Houghton’s seniors squad made the end-of-season Inter-Club League play-offs last season.
Hopes were high that the newly-renamed Houghton Sancroft could repeat that feat this term, however they have made a losing start to the new campaign.
Hosting Stanley at Houghton, the Sancroft squad were beaten 4-1 (42-34).
George Brown, Trevor Joicey, David Wright and Terry Todd secured the only Houghton success, turning around an 8-1 deficit to beat former County skip Dave Webb 16-10.
The other two rinks were beaten.
Joe Sutherland, Brian Race, David Sim and Ian Whorlton were always playing catch-up against Derek Craig and eventually succumbed to a 16-11 defeat.
Peter Thomson (snr), Jimmy Swinney, John Jones and Frankie Froud were also chasing the game against Billy Bell and went down 16-7.
Sancroft must wait until November 9 for their next match, at home to The Parks B.
The future of one of the other Houghton seniors squads, Houghton Gilpin, was looking bleak due a lack of names.
However, they managed to get a team selected for the home game against Hartlepool A, but, due to a mix-up with the dates, the game wasn’t played.
It has been rearranged for this Wednesday.
Team: D Robson, P Robinson, W Longley, R Thorpe; P Noble, F Sanderson, D Gibson, W Roberts; E Downes, A Gregory, C Wallace, R Robson. Reserve: K Waterson
The third Houghton squad, Kepier, entertain Hartlepool B on Thursday (12.30pm).
Team: S Barnes, P Taylor, R Pattinson, F Kell; P Hicks, I Richinson, T Baister, R Johnson; A Grimes, A Newton, A Glover, M Moore. Reserves: GW Charlton, J Eggleston
Tomorrow will see a local derby at Houghton as the Inter-County League gets under way.
With Sunderland not competing, Houghton entered an extra team and have introduced new team names – Houghton Gilpin and Houghton Kepier.
The two clash in the the season opener.
Kepier team: A Grimes, A Wood, G Brown, R Thorpe; J Doyle, T Williamson, T Joicey, G Wallace; E Downes, P Thomson (snr), TW Todd, P Thomson (jnr); M Wright, A Patterson, J McAdoo, R Mckie
Gilpin team: M Baker, S Patterson, D Wright, B Henderson (snr); J Sutherland, D Armstrong, B Henderson (jnr), AJ Dunn; R Usher, F Fletcher, I. Whorlton, F Froud; M Noble, T Patterson, M Davis, J Jones
The new Top Ten League got underway last weekend as Houghton made the trip down the A1 to face Darlington.
The format features singles, pairs, triples and a fours, with two points for a win and one bonus point for the overall aggregate.
Despite a gallant effort, Houghton went down 6-4.
In the singles, Bryan Henderson recovered from 19-10 down to take the singles points, while Tony Grimes, Brian Henderson (snr) and Peter Thomson (jnr) took the triples.
However, defeats for Peter Brickle, in the pairs, and Terry Todd saw the overall aggregate slip away.
Next up for Houghton is a home tie against Durham on October 14 with the following squad
Singles: P Thomson (jnr); Pairs: M Wright & D Todner; Triples: .Grimes, F Froud, B Henderson; Fours: F Fletcher, M Carr, S Tindale, TW Todd
There has been a change in the selected Houghtonians Over-60s Double Fours squad to face Stanley in November.
David Wright replaces Michael Carr at second.
Team – At Houghton: P Thomson, F Johnson, F Froud, P Harding; At Stanley: J Sutherland, David Wright, F Fletcher, TW Todd
Houghton ladies are due to play South Shields in the first round of the Yetton Trophy next Saturday.
The two-rink home and away format requires 16 players, however only 14 names are currently on the nomination sheet.
The following week, Houghton ladies return to Inter-Club League action as they face Ferryhill. The league format appears to have changed to two rinks home and away.
Durham County Seniors open their 2017 campaign with the traditional game against Yorkshire for the John Dodsworth Trophy.
Locally, Houghton’s Frankie Froud will make his first appearance at this level, albeit at the unusual position of leading in.
Last season, Durham won 110-99 but they have made 12 changes to that winning team for the game at Scarborough.
Team: P Barron (Gt Aycliffe), J Potter (Gt Aycliffe), F Edwards (Gt Aycliffe), B Attwood (Gt Aycliffe), F Froud (Houghton), B Craggs (Shields), R Robinson (Durham), W Dixon (Durham), A Mole (Hartlepool), A Taylor (Hartlepool), D Oram (Hartlepool), G Alderson (Stanley), T Griffiths (Shields), S Clarke (Gt Aycliffe), A Stephenson (Darlington), A Hind (Ferryhill), K Minnis (Durham), D McDonald (Gt Aycliffe), B Houghton (Stanley), W Routledge (Durham), M Robinson (Durham), S Land (Gt Aycliffe), J Hutchinson (Durham). Reserves: A Musgrove (Durham), R Metcalfe (Ferryhill), S Krimpen (Durham), M Baines (Darlington)
The remaining outdoor event, the Houghton Feast Open Singles, gets underway today, with 43 players entered for the competition which will culminate with the final next Saturday.
Defending champion David Warnaby (Leadgate) faces North Biddick’s Billy Piggot in the first round this afternoon.