Bowls: Shields bowlers clinch national quarter-final spot, while Houghton gear up for crucial Inter-County League games

Nina Riches
Nina Riches
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Despite missing talisman David Bolt, South Shields made impressive progress into the Top Club national competition quarter-finals, outgunning Great Aycliffe 12-4 (77-68).

Nina Riches got Shields off to a winning start in the 18-end two-bowl singles as the newly selected international reserve maintained her unbeaten run with a cracking 14-12 win over S. Young.

A second win was quickly notched as Ian McIntosh defeated Jordan Hartson 14-7 in the men’s two-bowl.

The other three ties were all tight affairs.

In the mixed triples, Phil Dixon, Ann Upsall and Ian Riches held on for an 18-17 win over Matthew Gleeson, while Karen Paterson, Pam Carlin, Stewart Hubbard and Shaun McIntosh beat D. McDonald 16-14 in the mixed fours.

Shields’ only loss came in the mixed pairs as Bolt’s replacement, Gary Farquhar, skipped Jackie Stewart Tallack to a narrow 19-15 loss against Barry Attwood.

In the last eight, Shields will face Nottingham on April 15.

The Inter-County League resumes tomorrow, with both Houghton squads needing positive results.

Houghton Gilpin have a big ask as they take on defending champions Hartlepool.

After the comedy of errors in their last game against The Parks, the Gilpin squad will be looking to bounce back.

Houghton Kepier are even more desperate for a result, however an unbeaten Durham outfit will be a tough nut to crack. Both games start at 2pm.

Houghton Gilpin team – At Houghton: M Baker, J Biggerstaff, D Wright, B Henderson (snr); M Noble, J Scullion, R Robson, AJ Dunn; At Hartlepool: K Waterson, I Fairweather, F Fletcher, F Froud; TBC, D Armstrong, I Whorlton, J Jones

Houghton Kepier team – At Houghton: P Collins, A Wood, P Thomson (snr), S Tindale; A Grimes, C Wallace, B Walsh, TW Todd; At Durham: E Downes, G Brown, T Joicey, P Thomson (jnr); M Wright, R Thorpe, A Patterson, R Mckie

League standings, Division 1: Hartlepool played 3 pts 23½, Gateshead B 3-22, Houghton Gilpin 4-20, Duham A 2-18, Houghton Kepier 4-14½, The Parks 4-11, Darlington 3-7

Division 2: South Shields 3-26, Gt Aycliffe 3-16, Gateshead A 2-11, Dunelm 3-11, Stanley 2-8, Ferryhill 2-8, Shildon 1-0

On Wednesday, in the Seniors League, Houghton Gilpin will attempt to notch their first win of the season as they head to Ferryhill (10.30am).

The other two Houghton squads have a bye.

Houghton Gilpin team – K Waterson, MJ Walker, D Robson, R Thorpe; E Downes, A Ross, P Robinson, D Scott; R Leonard, P Noble, TBC, R Robson.

Latest standings, Area 1: Darlington 6-24½, Great Aycliffe 6-20½, Spennymoor 6-16, Shildon 4-5, Durham 6-4

Area 2: Darlington B 7-27, Hartlepool A 6-27, Ferryhill 6-17, Houghton Gilpin 6-7, South Shields 7-2

Area 3: Stanley 5-23, South Shields 6-18½, Gateshead A 6-15½, Houghton Sancroft 6-12, Parks B 5-1

Area 4: Hartlepool B 7-30, Parks A 6-17½, Durham B 4-13, Gateshead B 6-6½, Houghton Kepier 5-3

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

Seniors Premier League: Stanley A 6-10, Gateshead A 6-10, Darlington B 6-8, Gateshead B 7-8, Ferryhill B 6-8, Houghtonians 7-6, Stanley B 5-4, Durham 5-4, Houghton A 5-4, Darlington A 7-4, Ferryhill A 6-0

There has been more action in the local stages of the national competitions.

In the triples, the all-Shields affair between Dave Paterson and Gary Farquhar resulted in a 23-11 Farquhar win which sets up another all-Shields affair against Stewart Hubbard in the north section semi-finals.

In the south, Hartlepool’s Paul Mosley booked a semi-final tie against Redcar’s Richie Hudson after beating Redcar’s Paul Bostock 18-6.

The south semi-final line-up in the pairs has been confirmed after Hartlepool’s Albert Ward eased to a 20-9 win at Ferryhill against Alan Hind. Ward next faces club-mate Paul Hartley.

