Silksworth star bids to seal a fourth Champion of Champions title
Silksworth's David Bolt will look to become the first player to notch four successes in the Champion of Champions competition in this season's final.
Houghton Town’s Paul Wallace will provide the opposition, going for his first title, with the final scheduled to be played at Houghton Dairy Lane.
The latter stages of the tournament took place this week.
In the quarter-finals, on a rock hard Barnes West End green, Bolt comprehensively defeated Roker Park’s Arthur Hall 21-4, while Wallace received a walkover due to Seaham’s Bryan Henderson (jnr) playing at Skegness in the EBF’s finals.
The semi-finals were held in trying conditions at Washington Glebe, where Bolt secured a final spot with a convincing 21-12 win over the host club’s Malcolm Thomson.
Wallace had to hold his nerve to secure a hard-fought 21-16 win over Hetton Workmen’s Chris Fish.
In the seniors competition, this year’s final will see Thompson Park’s Dennis Hulley look to repeat his 2002 success against Barnes West End’s Richie Jobling, who will be looking to take the title for the first time.
In the quarter-finals at Barnes Park this week, Hulley edged home 21-16 in close-fought battle with Hetton’s Albie Cullen before fighting back form 20-14 down in the semi-finals against Washington Glebe’s Trevor Joicey to win 21-20.
Jobling’s route to the final featured a hard-fought 21-15 quarter final success against Seaham Town’s Mal Baker followed by a more comfortable 21-6 win over Houghton Town’s Alan Wilkinson, who struggled with the conditions.
Like the main event, the seniors final is due to take place at Houghton Dairy Lane.
The final of the Silver Jacks competition, with Houghton Dairy Lane’s Joe Sutherland and Alan J. Dunn up against Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna and Billy Ferry, did well to last two ends until the heavy rain brought proceedings to a halt.
The final is due to be replayed at the same time as the Champion of Champions finals at Dairy Lane.
As the outdoor season enters its final few weeks, the Sunderland and District leagues are reaching a crunch time.
Having already secured the Earl Cup title, Houghton Dairy Lane are set to clinch a third consecutive Swan Cup crown.
Victories over Barnes Park and Seaham Town will seal a first ever domestic double for Dairy Lane.
Bottom-of-the-table Houghton Town kept alive their hopes of avoiding the drop with a cracking 5-2 win at Roker Marine.
South Hylton need results to go their way, as well as beating Barnes West End on the final night of the season Wednesday, to have any chance of getting out of trouble.
In Division Two, Hetton Workmen’s 7-0 home win over Roker Park ensured that they go up as champions while it also ended Roker’s slim hopes of sneaking into the second promotion spot.
Usworth go up as runners-up.
In the Harold Howey Trophy, Barnes West End have ended a 22-year wait for a second Howey title as they cannot be caught at the top.
Long-time leaders Thompson Park B, who were unbeaten for 10 games, have dropped to third.
Dawdon have already relegated, while Washington A kept their very slim hopes of survival alive with a 3-1 win over third-bottom Thompson Park A, although the latter do have a better shot difference.
The top two met in Division Three as Hylton CW A defeated Washington B 3-1 to go level on points with their rivals.
Houghton Town A’s 4-0 loss at Sunderland B means only North Biddick B can stop the top two from getting promoted, although Hylton CW A and Washington B only need a point from their final games against Hetton Park and Pemberton B respectively.
This week, the National Championships at Leamington Spa will enter its third week with the majority of ladies competitions having been completed.
In the ladies’ pairs, the Houghton Dairy Lane duo of Susan Forster and Joan Rodgerson recorded wins over Oxfordshire’s Pam Shepherd 21-9, Suffolk’s Julie Spice 21-12 and then Hampshire’s Viv Mansell 23-16 to set up a semi-final against Devon’s international duo, Sophie Tolchard and Natalie Chestney.
Sadly, the Dairy Lane duo missed a cracking chance of reaching the final. After racing into a 10-1 lead, and still sitting 13-7 up after 11 ends, the semi-final slipped away from them as a 15-2 return over the next 10 ends in the Devon pair’s favour sealed a 22-15 defeat for Forster and Rodgerson.
The fact that the Devon pair went onto to win the final will be scant consolation for the Dairy Lane bowlers.
The other local hope, Elm Tree’s Lisa Simpson, reached the third round before losing 22-18 to Hampshire.
Durham County ladies suffered Walker Cup semi-final heartache as they were beaten 37-32 by Devon.
Gill Jones steered her quartet, which included Forster and Rodgerson, to a 17-17 draw, however Ann Anderson’s rink was always playing catch-up and finished 20-15 down.
The spotlight turned to the men’s finals last weekend.
In the senior pairs, Houghton’s Jimmy McKinney and John Thurlbeck’s hopes were dashed at the first hurdle as they were beaten 19-12 by Norfolk’s Tom Dunton.
In the fours,the Silksworth quartet of Kevin Donkin (sub), Stevie Cairns, Billy Ferry and Gary Farquhar opened up with a 23-20 win over Buckinghamshire’s Richard Reid before going out in the next round, 24-14 to Devon’s James Webber.
The other Durham hope was Stockton’s Paul Mosley, however his rink suffered a 28-13 first round defeat.
Silksworth bowler Jaxon McKenna’s hopes of a junior singles title were dashed at the first hurdle after a 21-14 defeat at the hands of Hampshire’s Daniel Taylor.
Tthere was also no joy for Darlington RA’s Barry Hopkins, after a 21-6 second round loss.
Both local hopes in the triples made first round exits. Houghton Dairy Lane’s Colin Brown, David Armstrong and Dan Todner were beaten 24-6 by Suffolk’s former international, Mark Royal, while Hartlepool’s Dale Oram was beaten 19-12.
This week, in the singles Silksworth’s David Bolt will look to repeat his 2011 National title success.
In the first round, Bolt faces a tricky opener against Herefordshire’s Ryan Atkins.