Tommy Jopling’s double delight in bowls

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Bowls notes by Richard Mckie

Tommy Jopling enjoyed double success when he triumphed in two Crowtree finals, held at Crowtree.

In the Senior four-bowl final, Jopling faced George Brown. Jopling raced into a 15-3 lead but Brown closed the gap to 15-11. However, Jopling eventually ran out 21-12 winner to seal the title for the third year running.

In the senior two-bowl final, Jopling faced Jim Coundon.

Three consecutive doubles saw Jopling race into a 6-0 lead, but Coundon rallied, going into a 7-6 lead before casting the jack outside the rink.

Jopling grabbed back control and eventually ran out 21-9 winner.

H The planned ladies’ pairs final was cancelled due to ill health and will now be played in September.

H This week there are more club finals.

On Monday, Dan Todner and Pat Thomson face holders Hendy Shields and Tommy Jopling.

On Tuesday, Jopling teams up with Joe Flett and John Jones in the senior triples final against John Smith, Locky Todd and Fred Knubley.

On Thursday, John Smith, Peter Brickle, Fred Knubley and Billy Ferry face Joe Flett, John Jones, Dennis Hulley and Tommy Jopling in the senior fours final.

On Friday, Michael Wright, Tony Wood, Peter Brickle and Ray Robinson will face Joe Flett, John Jones, Dennis Hulley and Tommy Jopling, this time in the men’s fours final. All the finals start at 6.30pm.

H It’s been another dramatic week for the Sunderland senior A team.

Firstly, they defeated Great Aycliffe in the play-off quarter-final 5-0 (77-36).

Ritchie Jobling, George Simpson, John Jones and Ray Robinson defeated Dave Barron 21-15. Pat Collins, Billy Hearne, Jim Coundon and Tommy Jopling defeated Alan Taylor 26-12.

The remaining rink of John Smith, Ronnie Robson, Joe Flett and Billy Ferry cruised to a 30-9 win over Vince Robson to set up a semi-final trip to Darlington to face current holders The Parks A.

Sadly, they couldn’t replicate the Aycliffe performance, as The Parks ran out 5-0 (65-43) winners to set up a final against South Shields.

South Shields caused a shock by defeating Stanley in the other semi-final.

In the semi-final there was no joy for any of the Sunderland rinks. Ritchie Jobling, George Simpson, John Jones and Ray Robinson went down 20-17 to Alan Johnson, while John Smith, Ronnie Robson, Joe Flett and Billy Ferry let slip a 14-9 lead to go down 17-16 to Brian Houghton.

Pat Collins, Billy Hearne, Jim Coundon and Tommy Jopling went from 11-9 down to 28-10 down in the space of seven ends to Ian Brown.

H This weekend will see the Sunderland inter-county squad finish their campaign against Hartlepool. With relegation still on the agenda, it would take a surprise 8-4 win by Shildon over second-placed The Parks to overtake Sunderland and that would only happen if Sunderland were beaten 12-0.

Sunderland squad: At Crowtree: R. Borthwick, M. Kilty, W. Mitchell, R. Robinson, G. Brown, M. Carr, F. Froud, R. Mckie, M. Laydon, G. Simpson, V. Avery, G. Farquhar.

At Hartlepool: M. Wright, R. Jobling, A. Ferguson, TW. Todd, W. Hearne, T. Wood, P. Brickle, T. Jopling, P. Collins, P. Thomson (snr), A. Grimes, P. Thomson (jnr). The action starts at 2pm.

H The semi-final of the Football Pairs competition will take place on Wednesday at 6.30pm. The semi-final line-up is: Keith Hopper and Stevie Angus; Richard Mckie and Billy Mitchell; George Brown and Tommy Jopling; Bobby Borthwick and Peter Brickle.

H This year’s national championships have been taking place in Nottingham. In the fours, the Stanley quartet of David Morgan, Brian Harris, David Bolt and Gary Smith defeated Lincoln’s T. Gilroy 19-11 before facing Cypher’s England international Andy Thomson. The Stanley squad went down 18-15. Thomson went on to lose the final 24-21 to Cumbria’s Trevor Taylor.

In the triples, the Stanley trio of Ian Riches, Michael Bennett and Jimmy Humphrey sneaked a 19-18 win over Victory’s G. Snook. However, the Stanley trio went out in the next round 20-16 to the eventual winner, Torquay’s G. Sanders.

In the pairs, South Shields’ Ian McIntosh went out in the first round 27-21.

H In the county champion of champions finals at Hartlepool, there was triple heartbreak for Sunderland’s Tommy Jopling.

Firstly, in the pairs final, alongside Hendy Shields, the Sunderland pair were beaten 22-5 by Darlington’s Mark Jones and Andrew Kirtland. Jopling’s second defeat came in the senior singles final, as Shildon’s Brian Hutchinson won a thriller 21-20. Jopling’s third defeat came in the senior fours final. Alongside Joe Flett, John Jones and Dennis Hulley, the Sunderland quartet went down 22-20 to the current British Isles Over-60s champion, Shildon’s Billy Maddison.

H The future of the Sunderland club at Crowtree has been secured after council officials it was confirmed there were no plans to close Crowtree.

H Former Sunderland and District president Alan Pattinson (71) and Seaham stalwart Con McKenna (85) have both sadly passed away.