Silksworth’s David Bolt has had an interesting last two weeks.
Firstly, he lost out early in his defence of the Hong Kong Classic singles title.
He then found out he had secured a place in the England squad for April’s Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Now, he is celebrating a silver medal in the Hong Kong Classic.
Partnering Kent’s Taylor Monk, the England pair negotiated the group stage, losing only one of the 12 games and then, in the semi-final, defeated Hong Kong local Tony Cheung 9-2, 6-4.
That set up a final clash with Australia’s Jesse Noronha and Ben Twist. The former took the singles title earlier in the week.
With the first set level at 7-7 and Bolt holding shot, Twist produced a stunning final-bowl take-out to knock the wind out of the English lads’ sails and take the first set 8-7.
In the second set, Twist produced a string of quality bowls and, despite the Taylor/Bolt combination’s best efforts, the Aussies took the second set and the title 11-1.
It was always going to be a big ask for Houghton in the Denny Plate as they faced a strong South Shields outfit.
Despite a valiant effort, Houghton succumbed to a 34-shot defeat.
At home, David Armstrong, Tom Patterson, Ian Whorlton and Frankie Froud got off to a flier against Dave Paterson, Stevie Cairns, Kris Storf and Gary Farquhar as they led 12-0 after six ends.
However, in the space of five ends, Farquhar turned it around to lead 16-12. Despite Froud getting back to 16-16, the Shields quartet turned on the style to run out 28-18 winners.
The other Houghton rink of Mal Baker, Freddie Fletcher, Alan J. Dunn and Brian Henderson were always playing catch-up against Scott Baker, Paul Sainthouse, Jaxon McKenna and Shaun McIntosh and eventually went down 16-10.
That left Shields with a 16-shot advantage.
At Shields, both Houghton squads lost. Michael Wright, Peter Thomson (snr), Dan Todner and Peter Thomson put in a creditable performance against Mal Peach, Josh Minto, James Sneller and Chris Yeomans to only go down 21-16.
Joe Sutherland, Terry Todd, Jimmy McAdoo and Richie Mckie never recovered from a slow start and went down 27-14 to Neal Ridley, Jonny Morgan, Stewart Hubbard and Ian McIntosh.
Overall, Shields won 92-58 and face Copeland, 67-shot victors against Eden, in the last 32.
In the Denny Cup, Durham pulled off a cracking victory against the fancied Hartlepool squad.
In a nip and tuck affair, the Durham lads held their nerves on the final ends to get home 81-77. In the last 32, they will face York, who sneaked past Scarborough by a single shot.
In the ladies’ Yetton Trophy, South Shields comfortably beat Hartlepool 89-49 and next face Cumbria, who defeated Durham 73-71.
Houghton ladies now know their opposition in the Yetton Plate next weekend after Eden defeated The Parks by 11 shots.
After a tremendous 13-shot win over Durham in the Egham Trophy South Shields are back in action tomorrow as they face Blackpool Newton Hall.
Houghton Sancroft’s senior squad faced an away double header this week, going down to South Shields and Gateshead and collecting only two points out of a possible 10.
The trip to Shields was always going to be tough and so it proved with Houghton’s only success coming from Frankie Froud, who steered Peter Thomson (snr), Jimmy Swinney and Freddie Fletcher to a cracking 15-6 win over Bobby Graham.
Joe Sutherland, Colin Young, Trevor Joicey and Terry Todd never recovered from an early dropped five against Alan Cummings, losing 18-10, while George Brown, Brian Race, David Sim and Ian Whorlton endured a torrid afternoon, crashing 22-3 to Alan Lawton. Overall, Shields won 4-1 by 18 shots.
The following day, at Gateshead, George Brown, Foster Johnson, David Sim and Ian Whorlton sealed a comfortable 17-7 win over Albert Patterson.
Peter Thomson, Tony Wood, Freddie Fletcher and Frankie Froud rued a couple of dropped fives in a 17-8 loss to Harry Marshall.
Joe Sutherland, Colin Young, Jimmy Swinney and Terry Todd were a tad unlucky to go down 11-6 to Bob Charlton, sealing a 35-31 Gateshead win and a 4-1 Sancroft loss.
