Bowls: Silksworth topple Barnes West End from top spot in Earl Cup after feisty battle

Whitburn Pairs semi-finalists and finalists From left: Bill Laidler, Joe Sutherland, Frankie Froud, Michael Creegan, competition organiser Brenda Harper, Alan Clark, Bryan Sanderson, Jimmy McAdoo, Freddie Fletcher CONTRIBUTED PIC, NOT FOR RESALE
Whitburn Pairs semi-finalists and finalists From left: Bill Laidler, Joe Sutherland, Frankie Froud, Michael Creegan, competition organiser Brenda Harper, Alan Clark, Bryan Sanderson, Jimmy McAdoo, Freddie Fletcher CONTRIBUTED PIC, NOT FOR RESALE
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The top-of-the-table Earl Cup clash between Barnes West End and Silksworth was a feisty affair.

Leaders Barnes West End last lifted the Earl Cup in 1944 and their hopes of ending the long wait for a second triumph took a huge hit as a rampant Silksworth outfit cruised to a 86-49 (7-0) win to move into top spot.

Roker Marine’s 76-57 (6½-½) win at Houghton Town lifted them into second spot. A special mention must go to the Houghton Town members who deserves medals for having to play on an atrocious playing surface.

Usworth’s 68-60 (5-2) home defeat of Barnes Park propelled them up to third, while Hetton Workmen’s moved off the bottom, and out of the relegation places, with a thrilling 61¼-61 win over Seaham Town. Hylton CW defaulted 7-0 against Houghton Dairy Lane.

North Biddick are seven points clear in Division Two after a 92-54 (6½-½) victory over bottom club Whitburn.

Ryhope moved into the other promotion spot thanks to an 87-39 (7-0) success against South Hylton. Grindon Mill’s 67-43¼ (6-1) loss at Washington dropped them to fourth, while Sunderland defeated Thompson Park 70-64¾ (6-1).

After much deliberation, Sunderland & District officials took the sensible decision to give clubs the option of cancelling their Swan Cup fixtures on Wednesday due to England’s World Cup semi-final.

in the current climate, it was a brave decision and was warmly greeted by the majority of the clubs.

One Second Division match did get played early as leaders Usworth extended their advantage with a 62¾-49 (6-1) victory over Houghton Town.

The race for the Storey Bowl is wide open again after leaders Roker Park were beaten 89-54 (7-0) by holders Seaham Town.

The Bowl also produced two draws. Houghton Town and Hetton Workmen’s finished level at 69-69 (3½-3½) and, like a bus service, a second draw appeared as Wearmouth and Hylton CW drew 65-65 (3½-3½).

Leaders Roker Park head to Hylton CW today, while second-placed Houghton Town have a bye.

Houghton Dairy Lane last won the Harold Howey Trophy in 1977, but this season they have two chances of lifting the title as their A and B teams are joint top with Silksworth.

The Dairy Lane B team missed out on the chance to go top outright as they were beaten 41-32 (4-0) at Hetton Workmen’s, while the A team made it a three-way tie in pole position with a 41-28 (4-0) win over North Biddick A.

Roker Marine A got back to winning ways with a 38-21 (4-0) success at Ryhope, while Seaham Town defeated fifth-placed Roker Park 32-19 (3-1).

Division Two’s result of the day saw South Hetton pip leaders Chester le Street 29-28 (3-1).

North Biddick B moved up to sixth with a 42-20¼ (4-0) win over Pemberton A, while Thompson Park A had a fruitful trip to Roker Marine B, running out 40-24 (4-0) winners. Sunderland A remain fifth after a 41-27 (3-1) win over New Herrington.

The 3-2-1 knockout triples semi-finals take place at Roker Park and Roker Marine on Tuesday.

Holders Barnes West End booked their place with a win over Usworth and will face Roker Marine, who defeated Ryhope.

The other semi sees beaten finalists Silksworth up against Seaham Town after wins over Sunderland and Roker Park respectively.

Barnes West End still lead the Grindon League after the seventh week of fixtures.

West End’s 5-0 win over Hylton CW moved them a point clear of Silksworth, who are still unbeaten following a 4-1 win at South Hylton.

