their unbeaten start in Division Two, outgunning Grindon Mill 7-0.

In the Harold Howey Trophy First Division, Thompson Park B recorded a fourth straight win, 3-1 at holders Silksworth, while Houghton DL B’s unbeaten record went with a 3-1 two-shot loss to South Hylton.

Roker Park A notched their first win, 3-1 against Houghton DL A.

In Division Two, Sunderland B lost their unbeaten start, succumbing 4-0 at Roker Marine B, while Washington B moved top with a 16-shot 4-0 win at Houghton Town A.

Storey Bowl holders Hetton Workmen’s earned a 10-shot 6-1 home win over Houghton Town to go top, while Seaham Town, runners-up last year, lost 5-2 at Hylton CW.

The District Two county competitions are continuing apace, although eight of the 14 results have been walkovers.

In the singles, an all-Silksworth affair saw Jaxon McKenna defeat Neal Ridley 21-19 and then be given a walkover into the area final.

Roker Marine’s Jimmy Richardson had a good 21-15 win over Silksworth’s Paul Baker, while Sunderland’s only singles entry, J. Maddison, defeated Barnes Park county star Albie Hill 21-15.

Other results, Singles: G Farquhar (Silksworth), M. Higgins (Silksworth), R Mckie (Roker Marine), C Jefferson (Silksworth), J McKenna (Silksworth) all received walkovers.

Pairs: JS Richardson (Roker Marine) 24 D Wilson (Whitburn) 15, J Tulip (Sunderland) 13 P Smithson (Silksworth) 19

Triples: A Hill (Barnes Park) walkover

Fours: S Summers (Sunderland), M Laydon (Silksworth) both received walk overs

Two-bowl singles: M.Laydon (Silksworth) 17 N Reid (Silksworth) 11

In District Three, the fixed date scenario continues to work, with no walkovers to date.

Dairy Lane’s Ray Robinson recovered from 17-10 down to defeat Usworth’s Brian Poulter 21-20 in the singles, while Dan Todner won the all-Dairy Lane tie 21-16 against Jimmy McKinney.

Hylton Colliery’s Alan Maidment had to work hard for a 21-19 victory at Hetton Workmen’s against Sam Patterson.

In the pairs, Houghton’s Brian Cain saw off Dawdon’s John Dunn 36-15, while David Armstrong (Dairy Lane) defeated Hetton’s Sam Patterson 21-13.

Other results, Triples: D Armstrong (HDL) 20 M Peach (HDL) 11, B Henderson (Seaham Town) 17 R Robinson (HDL) 15

In the National Double Fours, Houghton Dairy Lane eased past Pelton Fell 42-18 and will now face a tough trip to Gosforth, while Silksworth head to Leadgate on Monday in the Top Club competition.

Dairy Lane’s David Armstrong progressed ub the Mixed Pairs with a high-scoring 27-23 win over Roker Marine’s Rod Maxwell to set up a home tie against Darlington North Park’s Julie Robinson.

The local bowls scene lost yet another one of the game’s characters as Grindon Mill stalwart Ernie Graham (86) sadly passed away.

The Ladies County competitions are steaming ahead.

In the triples, Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson moved into the last eight with a good 17-15 win at Owton Lodge, while Hetton Workmen’s Norma Stephenson progressed with an impressive 20-7 win over Woodlands’ Ann Anderson. The quarter-finals take place on Monday.

In the fours, three of the four semi-finalists are local. Joan Rodgerson (Dairy Lane) won 21-16 at Pelton Fell and Hetton’s Norman Stephenson defeated Janet Ridpath (Owton Lodge) 19-11, but the result of the day saw Sunderland’s Sue Almond steer her rink to a 19-18 win at defending county champions Newton Hall, skipped by Anne Bernard.

The semi-finals and county final take place at Sunderland on Wednesday, starting 10am.

Draw: J Rodgerson v N Stephenson, S Almond v M Wright (Lyndhurst)

Durham County A start their Northern Counties campaign today with a Muras Trophy trip to Alnwick to face holders Northumberland (2pm).

Manager David Bolt has named a strong-looking team.

Durham: S Baker, I Riches, G Farquhar, D Bolt (all Silksworth); J Hills, N Buckley, B Hopkins, A Kirtland (all Darlington RA), M Peach (Houghton DL), C Jefferson (Silksworth), W Ferry (Silksworth), G Skipp (Elm Tree); V Rewcastle (Darlington RA), N Ridley (Silksworth), M Jones (Darlington RA), J Fielding (Darlington RA); J Ballantyne (Stockton), C Boston (Elm Tree), N Cummings (Darlington RA), P Mosley (Stockton); M Ray (Owton Lodge), M Squirrell (Owton Lodge), C Higgins (Old Boys), J Mansfield (Hartlepool Park). Reserves: I Jackson (Hartlepool Park), A Ward (Owton Lodge)

Next weekend, the traditional Muras double header will decide the destination of the title, and Bolt is using the games to fine-tune his squad for the important Middleton Cup tie against Lancashire in Manchester on June 4.

Redcar will stage Durham’s games against Lancashire and Yorkshire. The first match is scheduled for an 11am start, with the Yorkshire game to follow at 2pm.

In the Middleton Cup, the Lancashire game is followed by a clash with Derbyshire at Selby on June 18 and the visit of Cumbria to Silksworth on July 9.

The squad for the double header is: S Baker (Silksworth), P Dixon (Silksworth), I Riches (Silksworth), G Farquhar (Silksworth), D Bolt (Silksworth), J Hills (Darlington RA), N Buckley (Darlington RA), B Hopkins (Darlington RA), A Kirtland (Darlington RA), M Peach (Houghton DL), C Jefferson (Silksworth), W Ferry (Silksworth), G Skipp (Elm Tree), V Rewcastle (Darlington RA), N Ridley (Silksworth), M Jones (Darlington RA), J Fielding (Darlington RA), J.Ballantyne (Stockton), C Boston (Elm Tree), N Cummings (Darlington RA), P Mosley (Stockton), M Ray (Owton Lodge), M Squirrell (Owton Lodge), C Higgins (Old Boys), J Mansfield (H’pool Park),I.Jackson (Park) A.Ward (Owton Lodge) K Donkin, S McIntosh, P Smithson, M Laydon S Cairns(all Silksworth),M Gleeson (Spennymoor) J Harston(Hundens), K Burton (Darlington RA) D Fenwick (Elm Tree) J Wells (Park)