Bowls: Denny delight for South Shields and Houghton Kepier clinch crucial Inter-County win

Bowler Ian McIntosh starts his World Championship challenge on Wednesday
Bowler Ian McIntosh starts his World Championship challenge on Wednesday

South Shields booked a place in the Denny Plate quarter-finals after a comfortable 30-shot win over previous winners Darlington.

Both home rinks took their time to get going.

Jaxon McKenna, Paul Sainthouse, Stewart Hubbard and Shaun McIntosh ground out a 21-16 win over Tony Macey.

Neal Ridley, Stevie Cairns, Ian Riches and Ian McIntosh narrowly went down 19-18 to Andrew Henderson, leaving the home squad four shots in credit.

Down the A1, both Shields rinks put in impressive performances.

Dave Paterson, Josh Minto, James Sneller and Gary Farquhar eased to a 23-8 win over Steve Summers, while Phil Dixon, Mal Peach, Kris Storf and David Bolt defeated Stan Blewitt 21-10.

That secured a 26-shot away win and an 83-53 victory overall. Shields will face Boston at a neutral venue in the last eight.

Houghton Kepier returned to Inter-County League action last weekend, securing a vital win against bottom-of-the-table Darlington to keep alive their top-flight survival hopes.

At Houghton, Pat Collings, Bob Johnson, Karl Armstrong and Jimmy McAdoo had a tough afternoon against Tony Macey.

A dropped seven on the eighth end put McAdoo on the back foot, trailing 14-4, and it was a case of damage limitation from then on. Despite a spirited fightback, they still lost 30-13.

Tony Grimes, Charlie Wallace, unbeaten Barney Walsh and Terry Todd had to scrap for their point against Liberty player Mark Jones. At 9-9, both sides exchanged sixes on back to back ends to make it 15-15.

A Jones treble on the 18th end levelled it off again at 19-19, but Todd held his nerve to get home 21-20.

That left the home squad 16 shots adrift, however the away squad came up trumps.

Michael Wright, Richard Thorpe, Alan Patterson and Richie Mckie were a touch unlucky to go down 19-14 to Tony Henderson, with a last-end dropped three leaving the score a bit harsh on the Houghton four.

But Eric Downes, George Brown, Peter Thomson (snr) and Peter Thomson (jnr) were in scintillating form against Stan Blewitt. They led 20-1 at halfway and never let up, eventually running out 34-8 winners, clinching a 21-shot away triumph and an 81-77 overall success.

Next up for Kepier is a tie against Durham in February.

Houghton Gilpin were due to face The Parks. however the Tyneside club were unable to field a team due to illness. The game has been rearranged for Sunday, January 21 at 2pm.

In the second division, South Shields claimed a 6-4 win over Stanley.

At Stanley, both Shields squads were beaten.

Jonny Morgan, Derek Robson, Mal Peach and Dave Paterson lost 28-14 to Michael English, while Bill Upsall, Michael Carr, Peter Brickle and Paul Sainthouse succumbed 23-12 to J. Dixon.

That left Shields 25 shots in arrears.

At Shields, however, both home squads got home.

K. Thompson, K. Taylor, Stevie Cairns and Stewart Hubbard ground out a 21-15 win over A. Turnbull, but Potters-bound Ian McIntosh’s rink of M. Baker, Eric Weightman and Neal Ridley proved the match-winners with an impressive 32-7 defeat of Brian Houghton, securing an overall 79-73 victory.

In the Seniors Inter-Club League, Houghton Sancroft’s hopes of reaching the end-of-season play-offs suffered a setback with a 5-0 (57-33) loss at table-topping Stanley.

Peter Thomson, George Brown, Foster Johnson and Ian Whorlton led 7-4 at the halfway mark against Michael English, however a second-half collapse saw Whorlton go down 14-8.

Jimmy Swinney, Trevor Joicey, John Jones and Frankie Froud fought back from 15-8 down against an inspired Derek Craig to get within a shot, but it slipped away over the remaining three ends as Craig ran out a 21-15 winner.

Joe Sutherland, Tony Wood, David Wright and Terry Todd were holding Davey Webb 10-10 with only three ends to go, however Todd dropped counts of five and six to finish on the end of a harsh-looking 22-10 loss.

Sancroft’s play-off hopes hanging by a thread as they head to bottom club The Parks next.

