Bowls: Middleton hopes go to the wire

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Durham County A team’s bid to reach the Middleton Cup quarter-finals will be decided this weekend.

The forecast bad weather is likely to affect the game against Derbyshire.

Four points separate all four teams. Notts (+11 shots) are on 24 points, two ahead of Durham (-6) and Derbyshire (-8), with Northumberland bottom on 20 (+3).

Seven Silksworth players – Paul Baker, Wayne Funnell, Gary Farquhar, Ian Riches, David Bolt, Phil Dixon and Billy Ferry – are in the team, while Danny Todner (Dairy Lane), Brian Poulter (Usworth) and Scott Baker (Silksworth) are all on the bench. With only four rink points covering all four teams the quarter final berth is up for grabs.

* The County B team’s poor run of form in the Northern Counties Alsop Trophy continued with a 115-88 (16-6) defeat to Cumbria at Appleby.

The three local skips recorded wins, though. Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar beat Bob Dent 16-11, Seaham’s Jimmy McAdoo pipped P. Bannister 21-19 and Roker Marine’s Ray Robinson saw off P. Metcalfe 18-15.

Durham complete their Alsop programme with a wooden spoon decider against Lancashire at Bolton next Saturday.

Scores (Durham skips first): G Cockerill 10 J Hynds 30, A Taylor 15 D McManus 18, G Farquhar 16 R Dent 11, J McAdoo 21 P Bannister 19, R Robinson 18 P Metcalfe 15, D Oram 8 C Phillips 22

Standings: Northumberland 54pts, Cumbria 42, Yorkshire 36, Durham 18, Lancashire 4.

* More bowls in tonight’s Sunderland Echo