Bowls: Roker Park off to a flier in search for first ever Storey Bowl title

Roker Park have never lifted the Storey Bowl title, however, after the second round of fixtures, they sit top of the early-season table.
Jaxon McKenna faces Pat Thomson in the first round of the men's county singles.Jaxon McKenna faces Pat Thomson in the first round of the men's county singles.
Jaxon McKenna faces Pat Thomson in the first round of the men's county singles.

Last Saturday, Roker Park had a cracking 6-1 (83-47) home win over holders Seaham Town, following up their 77-54 opening-day triumph.

Houghton Town went down by a single shot, 67-66, at home to Hetton Workmen, with the visitors running out 5-2 on points.

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Pennywell bounced back from their opening loss to defeat Thompson Park 6-1 (69-52), while Hylton CW and Wearmouth played out a 61-61 draw, with Hylton edging it 4-3 points-wise.

Today’s third round of fixtures will see Roker Park’s unbeaten start put to the test as they entertain Hylton, while Hetton Workmen host bottom-of-the-table Thompson Park and holders Seaham Town travel to Pennywell.

The signs are ominous for the rest of the teams in the Swan Cup First Division, as last year’s top two are already six points clear, with two wins out of two each.

Silksworth are top on shots difference after a 7-0 defeat of Barnes Park, while holders Houghton Dairy Lane beat Seaham Town 6-1.

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Newly-promoted South Hylton had a cracking 6-1 home victory over Roker Marine.

Usworth, relegated last season, are off to a flier in Division Two.

A second 6-1 win, this time at Houghton Town, has taken Usworth top.

Grindon Mill were good 6-1 winners at Thompson Park, while Hylton CW notched their first win, 5-2 against Ryhope. Roker Park hit Pemberton for a ton as they ran out 7-0 winners.

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Earl Cup holders Silksworth had a good 36-shot 6-1 win at Usworth, but Houghton Dairy Lane lead the way, albeit only on shots difference, after they defeated Seaham Town 6-1.

Barnes West End beat newly-promoted Hylton CW 6-1 and Barnes Park had a successful trip to Houghton Town, running out 6-1 winners.

Roker Marine ground out a 5-2 win at Hetton Workmen.

Last season, Thompson Park only managed a single win in their relegation campaign, however, in the Second Division, they have already surpassed that total with a 4½-2½ win at Ryhope and sit top of the table.

Sunderland defeated Pemberton 6-1, while South Hylton enjoyed a trip to Washington as they won 5-2. North Biddick beat Grindon Mill 6-1 in a fixture that was switched to Grindon due to Biddick having playing surface issues.

In the Harold Howey Trophy, it’s Roker all the way.

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The early leaders are Roker Marine A, who beat South Hylton 3-1, while Roker Park sit second after a cracking 3-1 victory at North Biddick A.

Defending champions Barnes West End moved into third place with a 3-1 triumph against Whitburn, while the two Ryhope squads clashed, with the honours going to the A team, 37-30.

Silksworth bounced back from their opening loss to defeat Washington B 4-0, while Seaham Town A had a good 4-0 home win over Hylton CW B.

Newly-relegated Chester-le-Street sit top in Division Two after a second 4-0 win, this time over Wearmouth.

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Thompson Park A had a good 19-shot win at New Herrington, while Pennywell notched their first win, 3-1 over Pemberton A. An all-Sunderland affair saw the B team defeat the A team 3-1.

This season’s men’s county competitions get underway in area two on Tuesday as the first round of the singles take place.

The pick of the ties will see last season’s county two-bowl runner-up Pat Thomson (Roker Marine) entertain county junior singles champion Jaxon McKenna (Silksworth).

Dairy Lane’s Peter Hudspeth reached the county semi-finals last season but has a tough start away to Silksworth new boy Jimmy Richardson.

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Other ties: A Hind (Dairy Lane) v R Mckie (Roker Marine), J Halcrow (Silksworth) v F Froud (Barnes WE), A Constable (Grindon Mill) v A Dalzell (Silksworth), P Baker (Silksworth) v N Ridley (Silksworth), P Thomson (Roker Marine) v S Don (Roker Marine), R Dixon (Dairy Lane) v G Farquhar (Silksworth), K Ford (Roker Marine) v P Brickle (Silksworth), G McPheators (Silksworth) v K Briscoe (Dairy Lane)

On Thursday, there are eight pairs ties planned. The top match looks to be Shaun McIntosh (Silksworth) against Mal Peach (Houghton Dairy Lane).

Other ties: I Whorlton (Dairy Lane) v M Waites (Roker Marine), R Dixon (Dairy Lane) v P Thomson (Roker Marine), G Wallace (Barnes WE) v G McPheators (Silksworth), A Patterson (GM) v R Robinson (HDL), P Brickle (Silksworth) v T Todd (Silksworth), R Mckie (Roker Marine) v A Hill (Barnes Park), P Baker (Silksworth) v P Baker (Sunderland)

The ladies’ county competitions have already started and it has been a good week for Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson.

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She made progress in the triples and fours. Having finished runners-up in the county triples, Rodgerson, alongside Susan Forster and Glynis Morgan, got off to a winning start with a cracking 26-9 success at Darlington Woodlands against Ann Camp.

In the next round on Monday, the Dairy Lane trio entertain Hetton’s Evelyn Barkes.

Sunderland’s Lorraine Breheny tackles O. Brown (Pelton Fell) on Monday, while Hetton’s Norma Stephenson hosts Sunderland’s Janet Sykes.

In the fours, Rodgerson eased to a 27-13 win against Darlington North Park’s Jane Pattison, however two other local squads both went down by one shot.

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Sunderland’s Sue Almond exited 20-19 at Bishop Auckland and Hetton’s Norma Stephenson succumbed 23-22 at Hundens.

On Wednesday, Rodgerson will entertain Stockton’s Teresa Parnell in the next round.

In the national family pairs championship, Roker Marine’s Patrick and Peter Thomson enjoyed a smashing 21-9 win over Silksworth’s Josh Halcrow. They will head to Darlington RA next to face Liam Macey.

Barnes West End’s Garry Wallace saw his hopes dashed with a 25-15 loss to Scot Moreland (Darlington South Park).

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In the mixed pairs, Dairy Lane’s David Armstrong went out 22-15 to Spennymoor’s Barry Attwood and Marine’s Grace Maxwell lost 21-10 to Stockton’s Mark Hodgson.

The Durham County ladies’ Stella Logan squad made a disappointing start to their 2018 campaign as they were beaten 125-106 (7-3) at Gosforth by Northumberland.

Last season, Durham completed the double over Northumberland, who went onto lose all eight games.

Durham will be looking to bounce back at Pelton Fell when they host Cumbria on Friday.