Sunderland seniors are made to work

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SUNDERLAND’S senior A team had to work hard for a 37-31 (4½-½) win over bottom-of-the-group Hebburn in the latest round of Inter Club fixtures.

Bobby Rollason, Ronnie Robson, Ray Robinson and Bobby Graham recovered from 7-2 down to record a 14-9 win over A.Birrell.

Arthur Baker, Billy Hearne, John Jones and Tommy Jopling looked down and out at 10-4 down with only three ends remaining but a run of one, two and four saw Jopling secure a 11-10 win over R. Strand.

The remaining rink of Pat Collins, Ted Forster, Hendy Shields and Fred Knubley also had to come from a deficit 8-3 down to snatch a 12-12 draw.

The six-shot win will see the Sunderland squad end 2013 top of their group and on course for a play-off place.

Latest Group standings:

Group 1: Aycliffe 20, Darlington A 12½, Spennymoor 12½, Durham A 9, Shildon 6

Group 2: Hartlepool A 15½, Stanley 13, Darlington B 11, Park View 5½, Sunderland B 5

Group 3: Sunderland A 22½, The Parks B 19, Houghton A 17½, Gateshead A 11, Sth Shields 9½, Hebburn 6½

Group 4: The Parks A 22, Ferryhill 19½, Hartlepool B 14, Durham B 13½, Gateshead B 12, Houghton B 5

H England have named the team to defend the Home International series, and locally former Sunderland duo David Bolt and Gary Smith have been selected again.

The series takes place at Stanley on Thursday, March 13, to Saturday, March 15.

The next round of the Denny Cup takes place this weekend, and locally Stanley will face Hartlepool.

Latest National Draws – (local section):

Singles: J.Mckenna / B.Arkley (both Stanley) v P.Duffy (West Denton), D.Bolt (Stanley)/K.Donkin (Shields) v E.Henry/GR.Smith (both Stanley). Pairs: I.Riches (Shields)/D.Targar (The Parks) v GR.Smith (Stanley), E.Henry (Stanley)/J.Hutchinson (Park View) v B.Arkley/J.Mckenna (both Stanley)

H At the latest meeting with council officials, the Sunderland Indoor Bowling club were again left frustrated at the lack of positive news as the search for a venue goes on.

The council have offered to match every pound raised towards the redevelopment of a venue to a sum of £400,000 – however, the sting in the tail is that offer is only valid for the current financial year, to April 2014.

After that date, the club will have to ask the council to repeat the offer. Another meeting is planned for February.