Durham’s Middleton Cup squad brought a frustrating campaign to an end with a 23-shot victory over Derbyshire at Kirkbymoorside.
With qualification for the quarter-finals not possible, Durham were playing for pride – as well as looking to avenge the defeat to Derbyshire they suffered at the same venue last season, a setback which ultimately cost Durham a quarter-final place.
Across the green, Durham won on four of the six rinks.
Team captain David Bolt steered his all-Silksworth rink of Jack Deverson, Paul Sainthouse and Josh Halcrow to a 22-8 win over Dan Thornhill, a success which completed an unbeaten Middleton campaign for the Bolt quartet.
Hartlepool Park’s Dale Oram step-up to the A team resulted in five out of six wins over the season as he steered Silksworth’s Scott Baker and Jimmy Richardson, and Roker Marine’s Richie Mckie, to a 28-21 victory over Martin Allsopp.
Stockton’s Paul Mosley and Colin Boston both recorded convincing wins. Mosley outgunned Paul Broughton 25-16, while Boston defeated Andrew Poynton 30-12, a victory which included a count of eight.
The two losing rinks saw Silksworth’s Ian Riches succumb 27-22 to Russ Robinson while the normally reliable John Mansfield (Hartlepool Park) suffered a heavy 28-8 loss to John Bowley.
The 18-4 points win lifted Durham off the bottom of the table.
Derbyshire’s loss left the door open for Yorkshire to qualify as they defeated Nottinghamshire 18-4, with the latter finishing bottom of the group.
The groups are shuffled around every two years and next season Durham will be tackling Lancashire and Cumbria, both away, before finishing off at home to Yorkshire.
Final group standings: Yorkshire 46, Derbyshire 31, Durham 28, Nottinghamshire 27
The Durham County B team’s hopes of retaining the Alsop Trophy had already been dashed with the previous loss at Cumbria.
That left Northumberland and Yorkshire to battle it out for the title and, in the end, Northumberland narrowly came out on top 110-107 and the 18-4 points return was enough to complete a Alsop and Muras double.
Final standings: Northumberland 55, Durham 52, Yorkshire 49, Cumbria 46, Lancashire 18
The quarter-finals of the county singles were played at Roker Marine with four local lads in action.
Silksworth’s David Bolt sealed a semi-final spot with a 21-15 win over Owton Lodge’s Albert Ward. In the last four, Bolt will face Dunston’s Alec Bryden, who defeated Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna 21-12.
Dairy Lane’s Mal Peach eased past Roker Marine’s Richie Mckie 21-9 to set up a semi-final tie against Darlington RA’s Liam Macey, who enjoyed an impressive 21-10 win over Hartlepool Old Boys’ Mark Higgins.
In the pairs quarter-finals at Darlington RA, the Dairy Lane duo of Ken Briscoe and John Thurlbeck ground out a 20-15 win over Hartlepool Old Boys’ Carl Higgins.
But Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna and Shaun McIntosh narrowly went down 20-18 to Darlington RA’s Vince Rewcastle.
The all-Silksworth triples quarter-final affair at Leadgate, between David Bolt and Billy Ferry, resulted in Bolt booking a semi-final spot with a 19-11 triumph.
Dairy Lane’s Ray Robinson saw his run come to an end with a harsh 16-14 loss to RA’s Vince Rewcastle.
It was a good night for the two Silksworth squads left in the quarter-finals of the fours at Seaham.
Jack Deverson, Stevie Cairns, Paul Sainthouse and Josh Halcrow secured a cracking 16-14 win over Darlington RA’s Andrew Kirtland, while the former Bowls England fours champions – Phil Dixon, Neal Ridley, Ian Riches and David Bolt – defeated Roker Marine’s Patrick Thomson 21-8.
It was a bad night for Marine as Richie Mckie’s quartet missed out, going down 19-15 to the current county champions, Leadgate’s Garry Robson.
After missing out on the ladies’ County singles title, Houghton Dairy Lane’s Susan Forster suffered more heartache in the two-bowl singles final as a field of 21 gathered at Horden.
In the opening rounds, Forster defeated Owton Lodge’s Carmel Guy 14-10 and then Darlington Woodland’s Anne Camp 16-11.
In the last eight, Forster swa off Newton Hall’s Eileen Horan 16-9 before securing a final spot with an impressive 17-9 success against the defending champion, Newton Hall’s Fay Slinn.
Sadly, in the final, the Dairy Lane star was beaten 16-11 by Stockton’s former England international, Teresa Parnell.
There was, however, some consolation for Forster as both finalists qualify for the national championships at Leamington Spa in August.
Durham County ladies’ B team head to Stockton today in the latest round of Stella Logan matches.
After suffering four defeats on the bounce, the Durham squad finally broke their duck with a tremendous 111-102 (9-1) win at Cumbria.
Today they have the chance to build on that win as they take on bottom-of-the-table Northumberland.