Sancroft host The Parks B team on Thursday (12.30pm), while Houghton Kepier are in action at The Parks next Tuesday (10am).
Group 3 standings: Stanley played 4 pts 18, South Shields 4-13, Gateshead A 3-6, Houghton Sancroft 3-3, Parks B 2-0
The remaining Seniors double fours squad, Houghtonians, are in first round action against South Shields on Tuesday (12.30pm).
Team – at Houghton: G Brown, R Usher, R Thorpe, M Davis At Shields: K Waterson, E Downes, B Johnson, H Shields.
Houghton ladies’ Inter-Club League squad return to action against Darlington on Wednesday December 13 (12.30pm).
Team – at Houghton: J Watt, O Charlton, S Forster, E Faith; J Hume, D Fenwick, B Robson, JB Smith; At Darlington: M Metcalf, G Eltringham, J Baker, F Phythian; M Hall, E Barkes, A Vout, N Stephenson
There has been plenty of action in the national competitions.
In the singles, an all-Shields affair saw Ian McIntosh defeat club-mate Gary Farquhar 21-10 to set up a clash with Phil Dixon.
Fellow Shields player Paul Sainthouse had a cracking 21-9 win over West Denton youngster Aaron Robson and next heads to Durham to face Gary Smith, who defeated Shields’ James Sneller 21-15.
Shaun McIntosh (Shields) beat Durham’s Mark Appleby 21-16 and will play either Michael Laydon (Durham) or Peter Thomson (Houghton).
Stewart Hubbard (Shields) notched his third singles win with an impressive 21-15 success at West Denton against Kevin Blaylock to set up a home tie against Gateshead’s Alan Jobling, who beat Durham’s Brian Brown 21-17.
In the pairs, Phil Smithson and Gary Smith won an all-Durham affair 21-8 against Michael Laydon and will next entertain Houghton’s Michael Wright and Richie Mckie, who got home 17-16, after an extra end, at Durham against Jimmy Hutchinson.
Shaun and Ian McIntosh (Shields) won the battle of the brothers 17-10 against Patrick and Peter Thomson at Houghton to seal an all-Shields battle with Josh Minto and Chris Yeomans, who eased past Durham’s Stevie Bennett 21-6.
Ian Riches (Shields) exited 21-19 at home to Gateshead’s Lee Maughan, who will next host Gary Farquhar (Shields).
In the south section, Ferryhill’s Alan Hind had a cracking 13-12 win at Hartlepool against Glenn Skipp.
In the triples, Ian McIntosh (Shields) secured an excellent final bowl four at Stanley to pip John Thurlbeck 18-17. McIntosh next hosts Durham’s Michael Laydon.
Dave Paterson (Shields) had a good 17-11 win over Daniel Bennett at West Denton. He faces Gary Smith (Durham) next.
Houghton’s Peter Thomson enjoyed a good 21-6 home fours win over Durham’s Stevie Bennett. Next, he visits West Denton to tackle Peter Duffy, who beat club-mate Daniel Bennett 19-9.
Houghton’s Sam Patterson was outgunned 24-6 by Gateshead’s Brian Orrell.
In the Over-60s singles, Houghton’s Michael Wright eased past West Denton’s Ken Hooker 21-10 and will host Alan Lawton (Shields) next.
Stanley’s Brett Arkley progressed in the Over-50s triples with a 23-11 win at Gateshead’s Mal Johnston.
Jonny Morgan (Shields) had a cracking 21-19 two-bowl singles victory at West Denton against Aaron Robson. He next meets West Denton’s Michael Bennett, who i defeated Durham’s Jimmy Richardson 21-10.
Durham County’s seniors squad were beaten 125-121 by Yorkshire in the first round of the Over-60s Inter-County knockout.
Durham’s Gary Smith heads to the Potters Resort today as he attempts to retain his Open Singles title.
The Grand Final format has been tweaked with a group format involving the last season’s top 32 ranked players, of which Smith finished 11th.
Open draws follow for the last 16 to the final.
Last season, Smith defeated Mark Royal in the final. This year, he has won the Worksop Open on the way to clinching a top-32 spot. The top ranked player is Paul Maynard.