The North East claimed three titles in the National Championships in the past week.
South Shields cruised to victory in the Denny Plate final.
Even without England international David Bolt. the final was plain sailing for the confident Shields outfit, who ran out 97-47 winners with 13 ends unplayed.
Jaxon McKenna, Paul Sainthouse, Stewart Hubbard and Shaun McIntosh eased to a 30-9 win over Tony Aubrey, while brother Ian McIntosh steered Neal Ridley, Stevie Cairns and Ian Riches to a 27-9 win over Barry Williams.
Scott Baker, Mal Peach, Phil Dixon and Kris Storf defeated Martyn Chant 22-15. with the remaining rink of Dave Paterson, Josh Minto, James Sneller and Gary Farquhar completing the whitewash by grinding out a 18-14 win over Gordon Ballantyne.
It’s a first club national title for Shields, who will now look to build on this success next year and make progress in the Denny Cup, as they will not want to defend their Plate title.
The second national title came in the men’s Over-50s triples, as Hartlepool’s Ian Jackson, Dale Oram and Glenn Skipp defeated Malvern Hill’s Mike Holmes 18-15.
The Hartlepool trio performed a great escape in the semi-finals as they collected a seven on the 16th end against Riverain’s Tony Webb to lead 19-18.
Even then, Skipp needed to score a last-end three to clinch a 22-21 victory.
Redcar’s Kath Delacoe and 82-year-old legend Beryl Alderson beat Lincoln’s Lin Mountain 15-12 in the final of the Over-60s pairs.
South Shields head to New Earswick today to face Nottingham in the Top Club semi-finals.
Despite missing David Bolt and the McIntosh brothers, there is no reason why Shields cannot progress to the final.
Shaun and Ian McIntosh head to Nottingham tomorrow for the latter stages of the Family pairs, tackling Riverain’s Jamie Claydon in the last 16.
It has been a tough Inter-County League campaign for Houghton’s Kepier and Gilpin squads, with both facing possible relegation following defeats in the latest round of games.
Kepier were always up against it as they faced leaders Gateshead B.
Both away squads were beaten. George Brown, Trevor Joicey, Stevie Tindale and Peter Thomson (jnr) saw an 11-9 lead slip away against Alan Jobling to finish 23-11 down.
Michael Wright, 87-year-old debutant Arthur Baker, Alan Patterson and Richie Mckie lost 25-12, leaving the away squad 48-23 behind.
At Houghton, both home squads put in spirited performances.
Eric Downes, Bob Johnson, Peter Thomson (snr) and Dan Todner nearly snatched a point. They trailed 19-11 with four ends to play, but Todner battled back only to narrowly miss out 19-17 against Tom Pope.
Tony Grimes, Charlie Wallace, Barney Walsh and Terry Todd recovered from 10-2 down against George Hackett to lead 20-18, however Todd dropped a last-end double which meant settling for a creditable 20-20 draw.
Gateshead’s overall success guaranteed the title for the first time in 31 years and more than likely relegated Kepier.
Houghton Gilpin also had a crunch game against ever-improving Durham.
Sadly, it turned out to be a tough afternoon for Gilpin, as they were whitewashed 10-0.
At Houghton, Peter Harding’s quartet of Mal Baker, Foster Johnson and David Wright fought back from 17-7 down to get within a single shot against John Hutchinson.
But a dropped four on the 20th end condemned them to a 24-18 loss.
Ian Whorlton’s quartet of Richie Jobling, David Armstrong and Freddie Fletcher found themselves 13-8 down after 13 ends against Mark Higgins.
Incredibly, an amazing 32 shots were scored over the last eight ends, with Higgins emerging a 35-18 winner.
Those scores left the home squad 23 shots adrift.
On the quicker Durham carpet, both Houghton rinks were beaten.
Keith Waterson, Ian Fairweather, Jack Scullion and Frankie Froud went down 25-15 to Russell Bewick, while debutant J. Howlinson, Tom Patterson, Sam Patterson and John Jones were well beaten 34-9 by Gary Smith.
The away squad lost 59-24, ensuring a 117-51 crushing overall.
Gilpin have one last chance to avoid relegation as they take on Darlington tomorrow (10.30am) in a rearranged, winner-stays-up game.
Gilpin need at least three points to stay up and send Houghton Kepier down.
Gilpin team – At Houghton – J Sutherland, D Armstrong, F Fletcher, B Henderson (snr); M Baker, R Jobling, D Wright, P Harding; At Darlington: K Waterson, I Fairweather, J Scullion, F Froud; T Patterson, AN Other, S Patterson, J Jones
Latest standings, Division One: Gateshead B (champions) 6-50½, Hartlepool 5-38½, Durham A 6-38, Darlington 5-17, Houghton Kepier 6-17, The Parks 5-15, Houghton Gilpin 5-14
Division Two: South Shields 5-43, Gt Aycliffe 5-35, Stanley 5-35, Dunelm 5-24, Gateshead A 5-21, Ferryhill 6-21, Shildon 5-1
Houghton brought down the curtain on their Top Ten campaign at Stanley.
It has been a mixed campaign for the Houghton squad and sadly ended with another 8-2 defeat.
Frankie Froud had a tough time in the singles against former England lead Bret Arkley as the Stanley star cruised to a 21-4 win.
Houghton’s only bright spot came in the pairs, as Michael Wright and Peter Thomson (jnr) recovered from 14-11 down, with two ends left, to beat Derek Craig 16-14.
In the triples, Karl Armstrong, Stevie Tindale and Richie Mckie were left to rue dropped counts of five and seven as they lost 18-13 to Brian Houghton.
Eric Downes, Richard Thorpe, David Wright and Terry Todd were unlucky in the fours. They led 13-9 with four ends to play, but Todd lost all four ends to succumb 16-13 to Joe Dixon.
There has been plenty of club competition action at Houghton this week.
Frankie Froud collected his first four-bowl title with an impressive 21-7 win over Peter Brickle in the men’s singles final.
Alongside Billy Roberts, Froud is on course for a double after recovering from 11-3 down against Billy Piggott in the pairs semi-finals to win 18-11.
In the final on Tuesday (6.30pm), Froud will face Mal Baker and Bryan Henderson, who defeated Eric Downes and Peter Thomson (snr) 18-9.
Ian Whorlton steered Colin Brown, David Armstrong and Keith Makepeace to a 19-18 extra end win over Peter Thomson (jnr) in the fours semi-finals. They meet Bryan Henderson in Monday’s final (6.30pm).
In the Over-60s fours semis, Stevie Kempster guided Mal Baker, Peter Thomson (snr) and Frankie Froud to a 21-11 success against David Wright.