SUNDERLAND sealed a comfortable 31-shot victory over neighbours Houghton in the Denny Cup.
Last season, the teams met in the Denny Plate after suffering first-round exits in the Cup competition.
Then, Sunderland triumphed by 38 shots – and it was a similar story this time.
At Crowtree, Keith Hopper, Billy Hearne, Michael Davis and Tommy Jopling inflicted a 32-5 defeat on Jeff Wilson.
Jaxon McKenna, Terry Todd, John Jones and Billy Ferry defeated Jimmy McAdoo 22-9 to leave the Crowtree outfit 38 shots up at home.
On the slower Houghton surface, both Sunderland rinks let winning positions slip away.
George Brown, Alf Ferguson, Ray Robinson and Bobby Graham let a 21-13 lead slip away against Tom Burt to finish 24-21 down, while Joe Flett, Dan Todner, Mark Higgins and Pete Thomson led 15-4 against Peter Harding but finished 24-20 down. That left Houghton with a seven-shot home advantage.
The win sets up Sunderland with a chance to gain revenge over Durham in the next round.
Other local results saw Stanley defeat Gateshead 95-52 and they will now face The Parks, who defeated West Denton 82-79.
H This week, the ladies equivalent to the Denny – the Yetton Trophy – kicks off, with Sunderland (like the men) entertaining Houghton. The Sunderland selectors have named the following team:
At Crowtree: A.Curtis, P.Wayman, P.Johnson, E.Baker, A.Bevan, M.Robins, H.Snell, M.Mitchinson. Reserves – V.Bambrough & O.Charlton
At Houghton: D.Kerrigan, S.Thomson, G.Eltringham, E.Pattinson, E.Barkes, R.Malleburn, M.Firth, F.Rodenby. Reserves – M.Eggleston & E.Barren
The away squad will leave the Londonderry at 11.15am next Thursday. The game starts at 12.30pm.
H In the national Over 60’s double fours, the Sunderland B team narrowly went out to West Denton 44-39.
At Crowtree, the home quartet of Billy Conway, Peter Thomson, George Gibson and Dennis Hulley ran out 23-20 winners – albeit by collecting a last end seven.
However, the away squad of Keith Ford, Billy Roberts, Tom Jones and Terry Todd went down 24-16, with an unfortunate last-bowl incident contributing to the loss.
The Sunderland A squad are yet to play Concordia but the winners will not face the national champions Stanley in the next round as they surprisingly went out 41-35 to Park View A.
H The Durham County seniors made a disappointing start to their national inter-county campaign as they went down 119-91 to Carlisle.
The home leg was held on a sluggish newly-laid Darlington surface where Carlisle recorded a 55-54 win.
Over at Carlisle, the Durham away squad had a poor afternoon, going down 64-37. Hopes of progressing – even after just the first game – look slim as Carlisle will be expected to beat both Yorkshire and Lancashire.
The Durham seniors return to action on Thursday in the annual John Dodsworth Cup against Yorkshire. Locally, Bobby Rollason, Ronnie Robson and Billy Hearne (all Sunderland) will feature as will Stanley’s Hendy Shields. The game takes place at New Earswick at 12.30pm.
H In the seniors inter-club league, Sunderland A will look to bounce back from defeat to Hebburn as they entertain Houghton A at Crowtree on Thursday (12.30pm). The Sunderland B team will also look to bounce back from a defeat as they travel to Hartlepool on Wednesday at 10.30am.
Latest group standings
Group 1 – Aycliffe 9, Durham A 8, Darlington A 5½, King James 5½, Spennymoor 5, Shildon 2.
Group 2 – Park View 9½, Hartlepool A 8½, Stanley 7, Sunderland B 6, Darlington B 5, Consett 4.
Group 3 – Hebburn 10, Houghton A 8, Gateshead A 7, Sunderland A 5, South Shields 3, Parks B 2.
Group 4 – Hartlepool B 13, Durham B 10½, Parks A 8, Gateshead B 2½, Houghton B 1, Ferryhill 0.
H The county’s top Under 25 talent will be on show at Crowtree next month as the Durham Under 25 double fours squad entertain Nottinghamshire in the first round of the national double fours.
The date is provisionally Sunday, November 4, with the start time to be confirmed in next week’s report. It is hoped a few spectators turn out to support the youngsters.
H The Sunderland and District 2013 outdoor tour will be going to King’s Lynn in Norfolk. The week-long tour will commence on July 28 and anyone interested can contact district secretary Eric Weightman.