Bowls: Shields into Denny Plate semi-finals, while Houghton Gilpin endure home misery
South Shields moved into the Denny Plate semi-finals after an impressive 77-57 win over Boston at Selby.
The early stages were nip and tuck and Shields led by only a couple of shots at the halfway mark.
However, a 24-7 return across the four rinks between the 10th and 15th ends saw them race into a 63-44 lead.
From that point, they comfortably saw the game out to finish 20 shots up.
A late change saw Scott Baker come in as lead for David Bolt and, alongside Mal Peach and Phil Dixon, they turned around a five-end 8-1 deficit to beat R. Whyers 22-10.
Family of 13-year-old cyclist Gregg Lewis McGuire pay tribute to “cheeky boy who lived life to the fullest” after tragic death
Double trouble for Sunderland twins who tried to trick police over their indentities
'Unacceptable' HMO refused for Sunderland neighbourhood where there is already too much shared housing
Danger driver sparked police chase before abandoning car
Sunderland AFC reveal new Stadium of Light ticket office and club shop opening hours after fan complaints
Neal Ridley, Stevie Cairns, Ian Riches and Ian McIntosh got off to a flier, leading Les Feary 14-3 after only five ends. In the end, McIntosh ran out a 24-15 victor.
Dave Paterson, Josh Minto, James Sneller and Gary Farquhar looked in trouble at halfway against Jonathan West as they trailed 13-5, however Farquhar rallied the troops to finish a cracking 17-15 up.
The remaining rink of Jaxon McKenna, Paul Sainthouse, Stewart Hubbard and Shaun McIntosh were the only rink to finish in arrears as they went down 17-14 to Richard Vinter.
In the semi-finals, Shields will face Suffolk club Beccles, who comfortably defeated Cambridge Chesterton 98-62.
The tie will be played on March 10 at a yet to be agreed neutral venue. The other semi sees Hounslow taking on West Berks.
In the Denny Cup, Cumbria booked a semi-final date with Victory by beating Nottingham 75-56. Moonfleet 2000 tackle Norfolk in the other tie.
Houghton Gilpin went down 72-60 in their rearranged Inter-County League First Division clash with The Parks.
It was a tale of two venues.
At The Parks, both Houghton squads returned home winners, despite playing a man short.
Keith Waterson, Ian Whorlton and Frankie Froud did well to still get home 15-13 against P. Lunn, while Michael Noble, David Armstrong, AN Other and John Jones held on for a 19-18 win against Peter Dawson.
That left the away squad three shots in credit.
At Houghton, though, both home rinks were beaten, by 15 shots overall.
Joe Sutherland, Jules Biggerstaff, Freddie Fletcher and Bryan Henderson (jnr) were always playing catch-up against Steve Miller and eventually went down 17-12.
Mal Baker, AN Other, David Wright and Brian Henderson (snr) never got going against Matthew Raftree and finished 24-14 down.
Next up for Gilpin is a crunch game against bottom-placed Darlington.
Sadly, prior to the start at Houghton, things were said which have no place on a bowling green. That, added to the fact that Houghton also fielded an ineligible player, made it a disappointing afternoon all round.
Last season, when Sunderland called time on the Inter-County League, the Houghton committee agreed to enter the extra team to take up the expected excess players nominating to play.
Sadly, things have not gone to plan as both teams have been hampered this season by withdrawals from the selected teams, with many on the morning of the game.
It would come as no surprise if the two teams were condensed to back to one for next season, which would be a big disappointment.
In the Second Division, South Shields maintained their unbeaten record as they comfortably ran out 80-48 winners against Shildon.
All four Shields squads returned winning cards and the 10-0 victory leaves them on the verge of promotion.
At Shields, stalwart Stevie Cairns had a rare skip’s role as he steered Michael Baker, Tom Giles and Fred Knubley to a cracking 29-9 win over W. Dixon, while Keith Thompson, Doug McAuley, Jaxon McKenna and Stewart Hubbard had to work hard for a 15-13 win over A. Bell.
