Sunderland quartet on song

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SUNDERLAND A outgunned neighbours Houghton A 4-1 to sit four points clear at the top of Group Three in the Senior Inter-Club Championship.

The Sunderland quartet of Michael Wright, Bob Rollason, Ray Robinson and Bobby Graham raced into a 20-1 lead over Peter Harding after only eight ends, before eventually winning 30-7.

Arthur Baker, Michael Carr, Michael Davis and Billy Ferry were always ahead of A. Tate and secured a 17-12 win.

The remaining rink of Pat Collins, Barney Walsh, John Jones and Tommy Jopling stormed 10-0 up after three ends against David Simm, however the Houghton skip produced an impressive comeback to steal a last-end three and an 18-15 win.

Overall, Sunderland triumphed by 27 shots.

In Group Two, Sunderland B had a disappointing afternoon at Houghton, going down to a harsh-looking 5-0 defeat to Hartlepool B, despite succumbing by just five shots overall.

Tony Grimes, David Gowland, Frankie Froud and Richie Jobling let slip an 11-3 lead to finish 16-13 down against Albert Ward, while Peter Bulmer, Peter Thomson, Billy Conway and Billy Roberts narrowly lost 13-12 to Tom Grainger.

The remaining rink of George Brown, Peter Brickle, Alf Ferguson and Terry Todd suffered the same fate, beaten 12-11 by Mark Parkin.

The B team have a rearranged game on Wednesday against Stanley at Houghton (12.30pm) and then back to back games against Darlington B, away on December 12 and at home on the 17th.

Latest standings (played-pts) – Group Two: Hartlepool A 4-18, Stanley 2-5, Darlington B 2-5, Sunderland B 2-4, Park View 4-2

Group Three: Sunderland A 5-19½, South Shields 4-15½, Hebburn 5-11, Houghton A 5-10, Gateshead A 5-8½, Parks B 4-5½

Group Four: Parks A 4-17, Durham B 5-16, Hartlepool B 4-14, Gateshead B 5-14, Ferryhill 4-3, Houghton B 4-1

Sunderland return to Inter-County League action against South Shields next Sunday (2pm), looking to build on their opening win over Houghton.

Sunderland team – At Houghton: G Brown, W Roberts, J Jones, T Jopling, R Usher, G Simpson, TW Todd, P Thomson, P Collins, R Jobling, F Froud, R Robinson.

At Shields: M Wright, P Brickle, P Dixon, M Higgins, A Grimes, S Angus, P Smithson, W Ferry. N Ridley, A Ferguson, K Hopper, G Farquhar. Reserves: M Carr, R Rollason, M Davis, R Mckie, P Thomson.

Latest standings: Sunderland 10pt (+34), South Shields 10 (+5), Hartlepool 2 (-2), Houghton 2 (-34), Darlington and The Parks yet to play.