Ryhope defeated Whitburn 5-0, but the stand-out result was Wearmouth’s 4-1 home win over Houghton Dairy Lane. This coming week, the top two are both away, with West End visiting New Herrington and Silksworth at Whitburn.

This season’s county competitions are at the heartbreaking semi-final stages.

Not only are the winners guaranteed a place in the county final, but they also secure a place at the national championships at Leamington Spa in August.

There is still plenty of local interest, with Silksworth’s David Bolt still on course for a four-timer.

On Monday, Bolt faces Dunston’s Alex Bryden in the singles at Dairy Lane. The Silksworth four of Jack Deverson, Stevie Cairns, Paul Sainthouse and Josh Halcrow are in action at the same venue as they meet defending county fours champions Leadgate, skipped by Garry Robson.

It is a busy night on Wednesday as Bolt is joined by club-mates Phil Dixon, Neal Ridley and Ian Riches in the fours to take on Darlington RA’s Liam Macey.

Roker Marine’s Peter Thomson tackles Hunden’s Jason Taylor in the George Turley Champion of Champions semi-final.

There is also a pairs tie at Roker Marine as Houghton Dairy Lane’s Ken Briscoe and John Thurlbeck meet Stockton’s Mark Hodgson.

Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna faces RA’s Liam Macey in the junior singles semi-finals at Dairy Lane on Thursday, while Silksworth’s reigning county triples champions – Phil Dixon, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt – go head to head with Hartlepool Park’s John Mansfield.

The remaining action is on Friday at Roker Marine as Dairy Lane’s Mal Peach takes on RA’s Liam Macey in the singles and Silksworth’s David Bolt tackles Dipton’s Michael English in the two-bowl semi-final.

Today (at Pelton Fell) – triples: V Rewcastle (Darlington RA) v A Kirtland (Darlington RA)

Monday (at Houghton Dairy Lane) – singles: D Bolt (Silksworth) v A Bryden (Dunston); Pairs: V Rewcastle (Darlington RA) v M English (Dipton); Fours: J Halcrow (Silksworth) v G Robson (Leadgate); Two-bowl: J Harston (Hundens) v P Coulson (Darlington RA)

Wednesday (at Houghton Dairy Lane) – fours: D Bolt (Silksworth) v L Macey (Darlington RA); Champion of Champions: J Taylor (Hundens) v P Thomson (Roker Marine), A Jobling (Dunston) v S Brodie (Darlington South Park)

Wednesday (at Roker Marine) – pairs: K Briscoe (Houghton DL) v M Hodgson (Stockton)

Thursday (at Houghton Dairy Lane) – triples: J Mansfield (Hartlepool Park) v G Farquhar (Silksworth); Junior singles: J Harston (Hundens) v K Burton (Darlington RA), J McKenna (Silksworth) v L Macey (Darlington RA)

Friday (at Roker Marine) – singles: M Peach (Houghton DL) v L Macey (Darlington RA); Two-bowl: D Bolt (Silksworth) v M English (Dipton)

In the Bowls England senior singles, Barnes Park’s Albie Hill saw his run ended by a spirited 21-12 loss to Leadgate’s Ian Peacock. Dairy Lane’s Ken Briscoe also went out 21-18 to Dunston’s Alan Jobling.

There was better news for Briscoe in the senior pairs, as a 22-18 win over Darlington RA’s John Hills has set up an area final against Hartlepool Park’s Dale Oram.

In the Champions of Champions competition, Silksworth’s David Bolt eased past Gosforth’s Kevin Bone 21-5 to set up an area semi-final against Workington’s David Forster.

It was a disappointing weekend for Houghton Dairy Lane. First, they were beaten 41-35 at Hundens in the Tony Allcock mixed double fours, then, 24 hours later, they were beaten 4-1 at home by Darlington RA in the Top Club.

Whitburn held their popular Open pairs competition last weekend in scorching weather.

The title eventually went to the Dipton pair of Alan Clark and Michael Creegan, who defeated last year’s winners, Barnes West End’s Frankie Froud and Brian Sanderson, 14-4 in the final.

The beaten semi-finalists were Joe Sutherland, Jimmy McAdoo, Bill Laidler and Freddie Fletcher.