In the fours, Hartlepool’s Glenn Skipp cruised to a 25-12 win at Redcar over Paul Bostock before going down 17-10 in the south semi-final to club-mate Paul Hartley.

The area final of the mixed fours saw the Hartlepool quartet of Bev Lynch, Lauren Mosley, John Lynch and Paul Mosley book a place at the national finals by defeating South Shield’s Gary Farquhar 16-14.

In the last 16, played at Loddon Vale, Mosley’s rink will face Wellingborough’s Paul Broderick on Friday, February 23.

The Over-60s singles north section semi-final will be an all-Gateshead battle between Ronnie Richardson and Brian Orrell.

Richardson ended the run of South Shields’ Alan Lawton with a 21-18 win, while Orrell received a walkover against Shields’ Ebby Dent.

There was more Gateshead success in the Over-60s pairs when Brian Poulter edged past club-mate Brian Orrell 19-17 to book a trip to Stanley in the northern semi-final.

There was extra end heartache for Houghton’s David Armstrong in the Over-50s triples, going down 15-14 at home to West Denton’s Peter Duffy.

In the semi-final, Duffy will head to Stanley to face Brett Arkley, who strolled to a 17-1 win over Gateshead’s Brian Orrell.

In the two-bowl singles, there was double disappointment for Shields.

Neal Ridley’s cracking run came to an end at West Denton, losing 21-18 to Michael Bennett, then David Bolt succumbed 21-19 to Brian Orrell at Gateshead.

Houghton’s Patrick and Peter Thomson went out of the family pairs 17-6 at Durham against Carl and Mark Higgins, while South Shields’ Ian and Shaun McIntosh crushed West Denton’s Martin Rogan 32-5.

The two winners now go head to head in the northern semi-final.

The final stages of the Under-25 singles were held at the City of Ely club last weekend.

Sadly, West Denton bowler Aaron Robson’s dream of a national title were ended with a last-16 straight sets loss to Riverain’s newly capped England Under-25 player, Glenn Williams.

The eventual winner was Jamie Barker (St Neots).

The Durham County seniors kept up their hopes of retaining the Midland Senior League title with a comfortable 81-shot win over Lincolnshire at York.

The pick of the Durham rinks was Graham Peacock (Darlington), Malcolm Robinson (Durham), Brian Houghton (Stanley) and David Webb (Stanley), who romped to a 38-3 win.

The 20-2 points return leaves Durham second in the table, 20 points behind leaders Yorkshire but with a game in hand.

Durham face another trip to York on February 15, when Nottinghamshire will provide the opposition.

South Shields are planning to run another Classic Open Pairs competition.

The two-day event will be restricted to 32 pairs, who will be guaranteed six games for an entry fee of £33.

The Coast Road Garage and Molson Coors-sponsored competition will take place on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, with a first prize of £500.

The Shields club will also host another round of the Open Singles Circuit on April 22 and 23. Entries are now being taken, with the entry fee £17.50 and a first prize of £750.

This weekend, several local players will head to Worksop looking for ranking points and the £750 first prize as the latest Open Singles Circuit event takes place.

Durham’s Gary Smith faces Jason Norris and Michael Laydon tackles Andy Clipston.

Five Shields lads are in action too. James Sneller plays Paul Oke, Josh Minto meets Lee Rowland, Josh Halcrow takes on Ashley Clipston, Paul Sainthouse is up against Pete Gilliver and David Bolt battles Andy Smith.

Gateshead’s Alec Bryden plays Wendy Brown.

At the indoor World Championships, it was a successful week for Blackpool’s Mark Dawes,

First, he led in for Jamie Chestney to take the pairs and then topped it off by securing the singles title for the first time.

Over the length of the tournament, Dawes was on fire and deservedly landed the top prize. In a cracking final, Dawes held off Devon’s Robert Paxton 8-7, 6-7, 2-0.

A special mention must go to beaten semi-finalist Wayne Willgress (Norfolk), who was like a breath of fresh air.

This was the 20th year that the Potters resort has hosted the biggest indoor competition on the calendar.

Without doubt, the venue has become a major part of the game and, although the the stands aren’t full for the early rounds, the latter stages are sell-outs.

With the game having progressed to coloured clothing, coloured bowls, a blue carpet and a sets format ideal for TV, the next step needs to be a bit of atmosphere within the arena, both in the stands and from the players on the green, to create a more attractive TV viewing experience.

Meanwhile, both the Potters resort and the BBC have agreed a new three-year deal to host and cover the event until 2021, which will extend the BBC’s 39-year relationship with the sport.