Bowls: Sancroft the only winners out of three Houghton rinks in Inter-Club League

Houghton bowler Terry Todd in action. Picture by Tim Richardson
Houghton bowler Terry Todd in action. Picture by Tim Richardson

The three Houghton senior squads have had a mixed week in the latest round of Inter-Club League fixtures.

Houghton Sancroft returned through the Tyne Tunnel 4-1 winners over The Parks B in Area 3.

George Brown, Tony Wood, David Wright and John Jones were always in command against Billy Blyth and ran out 16-11 winners,despite dropping a last-end five.

Joe Sutherland, Brian Race, David Sim and Terry Todd collected back to back singles to defeat Colin Boyle 13-12, while Peter Thomson (snr), Bobby Usher, Trevor Joicey and Frankie Froud will be kicking themselves as they let slip a 10-5 lead to succumb 11-10 to R. Harrison.

Overall, Sancroft finished 39-34 up and will complete their season at home against Gateshead A this week.

In Area 4, Houghton Kepier’s hopes of a first win were sunk, despite putting in a decent performance away to The Parks A, who ran out 44-31 winners.

The only Kepier winning rink came from George Noble, D.Armstrong, Keith Hembrough and Bob Pattinson, who, despite a late scare, held on for a cracking 15-13 win over M.Groundwater.

Bill Barkes’ quartet of P. Taylor, Tom Baister and Stan Barnes only scored on three of the 13 ends played as Michael London ran out a 19-8 winner, while Tony Grimes, W. Wells, Alan Glover and Bob Johnson were beaten 16-8 by J. Davies, a result which was altered to 12-8 as Davies played a man short.

The Kepier squad have one final crack at notching their first win as they head to Gateshead B next week.

In Area 2, Houghton Gilpin’s hopes of ending their campaign by recording a first win of the season at winless South Shields were dashed as the hosts ran out 5-0 winners.

That leaves Gilpin bottom of the group.

Latest Seniors standings, Area 1: Darlington played 8 pts 30, Great Aycliffe 7-24½, Spennymoor 8-21, Durham 7-8, Shildon 6-6

Area 2: Hartlepool A 7-31, Darlington B 8-28, Ferryhill 7-22, South Shields 8-7, Houghton Gilpin 8-6

Area 3: Stanley 7-30½, South Shields 7-23½, Gateshead A 7-15½, Houghton Sancroft 7-16, Parks B 7-2

Area 4: Hartlepool B 7-30, Parks A 8-25½, Durham B 6-19, Gateshead B 6-6½, Houghton Kepier 7-4

The South Shields trio of Mal Peach, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt suffered disappointment in the area triples final of the national championships.

Up against Hartlepool’s Jonny Forcer, Colin Boston and Paul Mosley at Durham, the Shields trio trailed 10-5 but clawed their way back to 12-12 with four ends to play.

However, Bolt’s hopes slipped away as Mosley scored on all four of the remaining ends to clinch a 19-12 victory to book a place at Melton Mowbray in March.

There was better news for the Shields trio in the fours area final at Aycliffe.

With Phil Dixon making up the quartet, the Shields rink were always just ahead against Hartlepool’s Paul Hartley before eventually pulling away to record a cracking 20-10 win.

Gateshead’s Ronnie Richardson booked an area final place in the Over-60s singles with a 21-8 win over club-mate Brian Orrell.

In the area final, Aycliffe’s Peter Barion will provide the opposition after defeating Redcar’s John Selley 21-10.

In the Over-60s pairs, Gateshead’s Brian Poulter narrowly went out 18-17 at Stanley against Brian Houghton, who will face Aycliffe’s Fred Edwards in the area final.

The Over-50s triples area final will see Hartlepool’s Dale Oram tackling Stanley’s Brett Arkley, after Arkley’s 17-6 win over West Denton’s Peter Duffy.

In the family pairs, Shaun and Ian McIntosh booked an area final place with an impressive 16-12 win at Durham over Carl and Mark Higgins.

Next up, the Shields brothers will face Thornaby’s Bryn Mosley.

Next season, there will be a change to the Area 2 draw lay-out.

Currently, the entries in the northern section outweigh the south section, leaving an imbalance in the number of games each section plays.

Next season, the section with the larger number of entries will be allocated a larger part of the draw which should even up the number of games.

In the Inter-County League, promotion-chasing South Shields will be looking to maintain their unbeaten Second Division campaign when they face Gateshead tomorrow in a rearranged game.

Shields team – At Shields: M Maher, P Hart, F Knubley, A Lawton; M Baker, E Weightman, S Hubbard, I McIntosh; At Gateshead: S Baker, T Giles, P Brickle, J Sneller; W Upsall, M Carr, K Taylor, P Sainthouse

Division Two standings: Great Aycliffe 5-35, South Shields 3-26, Gateshead A 3-21, Stanley 3-15, Dunelm 4-14, Ferryhill 3-9, Shildon 3-0

Next round of fixtures, March 4: Great Aycliffe v Gateshead A, Stanley v Shildon, Dunelm v South Shields

Following Houghton Gilpin’s fielding of an ineligible player in last month’s Inter-County League game against The Parks, the County Association have stripped Gilpin of the four points earned during the game.

The Parks have been awarded a 10-0 win. That drops Gilpin into the second relegation place and makes their next game against bottom-of-the-table Darlington a must-win match.

Sadly, in the same game against The Parks, there was an exchange of views that were more worthy of the school playground than a bowling green.

Following an investigation by the Houghton club, talented youngster Brian Henderson (jnr) has regrettably had his club membership at Houghton terminated, while Kepier’s Jimmy McAdoo has been suspended from any future Inter-Club games and club competitions.

Amended standings, Division One: Hartlepool 4-29½, Durham A 3-26, Gateshead B 3-22, Houghton Kepier 5-16½, The Parks 4-15, Houghton Gilpin 4-14, Darlington 3-7

Next round of fixtures, March 4: Darlington v Houghton Gilpin, Gateshead B v Durham, Hartlepool v The Parks

Premier Top Ten standings: Durham 4-30, Darlington 4-28, Houghton 5-18, Ferryhill 4-17, Stanley 3-7

There was more success for Durham’s Gary Smith last weekend.

Partnering Carlisle’s Trevor Taylor, he landed the Heineken-sponsored Open Pairs at Carlisle.

There was good news for the England Under-25 team as they secured the Under-25 International series played in County Antrim.

England started off with a hard-fought 74-68 win over Wales before a comfortable 93-54 win over hosts Ireland.

England had to come from behind to defeat Scotland 80-78, sealing a third straight series success and an 11th title overall.

With the City of Sunderland’s search for an alternate indoor bowls venue now nearing four fruitless years and the club operating in name only, Sunderland IBC is looking for some feedback.

It is requesting everyone who was a member at the time of Crowtree’s closure, and any former club member, to visit the website where they can submit feedback to three questions.

There was some sad news for Houghton Dairy Lane and the local bowls scene this week as Albert Rodgerson (81) sadly passed away.

Albert had been a member at Dairy Lane since 1971 and was the respected old statesman of the club.

During his playing days, he was a much-respected player and was a popular figure not only in Sunderland but also around the county. He will be sadly missed.

A service takes place at Sunderland Crematorium on Friday, March 2 at 11am.