Stanley’s cup dreams are Des and buried

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ONE of the final indoor national competitions was completed last weekend as Darlington held the semi-final and final of this year’s Denny Cup and Yetton Trophy, writes Richard Mckie.

Stanley were looking for a first Denny Cup title. Despite only having one rink up, they defeated holders Wey Valley 73-69 in the semi-final.

John Thurlbeck’s quartet ran out 29-10 winners, while Gary Smith lost by two, David Bolt lost by nine and Phil Smithson lost by four.

In the final, Stanley faced Desborough who had earlier eased past Wellingborough by 23 shots.

Stanley’s dream of lifting the cup were dashed as Desborough cruised to a 42-shot win with 25 ends left unplayed.

All four Stanley squads were beaten. Gary Smith went down by seven, John Thurlbeck and Phil Smithson lost by nine, while David Bolt went down by 17.

In the ladies Yetton Trophy, the final saw York dramatically defeat Egham 77-76 with the last bowl.

The national championships returned to Melton Mowbray this year and after successfully staging the ten-day event, the Melton club have submitted a bid to the EIBA to host the finals from 2015 to 2017. The decision will be taken at the national governing body’s AGM in May.

H As the indoor season ends, there is no rest for the local club bowler as the outdoor season quickly gets into action with the opening round of fixtures in the Grindon League and the Sunderland and District Storey Bowl league.

Storey Bowl defending champions Seaham Town open up their campaign with a trip to Hetton Workmen.

Sadly, one club that will not feature this year will be Barley Mow. After 80 years, the club has succumbed to the lack of members and has folded.

The last few years have seen the club membership drop and last year the writing was on the wall as club chairman George Gibson valiantly tried to rally interest but only 11 members attended a recent meeting.

It was reluctantly agreed to pull the plug on the proud club and end competitive outdoor bowling in the park.

The club members over many years had fought for fencing around the green in an attempt to combat vandalism, the arson attack on the clubhouse a couple of years ago started the rot as the club had to play out of Mowbray Park; a move which saw the club lose members.

H There was some sad news for the local bowls scene as Gordon Cook sadly lost his battle against illness.

The long-serving member of Roker Marine and current club President was a well-respected bowler and a very popular figure within the bowling fraternity.

One of the many playing highlights was the unexpected Durham County Pairs title success in 1998, playing alongside Jack Nevin who also sadly recently passed away.

The Roker Marine pair lived the dream as they made the long trip to the Mecca of bowls for the national championships at Worthing.