Sunderland want big finish

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THE Sunderland Inter County squad will bring the curtain down on 35 years of inter county action at Crowtree as they face Gateshead this weekend.

With promotion and the division two title already in the bag, a much-changed team will look to seal a sixth consecutive win and finish the season unbeaten.

The following team has been selected. At Crowtree: E.Dent, M.Carr, W.Roberts, M.Davis, K.Ford, R.Usher, J.Scott, D.Todner, M.Wright, P.Brickle, F.Froud, R.Jobling

At Gateshead: A.Grimes, W.Hearne, A.Ferguson, J.Jones, K.Hopper, G.Brown, N.Ridley, H.Shields, P.Collins, P.Bulmer, J.Flett, TW.Todd.

Although the game will signal the end of inter county action at Crowtree, the club still intend to fulfil the fixtures next season by using Houghton as the home venue, anyone interested in playing can do so by adding their name to the nomination sheet on the notice board.

In the Seniors’ end-of-season play-offs, there was heartache for the Sunderland B team.

Following Darlington B’s 5-0 whitewash of Park View in their final group fixture, Sunderland missed out on a play-off spot by a single point.

The Sunderland A team will now actually face Darlington B in the quarter-final play-off at Crowtree on Thursday, April 4, at 10.30am.

H The majority of the club competitions at Crowtree are reaching the final stages. The full list of the draws are as follows:

Singles Final – D.Bolt v GR.Smith or P.Thomson

Pairs Semi-Finals – M.Laydon v GR.Smith, R.Mckie v G.Farquhar or W.Simpson

Triples Semi-Finals – D.Todner v M.Laydon, GR.Smith v S.Angus

Fours Semi -Finals – W.Ferry v GR.Smith or G.Farquhar, M.Laydon v R.Jobling or D.Todner

Two Bowl Semi-Finals – M.Ramsey v A.Grimes, J.Flett v M.Laydon

Senior Singles Final – R.Graham v J.Flett (playing Sunday 21st April 12.00)

Pairs Final – J.Flett v W.Ferry (playing Sunday 14th April 12.30)

Triples Final – P.Brickle v W.Ferry (playing Friday 5th April 6.30)

Fours Final – P.Brickle v T.Jopling (playing Friday 19th April 6.30)

Two Bowl Semi-Finals – A.Grimes v J.Flett, R.Robinson v TW.Todd

Ladies Singles Final – A.Curtis v M.Eggleston (playing Sunday 21st April 12.00)

Ladies Pairs Final – E.Baker v F.Rodenby (playing Sunday 14th April 12.30)

Novice Pairs Final – M.Carr v D.Fenwick (playing Sunday 14th April 12.30)

Mixed Pairs Final – M.Wright v LJ.Todd (playing Sunday 14th April 12.30)

H At the British Isles Home International series at Stanley, the title went right down to the final bowl as England took the honours.

Going into the traditional Auld Enemy clash, both England and Scotland were locked together on four points although England had a slight advantage as a draw would be enough due to shots difference.

In a pressure-cooker atmosphere, England were quickly into there stride as they raced into an 18-shot lead at the halfway mark.

The Scots responded and levelled the game off 79-79 after 15 ends and briefly sneaked into a one-shot lead before England collected a 10-2 return across the green to lead 98-90.

The Scots hit back to stay in touch and with the last bowl of the match, their former world champion Alex Marshall needed a three to take the title.

Marshall held shot and had a chance to lift England’s nearest bowl out for three. As his bowl approached the head, he looked on target and despite getting a good contact on a Scottish bowl it proceeded to go through a gap – narrowly missing the English bowl.

The local quartet of Stanley’s Brett Arkley, Hartlepool’s Glen Skip and the Stanley duo of David Bolt and Gary Smith had a mixed series.

Against Wales, they let slip a 15-12 lead to go down 20-17, but bounced back to record a 30-7 win against Ireland.

Against Scotland, the selectors made a change to the rink by dropping Skip and handing a debut to his clubmate Paul Hartley.

In the game against Scotland, Smith’s quartet got stuck on 12 and saw a 12-7 lead wiped out as they eventually went down 24-15.