Bowls: South Shields battle into Denny Plate final with impressive victory
South Shields were disappointed by their first round Denny Cup exit back in October.
But their second chance, after dropping down to the Denny Plate, has paid big dividends - and they will compete in next month’s final.
Previous wins over The Parks, Houghton, Copeland, Darlington and Boston set up a Plate semi-final against Suffolk-based Beccles, who had managed 90 shots or more in four of their five wins en route to the last four.
The two teams went head to head on a neutral green at Grantham and the confident Shields squad were quickest out of the blocks as they led 22-9 at the five-end mark.
The lead was stretched to 44-18 by 10 ends and, by the 15th end, mark the writing was on the wall as Shields led by 23 shots.
In the end, Shields ran out convincing 83-46 victors.
Gary Farquhar’s quartet of Dave Paterson, Josh Minto and James Sneller were always in control against Mark Todd and ran out impressive 25-9 winners.
Jaxon McKenna, Paul Sainthouse, Stewart Hubbard and Shaun McIntosh defeated Andy Clarke 23-11, while Phil Dixon, Mal Peach, Kris Storf and David Bolt eased to a 21-14 win over Ian Catchpole.
The remaining rink of Neal Ridley, Stevie Cairns, Ian Riches and Ian McIntosh ground out a low-scoring 14-12 win over Alan Norman.
The fine victory sets up a final appearance against West Berks at Nottingham on Sunday, April 8 (1.30pm).
Although they are an unknown quantity, West Berks last season knocked out previous Denny Cup champions Whiteknights, so the fancied Shields squad will need to be at it from the off.
They must play the final without David Bolt, who will be in Commonwealth Games action in Australia.
Houghton Sancroft ended their Seniors Inter-Club League campaign on a high as they defeated Gateshead 5-0 to leapfrog them and finish third in the group.
Mal Baker, George Brown, Freddie Fletcher and David Wright never looked back from an early 13-2 lead over John Atkinson, running out 18-9 winners.
Joe Sutherland, Foster Johnson, Jimmy Swinney and Terry Todd had to come from 10-6 behind against Ian Patterson. Todd collected a vital five on the 14th end on the way to a 16-11 success.
The remaining rink of Peter Thomson (snr), Trevor Joicey, Ian Whorlton and Frankie Froud survived a late scare. Leading Bill Bolam 8-2, Froud slumped to 9-8 down going into the final end, however the Sancroft quartet held their nerve and a last-end three secured an 11-9 victory.
Overall, Sancroft ran out 45-29 winners and frustratingly finished only four points outside a play-off place.
Qualifiers, Area 1: Darlington A and Great Aycliffe; Area 2: Hartlepool A and Darlington B; Area 3: Stanley & South Shields; Area 4: Hartlepool B and The Parks A
Quarter-final draw: Darlington A 1 Darlington B 4, Hartlepool A v Great Aycliffe, Stanley v The Parks A, Hartlepool B v South Shields.
Houghton Ladies concluded their Inter-Club League season with a cracking 6-4 (73-55) win over Great Aycliffe.
At Houghton, both home rinks returned winning cards.
Joan Watt, Evelyn Barkes, Susan Forster and Ellen Faith were in scintillating form as they beat Jane Robinson 32-8.
Doreen Fenwick, Margaret Eggleston, Brenda Robson and Florence Phythian eased past Esther Helm 19-11 to leave the home squad 30 shots to the good.
Down the A1, despite a decent performance, both away rinks went down to defeat.
Margaret Metcalf, Eleanor Barren, Joan Baker and Jenny Smith were a touch unlucky to succumb 16-13 to J. Rogers, while Maureen Hall, Elizabeth Morris, Audrey Vout and Norma Stephenson saw things slip away in the second half to finish 18-9 down to E. Hugill.
Despite the 12-shot away deficit, it was still a good performance from Houghton.
Former Sunderland player Stevie Angus, now playing out of Stanley, continues to shine in the Disability Bowling circuit.
Last weekend, Angus competed in the Ann Trotman Open singles competition at Gedling, near Nottingham.
The three-bowl singles format started as four groups of four, with the winners progressing to the semi-finals then the final.
Angus topped his group after securing three wins, beating Dave Walker 21-6, Colin Wagstaff 21-6 and Tim Swann 21-15.
In the semi-final, the Stanley player recovered from 12-7 down against Jonathan Stokes to snatch an extra-end 17-16 victory. That set up a final against Gary Swift, but, sadly for Angus, the final did not goto plan as Swift ran out a 21-9 winner.
The remaining places at the National Championships have been decided.
In the family pairs, talented South Shields brothers Shaun and Ian McIntosh booked a place at Nottingham with a hard-fought 15-13 area final win over Thornaby’s Bryn Mosley.
In the last 16, they will face Riverain’s Rod and Jamie Claydon.
Hartlepool’s Paul Hartley secured a third qualification place at Nottingham following a 21-11 two-bowl singles area final win over Gateshead’s Brian Orrell.
Hartley will tackle Ipswich’s Martin Heitzman in the last 16.
There was heartache for the Durham County seniors as they narrowly missed out on retaining their Midland League title by a single point.
Going into their final game, against Warwickshire at Doncaster, the Durham lads needed at least 21 of the 22 points on offer and to win by 11 shots overall.
Sadly, despite winning on five rinks and by 41 shots overall, Durham only collected 20 points, leaving Yorkshire as champions by one point.
It will be of little consolation that Durham won all five of their games while Yorkshire only won four.
Final standings: Yorkshire 93, Durham 92, Lincolnshire 54, Nottinghamshire 29, Warwickshire 24, Leicestershire 16
Talented West Denton youngster George Rogan will head to Church Gresley today for the latter stages of the Henselite-sponsored Under-18s singles competition.
In the last 16, Rogan will face Mote Park’s Joshua Austin.
The British Isles Championships are taking place at Paisley and it has been a good week for England ladies.
In the women’s Home International Series, Scotland were looking for a third consecutive series win, but England took the title.
An opening 55-shot win over Wales was followed up by a 21-shot success against Ireland, setting up a series decider against Scotland.
In front of a partisan Scottish crowd, England needed to get off to a flier and they did just that, racing into a 44-15 lead after five ends.
The lead was still 27 shots at halfway and, as the anticipated Scottish revival never materialised, England held on for a tremendous 115-99 win, clinching a 39th series win.
There was more good news in the ladies individual competitions.
Katherine Rednall’s fantastic year continued as she secured the Junior Singles title for England with a 21-14 win over Scotland’s Emma McIntyre.
Rednall was then joined by Christine Rednall and Anna Chalk to take the triples title with a narrow 15-14 win over Ireland’s Catherine Beattie.
England also took the fours title when Lydia Cutmore, Holly Baxter, Katy Baxter and Danielle Martinson defeated Wales Hanna Thomas 21-10.
The only men’s success in the individual competitons came in the fours as Andrew Manton, Connor Cinato, Neil Mckee and Jamie Walker saw off Ireland’s Barry Kane 23-10.
In the men’s Home International Series, England men are looking for a fourth consecutive title.
In their opening game against Wales, they ran out comfortable 55-shot winners.
South Shields’ David Bolt played third in Jamie Chestney’s rink, who defeated Jason Greenslade 23-10. Scotland beat Ireland by 42 shots.
Yesterday, Scotland beat Wales 148-93, while England were convincing 141-101 winners against Ireland.
The series concludes today with an England-Scotland decider.