Bowls: Silksworth's Swan Cup title bid boosted as rivals falter
Leaders Silksworth enjoyed a cracking night in the Swan Cup.
Not only did they beat North Biddick 84-49 (6-1), but their nearest challengers both lost.
Second-placed Houghton Dairy Lane went down 65-59 (5-2) at Barnes Park, while bottom-of-the-table Hetton Workmen’s produced the result of the night, defeating third-top Barnes West End 82-56 (6-1).
It was a good night for the bottom two as second-bottom South Hylton also won, 73-54 (6-1) against Seaham Town.
Second Division leaders Usworth had a bye, but it was still had a good night for them as second-placed Washington were beaten 68-62 (5-2) at Roker Park.
Thompson Park rose to fourth with a 89-48 (7-0) success against Ryhope and Houghton Town defeated Grindon Mill 65-45 (7-0). Pemberton’s search for a first win continues after they lost 87-50 (6-1) at Hylton CW.
The top four all won in the Earl Cup.
Front-runners Silksworth notched a 78-63 (7-0) win over Usworth to maintain a six-point lead over a chasing pack of three teams.
Roker Marine’s 81-47½ (7-0) defeat of Hetton Workmen’s kept them second, albeit only on shots from Barnes West End, who regained winning ways with a 74-31 (7-0) victory at bottom-of-the-table Hylton CW.
Barnes Park defeated Houghton Town 81-44 (7-0), while fourth-placed Houghton Dairy Lane lost a bit of ground on the leaders despite a 75-49¼ (5½-1½) triumph at Seaham Town. Barnes Park saw off Houghton Town 81-44 (7-0).
In Division Two, North Biddick’s 80-61 (6-1) victory over Grindon Mill has opened up a 10-point lead over Washington, who climbed to second spot following a narrow 62-60 (5-2) win at South Hylton.
The race for the second promotion place is wide open, however. Thompson Park showed their credentials with a 82-50 (7-0) win over Ryhope while Roker Park had a good 67-51 (6-1) victory at bottom club Whitburn.
Silksworth are the new Harold Howey Trophy leaders, after a 38-23¼ (4-0) away win at South Hylton.
They sit three points ahead of Dairy Lane A, who eased to a 42-19 (4-0) win at Roker Park, while Dairy Lane B moved into third with a 41-25 (4-0) defeat of Seaham Town.
Roker Marine A and Hylton CW B produced a 34-34 (2-2) draw, and Hetton Workmen’s extended their unbeaten run to five games thanks to a 41-23 (4-0) victory at Houghton Town A.
Pennywell cemented their place at the top of Division Two with a 36-22 (4-0) win over third-placed Thompson Park B.
South Hetton’s run of five games unbeaten ended with a 44-20 (4-0) loss at Pemberton A. Sunderland B succumbed 35-22 (4-0) to Roker Marine B.
It is all change in the Storey Bowl as Hetton Workmen’s went top following a 74-55 (7-0) win at Thompson Park.
Former leaders Roker Park were narrowly beaten 67-65 (5½-1½) at Hylton CW, while holders Seaham Town have dragged themselves back into contention, courtesy of an 89-54 (6-1) home win over Pennywell.
Today sees a top versus third clash as Hetton host Seaham. Second-placed Roker Park have a bye.
Barnes West End’s hopes of becoming the first team to win the 3-2-1 Knockout Triples four years in a row were dashed as they were beaten by Roker Marine in the semi-final at Roker Park.
In the final, Marine, who have never won the 3-2-1, will face Silksworth, who squeezed past Seaham Town in a tie which went down to the very last bowl.
It has already been a tremendous week for local hopes in the county semi-finals and the good news continues.
In the triples, the defending county champions, Silksworth’s Phil Dixon, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt, showed character to come from behind to beat Hartlepool Park’s Alan Mole, John Mansfield and Ian Jackson.
Trailing 13-7, with ends running out, Bolt turned a bowl out for a count of seven to lead 14-13 and then, on the last end, produced another outstanding draw, when lying a count down, to get home 19-15.
The win secures a third national championship appearance at Leamington Spa for the England star as the Bolt juggernaut shows no signs of stalling.
In the Under-25 singles, another of Wearside’s defending county champions booked a final appearance as Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna edged home in a repeat of last year’s county final against Darlington RA’s Liam Macey.
With one bowl to play, and facing a match count down, the Silksworth youngster got a good result from a short bowl to get home 21-19.
In the final, McKenna will face another Darlington RA youngster, in former winner Keith Burton, who impressively dispatched Hundens’ Jordan Harston 21-10.
The Durham County president’s team have won four of their six games this season. Tomorrow, they touch down at Silksworth.
It proved unlucky 13 for the Sunderland & District president’s team as they were beaten 108-57 by North Biddick. Out of the 13 matches, the president’s team have notched nine victories. They look for a 10th win at Usworth tomorrow.
Silksworth are the new leaders of the Grindon League.
Despite pace-setters Barnes West End winning 55-45 (3-2) at New Herrington, unbeaten Silksworth went top with a 63¼-32 (5-0) success at Whitburn.
South Hylton’s 45-34¼ (4-1) victory at Usworth moved them up to third, with Dairy Lane in fourth after a 79-44 (4-1) defeat of Ryhope, Wearmouth continued their fine form with a 50-38 (4½-½) win at Hylton CW.
The league takes a rest this coming week as the Tommy Thompson double fours quarter-finals are played.
Holders Silksworth head to Dairy Lane, Hylton CW host Ryhope and Usworth entertain South Hylton. The other tie has already been decided as Barnes West End received a walkover against Grindon Mill.
The semi-finals will take place at Roker Marine on August 10.
There has been more local success on the Open competition circuit, with Silksworth’s Peter Brickle lifting the Jarrow Open singles title.
A semi-final win over Maurice Dunlop was followed by a cracking final victory over Alan Lawton.
There was more good news for Brickle as he teamed up with Seaham’s David Wright to land the Chester-le-Street Open pairs for the second successive year.