At Shildon, Scott Baker, Derek Robson, Keith Taylor and Mal Peach, in an even rarer outing as skip, had a cracking 17-14 win over Billy Maddison, while Bob Cragg, Mick Maher, Derek Wilson and Arthur Harrison made a late charge to defeat A. Johnson 19-12.
One frustrating rule in the Inter-County League is the one shot scoring on the first two ends. Many a time, both home and away rinks have to watch good counts going to waste.
In the Senior Inter-County League, Houghton GIlpin’s squad were left kicking their heels as the planned home game against Darlington B was cancelled due to the visitors getting their dates mixed up.
It adds to the ever growing list of cancelled matches, caused by opponents, that the three Houghton senior teams have to endure.
There has been more action this week in the national competitions.
Houghton’s Peter Thomson booked a place in the fours’ north semi-final with a 21-5 home success against Gateshead’s Brian Orrell.
Thomson will make the trip to Shieldsto face Gary Farquhar in the semi.
Houghton enjoyed a tremendous win at Durham in the Over-60s fours as Michael Wright, Peter Thomson (snr), Terry Todd and Frankie Froud defeated Brian Slinn 20-12.
In the north semi-final, Froud will have home advantage against Shields’ Billy Ferry.
In the singles, Stewart Hubbard ran out an impressive 21-18 winner over South Shields club-mate Shaun McIntosh. In the north semi-final, Hubbard heads to Durham to face Gary Smith, with the winner to face Hartlepool’s Paul Hartley in the area final.
In the pairs, Josh Minto and Chris Yeomans booked their place in the north semi-final after a cracking 20-11 win over fellow Shields players Phil Dixon and Gary Farquhar.
Next up, Minto heads to Durham to face Mark Higgins.
The Shields duo of Jackie Tallack and David Bolt set up an mixed pairs area final clash with Hartlepool’s Paul Mosley after easing past The Parks’ Pat Browne 20-3.
There were mixed results for Houghton in the family pairs.
The Thomson brothers had a smashing 21-14 victory at West Denton against Aaron Robson, however Tom and Sam Patterson went down 30-6 to Martin Rpgan at West Denton.
The Thomsons travel to Durham next to face Carl and Mark Higgins.
West Denton’s talented youngster, Aaron Robson, heads to the City of Ely this weekend to compete in the latter stages of the Under-25 singles. In the last 16, Robson faces Riverain’s newly capped England Under-25 international, Glenn Williams.
The latest round of the Top Club competition takes place tomorrow as South Shields head to Great Aycliffe.
Shields team – men’s singles: I McIntosh; women’s singles: N Riches; mixed pairs: J Tallack, D Bolt; mixed triples: P Dixon, A Upsall, I Riches; mixed fours: K Paterson, P Carlin, G Farquhar, S McIntosh
At the World Indoor Championships, 22-year-old Ipswich star Katherine Rednall claimed her third women’s singles title with an outstanding display of bowling.
In a repeat of last year’s final against Norwich’s Rebecca Field, Rednall cruised to a 13-3, 13-6 straight sets win.
The mixed pairs title went to Scotland’s Liz Doig and England’s Jamie Chestney, who defeated England’s Rebecca Field and Scotland’s Darren Burnett 8-4, 7-6.
The ever popular Sunderland Carpet League will sadly lose one of its long standing venues this month.
After 40 years, Farringdon Social Club will host their final league game against Silksworth’s St Leonards on Tuesday.
The league was formed in 1980 by Billy Shergold, Bob Cooke and George Labourne, of which the first letter of each surname was incorporated into the title of the Sunderland Carpet League.
Originally, there were 15 teams: Commercial Road, DLI Club, East End, Farringdon, Grangetown, Hepworth and Grandage, Humbledon and Plains Farm, Hylton Castle, Pallion, Royal Navy, Silksworth Buffs, Steels, Catholic Club, Transport and Social Club and Southwick Jubilee Club.
The league’s popularity increased and, in 1982 ,Castletown, Doxford Park, Ford and Hylton Lane, Gilley Law, Holy Rosary Catholic Club, Houghton Glendale and Silksworth St Leonard’s all joined.
The bowls fraternity has had its fair share of bad news and it will be another sad evening for everyone connected with the Farringdon club. Current and past players are all invited to witness the end of an era.