STANLEY’S Gary Smith collected the £600 first prize when South Shields played hosts to Planetbowls as 51 players from around the region competed for a £1,100 prize fund.
Smith finished overall winner thanks to a hard-fought 6-4, 7-7 win over South Shields’ Ian Riches. The win shot Smith onto the edge of the top 32, but he will need more ranking points to seal a top 32 place and an invite to the Grand Prix final.
* Sunderland complete their Inter-County season tomorrow, defending champions Darlington needing to collect a minimum of 7½ points, and a win by 46 shots, to snatch the title away from current leaders South Shields.
Sunderland – At Houghton: R Usher, P Thomson snr, M Davis, P Thomson; P Bulmer, K Hopper, R Jobling, R Robinson, G Brown, P Brickle, W Roberts, J Jones; At Darlington: N Ridley, F Froud, TW Todd, G Farquhar; P Collins, M Carr, R Mckie, W Ferry; L Maughan, A Grimes, P Dixon, P Smithson
Last weekend’s fixture between Houghton and Hartlepool was cancelled and will now be played on Sunday, March 29.
Latest standings: South Shields 46½, Darlington 39, Sunderland 31½, Parks 16, Hartlepool 5½, Houghton 5½
Remaining fixtures: Sunderland v Darlington, Hartlepool v Houghton, Hartlepool v The Parks
* The Seniors Inter-Club League play-offs will take place this week.
Sunderland A entertain Durham B in the quarter-finals at Houghton on Wednesday (12.30pm). The semi-final will be staged on March 26, with the final on March 30 – both at Darlington.
Sunderland A: R Rollason, R Robson, R Robinson, R Graham; P Collins, B Walsh, F Knubley, J Jones; A Baker, M Carr, M Davis, W Ferry. Reserve: M Milner
* Another national title returned to the region as talented Darlington youngster Noah Cummings lifted the Under-18 singles title at Spalding, Cummings is building an impressive CV adding the Under-18 title to his Under-16 success.