Bowls: Farquhar four endure comprehensive defeat as National Championship hopes are sunk

David Bolt practices in Australia ahead of the Commonwealth Games challenge.
David Bolt practices in Australia ahead of the Commonwealth Games challenge.
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The first part of this season’s National Championships have been taking place at Melton Mowbray this week.

In the fours, there were high hopes for the South Shields quartet of Phil Dixon, Mal Peach, Kris Storf and Gary Farquhar, but they exited in a tough opener against Swale’s England international, Perry Martin.

A slow start saw Shields trailing 8-2 after five ends. That sadly set the tone for the game. They were 17-4 adrift by the 10th end and, with the writing on the wall, they shook hands after 14 ends with the score at 21-5.

In the ladies fours, the Hartlepool quartet of Rachel Skinner, Janis Wilton, Bev Lynch and England international Lauren Mosley recovered from 8-1 down to record a cracking 18-13 win over Adur’s Lorraine Khuler .

But, their dream ended in the quarter-finals with a 21-9 defeat to Swale’s Wendy King, the eventual champions.

In the men’s triples, the Hartlepool squad of Jonathon Forcer, Colin Boston and Paul Mosley beat Thanet’s Joe Kelly 19-7 before succumbing 19-7 in the last eight to Kingsthorpe’s Connor Cinato.

Another Hartlepool hope reached the pairs quarter-finals.

Carl Higgins and Paul Hartley defeated Swale’s Josh Pound 15-11 before losing to the newly-crowned world singles champion, Mark Dawes (Blackpool), 17-10.

Dawes went on to take the national title.

Hartley’s hopes of a two-bowl singles title were also dashed by a 21-18 last-16 loss to Ipswich’s Martin Heitzman.

South Shields will head to Nottingham next weekend looking to lift the Denny Plate title.

Despite missing talisman David Bolt, the Shields squad are more than good enough to take the national title as they face West Berks.

Shields squad: S Baker, M Peach, P Dixon, Kris Storf; J McKenna, P Sainthouse, S Hubbard, S McIntosh; N Ridley, S Cairns, I Riches, I McIntosh; P Paterson, J Minto, J Sneller, G Farquhar. Reserves: B Upsall, J Morgan, D Robson, M Carr

South Shields look nailed on for a return to the Inter-Club League’s First Division after they defeated Ferryhill 85-68 In a rearranged Second Division fixture.

At Shields, Dave Paterson steered Malcolm Baker, Derek Robson and Derek Wilson to a 29-12 win over C. Morgan, while Paul Hart, Ray Gibb, Keith Thompson and Stewart Hubbard beat Colin Larcombe 24-17. That left the home squad 53-29 up.

At Ferryhill, Bill Upsall, Michael Carr, Bob Cragg and Peter Brickle turned around a 10-6 deficit to record a 19-16 win, while Ian McDonald, Keith Taylor, Tony Giles and Arthur Harrison were beaten 23-13.

The away squad went down by seven shots and overall Shields won 7-3 points-wise.

Even if Stanley collect maximum points from their final two games, Shields would still only need to collect a couple of points from their remaining game to seal promotion.

Next weekend, Houghton Kepier bring down the curtain on their Inter-Club League season against title chasing Gateshead B.

Kepier need a win to try to avoid the drop, while Gateshead will be crowned champions for the first time in 31 years if they better a 7-3 win.

Kepier team – At Houghton: E Downes, B Johnson, P Thomson (snr), D Todner; A Grimes, C Wallace, B Walsh, TW Todd; At Gateshead: G Brown, T Joicey, S Tindall, P Thomson (jnr); M Wright, K Armstrong, A Patterson, R Mckie

Houghton Gilpin are also in action next weekend as they face Durham.

Gilpin are also in need of points to avoid relegation, but they do have another game, against bottom-of-the-table Darlington, to rearrange.

The team to face Durham has not yet been selected.

Latest standings, First Division: Gateshead B played 5 pts 41, Hartlepool 5-38, Durham A 4-28, Houghton Kepier 5-16½, The Parks 4-15, Houghton Gilpin 4-14, Darlington 4-7

Second Division: South Shields 5-43, Great Aycliffe 5-35, Stanley 4-25, Gateshead A 4-21, Ferryhill 5-21, Dunelm 4-14, Shildon 4-1

The final standings in the ladies’ Inter-Club League have been confirmed.

Holders South Shields missed out on retaining their title by two points to Durham, while Houghton finished a creditable third.

Final standings: Durham 49, Sth Shields 47, Houghton 42, Hartlepool 41, Aycliffe 40, Gateshead 24, Darlington 21½, Ferryhill 15½.

The final of the seniors’ Inter-Club League play-offs was played at Darlington this week.

In a cracking final, Stanley defeated Darlington A by a single shot (48-47) to secure their fifth success, the last being in 2004.

Scores (Stanley skips first): M English 18 S Blewitt 18, D Webb 12 A Stephenson 14, D Craig 18 S Summers 15

The 11th round of the seniors Premier League was held at Stanley, with the Houghtonians trio of Joe Sutherland, Freddie Fletcher and Terry Todd ending their campaign with a four-shot win over Durham.

Unfortunately, the other Houghton squad failed to appear but they are due to end their campaign at Ferryhill on Thursday, April 12.

Houghton moved up a place in the Top Ten competition after a cracking 8-2 home win over Ferryhill.

Dan Todner found it tough going in the singles against Alan Hinds and went down 21-6, but there was better news in the other three disciplines.

In the pairs, Michael Wright and Peter Thomson (jnr) eased to a 20-9 win over Colin Larcombe, while Joe Sutherland, Stevie Tindall and Riche Mckie beat Walter Latimer 26-7 in the triples.

The fours quartet of Eric Downes, Peter Thomson (snr), David Wright and Terry Todd eased past Ian Brown 23-11. Houghton finish their season at Stanley next Saturday.

As the indoor season enters the final month, the latter stages of the men’s club competitions at Houghton will kick back into life.

The ladies have completed two finals.

The pairs final saw a win for Maureen Hall and Norma Stephenson, while there was a first triples success for Joan Watt, Jackie Classen and Brenda Robson, who beat Joan Baker, Margaret Metcalf and Ellen Faith in the final.

The ladies’ singles final is set for Thursday (2.30pm), with Norma Stephenson facing Joan Watt.

This coming week also sees a men’s singles semi-final on Wednesday (6.30pm; P Brickle v P Thomson snr), a fours semi-final on Thursday (6.30pm; B Henderson v TW Todd) and both Over-60s singles semis the same day (10.30am; TW Todd v W Holmes and R Robinson v F Froud).

The Commonwealth Games gets underway on the Gold Coast in Australia on Wednesday, with the bowls competitions starting on Thursday.

The local bowls scene will be cheering on Silksworth’s David Bolt, who is representing England.

Bolt has been selected at second bowl in the fours and at lead in the triples.

The England squad are currently acclimatising to the lightning quick Australian greens at Hamilton BC. There will be extensive coverage of the bowls via the red button on BBC.

With the new General Data Protection Regulations due to come in force on May 25, all clubs need to ensure they have followed the required procedures.

Clubs need to have safeguards in place around access to their members’ personal data’ plus they need to have documentation showing an individual’s consent for the data to be stored.

An example of the affected data is - name, telephone numbers, home addresses, e-mail addresses etc. The consent must also outline what the data is to be used for.

Bowls Durham secretary Foster Johnson can help with any initial queries.