Houghton ladies stunned defending champions South Shields in the Inter-Club League.

Despite losing the away leg by 32 shots, the Houghton home rinks won by an amazing 34 shots to secure a 6-4 (73-71) victory.

At Shields, Maureen Hall, Sheila Moody, E.Morris and Norman Stephenson were always playing catch-up against Pam Carlin and went down 21-11.

Florence Phythian’s quartet of Margaret Metcalf, G. Armstrong and Joan Baker were well beaten, 27-5, by Pat Byrne.

However, at Houghton, the tables were turned. Ellen Faith steered Joan Watt, M. Angus and Susan Forster to a cracking 19-13 win over Dorothy Sproates.

Doreen Fenwick, Margaret Eggleston, Brenda Robson and Jenny Smith completed the fightback with a tremendous 38-10 rout of Brenda Harper, getting Houghton home by a couple of shots.

Valentine’s Day will see Houghton face Durham and Shields face Aycliffe.

South Shields progressed in the national Top Club competition, fighting back to defeat a decent Cumbria outfit 10-6.

Defeats in the ladies’ two-bowl singles for Nina Riches (13-9) and the mixed fours for Shaun McIntosh (23-10) were cancelled out by wins in the men’s two-bowl singles by Ian McIntosh (21-6) and the mixed triples by Ian Riches (22-15) meant it all went onto the result of Jackie Tallack and David Bolt in the mixed pairs.

With two ends to play, and Bolt 15-14 up, the match-defining moment came with a four for Bolt.

He collected a single in the last end to win 20-14 and next meets Great Aycliffe, who had a cracking 10-6 win over Durham.

The local stages of the national competitions have resumed.

Hartlepool’s Paul Hartley secured his place in the area singles final with a 21-6 win over club-mate Carl Higgins.

Then, in the pairs, Hartley booked a semi-final spot by beating Aycliffe’s Barry Attwood 18-12.

In the triples, Stewart Hubbard ensured an all-Shields semi-final with a cracking 20-5 win over Stanley’s Garry Robson. Hubbard faces Dave Paterson or Gary Farquhar next.

Shields’ Mal Peach, Phil Dixon, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt had a cracking 23-15 fours win at Stanley against John Thurlbeck. They meet either Houghton’s Pat Thomson or Gateshead’s Brian Orrell in the north semi-final.

In the two-bowl singles, Neal Ridley (Shields) held his nerve after seeing a 20-14 lead wiped out by Gateshead’s Alec Bryden, getting home 21-20. He visits West Denton’s Michael Bennett next.

In the Over-60s fours, South Shields’ Billy Ferry had a good 19-10 win at Gateshead’s Brian Orrell, and next tackles either Brian Slinn (Durham) or Michael Wright (Houghton).

Michael Laydon (Durham) saw his mixed pairs run end with a narrow 18-16 home loss to The Parks’ Pat Browne, who will host Shields ‘David Bolt in the semi.

Bolt defeated club-mate Jaxon McKenna 19-4.

In the mixed fours, Phil Dixon won an all-Shields clash against Shaun McIntosh 19-13 and now hosts Durham’s Mark Higgins in the semi.

There is still local interest in the Over-60s double fours after Darlington B beat Doncaster 35-24 to set up a last-16 tie against Cumbria, who pipped Durham B by a couple of shots.

Durham County’s unchanged Liberty Trophy return to action today as they tackle Lincolnshire in the quarter-final at New Earswick.

The Durham County Vice President’s team is at Houghton tomorrow (2pm) as they face Houghton in the second of their annual friendly fixtures.

The Vice President’s team do a lot of fund-raising for the indoor County Association.

Houghton team – R Carter, O Charlton, D Robson, F PHythian; A Pratt, F Holmes, J Robson, B Holmes; C Middleton, M Glover, P Martin, N Stephenson; J Watt, E Marriner, M Eggleston, K Armstrong; C Martin, G Charlton, A Glover, B Robson.

The World Indoor Championships get underway at Potters this weekend.

Locally, all eyes will be on South Shields’ Ian McIntosh, who, after qualifying via the Carlisle play-offs, gets his chance on the big stage.

On Wednesday, the talented 100-1 title outsider will go head to head against former world champion Mervyn King.

The match starts at 7.30pm and is being streamed live via the World Bowls Tour website.