The first week of the men’s National Championships at Leamington Spa has seen the Silksworth quartet of Phil Dixon, Neal Ridley, Ian Riches and David Bolt put together six magnificent victories to take the National Fours title.
Their march to the title started on Monday morning with a first round 19-13 win over Surrey’s Ian Jenkins, which was quickly followed by a comfortable second round 30-7 win over Warwickshire’s Alan Aspey.
Tuesday saw a third round 22-14 win over Devon’s Tony Main and then in the afternoon session, the Silksworth quartet hold on to a 21-20 win over Suffolk’s Phillip Last.
The victory set up a semi-final tie against Kent’s England Internationalist Andy Thomson.
Wednesday saw the dream become reality, when despite trailing 12-3 in the semi-final, the Silksworth quartet battled back to trail 19-18 with one end to play.
With Kent holding shot, Bolt played a peach of a final bowl to lift out the shot bowl for a two which sealed a 20-19 win.
The final against Yorkshire’s Nigel Brignall was destined to go to the wire, but when Brignall collected a three to lead 19-16 with two ends to play, it looked like the title was Yorkshire bound.
However, Bolt collected a double on the 20th end to go into the last end trailing 19-18.
The final end saw the Silksworth quartet holding a matching winning count of three and as Brignall’s final bowl slipped tight, the title was Silksworth bound.
This was a first national title for Dixon, Ridley and Riches while it was Bolt’s second and it was even more sweeter for Bolt after being overlooked for the England team earlier in the year.
The last Sunderland based squad to win the national fours was Sunderland’s C.Gibbs in 1935.
The new champions will represent England at the British Isles Championships in 2015 at Eddlewood BC, Lanarkshire, on June 25-28.
David Bolt will return to Leamington this week looking to add another national title to his CV as the Singles starts on Wednesday.
A previous winner of the title in 2011, Bolt will open his campaign on Thursday against Buckinghamshire’s Richard Reid.
Another local bowler looking for national glory is Houghton Dairy Lane’s Jimmy McKinney.
In the first round of the Senior Singles championships this weekend, McKinney faces Sussex’s Bill Critle.
H The SWBA held another new pairs competition this week with 24 pairs taking to the Roker Park green for a round robin format, which was sponsored by Ashbrooke Funeral’s Jeff Wilson.
The eventual winners were Sunderland’s Jean Graham and Susan Almond who defeated Thompson Park’s Mary Ramshaw and Margaret Blakey 13-9 in the final.
Quarter Finals: S.Almond (Sunderland) 11 F.Rodenby (Thompson Park) 4, A.Raine (Thompson Park) 10 L.Forrest (Barnes Park) 5, G.Christie (Roker Marine) 3 M.Blakey (Thompson Park) 12, M.Pullan (Sunderland) 4 P.Charleton (Ryhope) 11
Semi-finals: P.Charleton 8 S.Almond 9, A.Raine 6 M.Blakey 7
H As the outdoor season starts to come to an end, the final Sunderland and District competition will be played to a finish this week as both Champion of Champions Singles competitions take place.
On Tuesday, the quarter-finals will be held at Barnes Park, followed by the semi-finals at North Biddick on Thursday.
The final will be played at Grindon Mill the following night.
The latest results and draws are as follows:
Preliminary Round: L.Todd (ST) 13 M.Peach (HDL) 21
First Round: R.Borthwick (Pm) 18 R.Curry (Het) 21, S.Copeland (Us) v M.Peach (HDL) TBA, A.Patterson (GM) 21 P.Baker (Si) 12, K.Armstrong (Her) 21 F.Froud (BWE) 16, P.Thomson snr (TP) 1 A.Langley (NB) 0, R.Campbell (Sun) 21 A.Hall (RP) 17, E.Reid (Ryh) 13 A.Hill (BP) 21, R.Graham (RM) 0 J.Muldoon (NB) 1.
Quarter-final draw: R.Campbell (Sun) v A.Patterson (GM), A.Hill (BP) v K.Armstrong (Her), R.Curry (Het) v J.Muldoon (NB)
Seniors: First round: R.Robinson (RM) 21 M.Murphy (We) 11, F.Froud (BWE) 1 D.Lemon (GM) 0, D.Gowland (TP) 20 J.Muldoon (NB) 21
Quarter-final draw: R.Robinson (RM) v P.Harding (Het) or A.Dix (NHe), J.Muldoon (NB) v M.Lowis (ST) or T.Jopling (BP), F.Froud (BWE) v R.Rollason (Si) or R.Borthwick (Pem), W.Wilson (Ryp) v D.Ramshaw (HDL)
H The only remaining league title – the Harold Howey Division One – went to the very last game of the season.
Long-term leaders Barnes West End’s 4-0 win over Hetton Workmen put them two points clear at the top.
However, the delayed rearranged game between second-placed Houghton Dairy Lane and third-placed Silksworth A, decided the outcome of the league.
Unbeaten Dairy Lane needed at least a draw, while Silksworth needed all four points.
In the end it was the latter as Silksworth ran out 33-29 winners collecting all four points and taking the title on shots difference (25 shots).
The final league to be completed will be the Storey Bowl this weekend, although Hetton Workmen’s are already champions as they are 27½ points clear at the top.
End of season standings: Earl Cup Division 1: Champions Silksworth, relegated Seaham Town and Houghton Town. Earl Cup Division 2: Champions South Hylton, promoted Thompson Park, relegated North Biddick and Hylton CW. Earl Cup Division 3: Champions Barnes West End, promoted Herrington Workmens. Swan Cup Division 1: Champions Houghton Dairy Lane, relegated South Hylton and Houghton Town. Swan Cup Division 2: Champions Barnes West End, promoted Roker Park, relegated Herrington Workmen’s and Thompson Park
Swan Cup Division 3: Champions Ryhope, promoted Washington. Harold Howey Division 1: Champions Silksworth A, relegated Lumley and Houghton Dairy Lane A. Harold Howey Division 2: Champions Seaham Town A, promoted Hylton CW A, relegated Roker Park B and Whitburn. Harold Howey Division 3: Champions Washington B, promoted Pemberton B. Storey Bowl: Champions Hetton Workmens.
All promotions and relegations could be subject to alterations at the AGM in November.
H Top class indoor bowls returns to the area in September as Stanley hold the now annual Co-operative Funeralcare Mixed Test Match, from Saturday, 11 to Sunday, 14.
The following squad has been selected to represent England: Rebecca Field (Norfolk), Sarah Seymour (City of Ely), Helen Tuohy (Egham), David Bolt (Stanley), Paul Coleman (Wey Valley), Graham Smith (Spalding).
The format of The Co-operative Funeralcare Test Matches will be sets play with two Triples and three Mixed Pairs matches on the first day, followed by six singles matches on the second day.
Tickets for both days are available from Stanley Indoor Bowls Centre at £5 per person per day.