Big win might not be enough for Sunderland Senior B bowls team

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Bowls notes by Richard Mckie

SUNDERLAND Senior B team’s hopes of making the end-of-season play-offs are now out of their hands despite a magnificent 5-0 (49-34) win over Stanley at Crowtree.

George Gibson’s quartet of Alf Ferguson, Tony Wood and Tom Jones enjoyed a 23-12 win over W.Kirk.

Tony Grimes, John Banks, Billy Conway and Dennis Hulley defeated Derek Craig 14-11 thanks to an early count of seven, while the remaining rink of Peter Duke, Alan Cartledge, Vic Hendry and Terry Todd had a cracking 12-11 win over Billy Bell.

With Stanley playing their final game against Park View next Wednesday, they need to collect one point to take the second play-off place as Darlington have already secured the other place.

The first of the play-off quarter-finals will see Sunderland A entertain Aycliffe at Crowtree on Friday at 10.30am.

On Monday, the final of the Norman Routledge 20/20 Pairs will take place. In a three-end round robin, the final four pairs are John Smith and Fred Knubley, Richard Mckie and Billy Ferry, Billy Mitchell and Dan Todner, Peter Thomson and Joe Flett. The final group begins at 6.30pm.

H The first games in the Football League knockout pairs were completed with Billy Mitchell defeating Terry Todd 4-1 while Stevie Angus defeated Pete Thomson 3-1.

Dates for all the club finals have been added:-

Singles P. Thomson (jnr) v W. Ferry (Saturday, March 26, noon); Pairs Pat Thomson v T. Jopling/M. Laydon (Monday, April 11, 6.30pm); Triples P. Brickle v W. Funnell (Friday, April 8, 6.30); Fours R. Robinson v T. Jopling (Tuesday, April 14, 6.30); Two Bowl Singles semi-final P. Thomson (jnr) v T. Jopling, J. Flett or R. Robinson or M. Wright v G. Brown; Senior Singles G. Brown v T. Jopling (Monday April, 4, 6.30); Pairs J. Flett v TW. Todd (Saturday, March 26, noon); Triples F. Knubley v T. Jopling (Tuesday, April 12, 6.30); Fours T. Jopling v W. Ferry (Friday, April 15, 6.30); Two Bowl Singles J. Coundon v T. Jopling (Tuesday, April 5, 6.30); Mixed Pairs R. Graham v R.Robinson (Saturday, March 26, noon); Ladies Singles E. Baker v A. Curtis (Wednesday, March 30, 2.30); Ladies Pairs P. Johnson v D. Kerrigan (Wednesday, April 6, 2.30pm).

H The England v Scotland clashes over recent years have decided the destination of the home international series and this year’s event at Stanley saw a repeat performance.

After both countries had recorded wins over Ireland and Wales, everything was set up for a classic encounter played out in front of a packed stadium.

With Stanley’s Gary Smith missing the series due to a back injury, there was more local disappointment as Stanley’s Robert Chisholm and Hartlepool’s Glenn Skipp were both dropped for the series decider, although Darlington Andrew Kirtland’s was handed his debut third to Greg Harlow.

The tone of the final was set early as Harlow’s quartet raced into a 13-0 lead over former world champion Alex Marshall. While Scotland led on three of the six rinks, the overall score went from 34-34 to 60-55 after ten ends to England.

A 17-9 return over the next set of five ends saw England open up a vital 23-shot lead and that proved just enough. Despite a late charge from the Scots, which included a dropped seven by Harlow and a dropped four by Morley, England held on for a 116-107 series win.

H As the outdoor season approaches, Bowls England have released the international trial teams. In the men’s team, Silksworth’s David Bolt has been selected at third while Darlington RA’s Robert Chisholm and Andrew Kirtland form a backend.

There are no Durham-based players in the men’s under 25 squad or either of the ladies’ squads.