Dazzing Durham cruise into Liberty Trophy semi-finals

Sunderland A bowler Ron Robson in action against Gateshead in the Seniors Inter-Club League
Sunderland A bowler Ron Robson in action against Gateshead in the Seniors Inter-Club League
Have your say

Durham County’s Liberty Trophy squad produced a five-star performance to book a semi-final place with a comfortable 38-shot win over Lincolnshire at York.

Durham enjoyed victories on five of the six rinks to romp to victory.

Gary Smith’s quartet rattled off 12 shots over the last three ends to seal a stunning 29-17 win over Billy Jackson, while Paul Mosley (Hartlepool) eased to a 27-12 success against Dion Auckland.

Paul Hartley (Hartlepool) steered his rink to a 28-17 win over Martin Spencer, Andrew Kirtland (Darlington) defeated Danny Brown 20-16, and David Bolt (Shields) pipped Graham Smith 18-17.

Durham’s only loss came from the rink skipped by Phil Smithson (Shields), who succumbed 20-15 to Mathew Orrey.

In the semi-final, Durham will face Suffolk, who were equally convincing last-eight victors, sinking Leicestershire by 34 shots.

The tie will be played on March 12 on a neutral green.

In the National Championships, the Area finals in the singles and pairs will both be all-South Shields matches.

David Bolt takes on Ian McIntosh in the singles, while Phil Dixon tackles Gary Smith in the pairs.

South Shields youngster James Sneller’s hopes of an Under-25 title were dashed at the last eight stage.

After an initial 2-0 win over Jack Daniels (Mid Glos), the Shields star was beaten 2-0 by Tom Bishop (Cyphers).

The other regional hope made a last-16 exit as Barry Hopkins (Darlington) was beaten 2-0 by the eventual winner, Dan McVittie (Blackpool).

National Championship latest – Triples (regional final qualifiers at Durham, March 13): D Bolt (Shields), G Robson (Stanley), M Laydon (Stanley)

Fours (regional final qualifiers at Darlington, March 19): I McIntosh (Shields), I Riches (Shields), C Knott (West Denton)

Over-60s pairs (Inter Area Final): B Poulter (Gateshead) v R Gall (Cumbria)

Over-55s triples (Inter Area Final): B Arkley (Stanley) 10 R McMath (Cumbria) 12

Over-60s fours (Inter Area Final): M London (Parks) 22 R McMath (Cumbria) 19

The latest round of the Seniors Inter-Club League fixtures take place this week.

In Group Two, the Sunderland B team will be looking to end the season on a high as they finish with a home game against group leaders Stanley, who still need a point to guarantee a play-off place. Sunderland finish off at Houghton on Wednesday (12.30pm).

Sunderland team: R Usher, A Grimes, F Froud, R Jobling, G Brown, A Wood, W Conway, W Roberts, P Thomson, J Maxfield, P Brickle, TW Todd. Reserves: E Downes, D Gowland

Group Two standings: Stanley 7-22½, Hartlepool A 6-20, Darlington B 7-18½, Sunderland 7-16½, Park View 7-7½

In Group Three, Sunderland A need a point at leaders South Shields to seal the second play-off spot in the group. The Wearsiders are looking to avenge the 4-1 loss suffered earlier in the campaign.

Sunderland A team: P Bulmer, B Walsh, M Davis, W Ferry, P Collins, W Hearne, F Knubley, J Jones, R Robson, M Carr, R Robinson, R Graham. Reserves: R Rollason, A Baker

In the same group, Houghton A will be looking to take advantage of any Sunderland slip-up as they need consecutive 5-0 wins to sneak into that second spot should Sunderland fail to collect a point on Tuesday. Houghton head to The Parks on Wednesday.

Houghton A team: J Doyle, P Noble, J Thuburn, P Harding, D Simpson, F Sanderson, T Joicey, I Whorlton, T Winship, J Godfrey, F Fletcher, D Wright. Reserve: CWallace.

Group Three standings: South Shields 7-29, Sunderland A 7-20, Gateshead A 7-13, Parks B 7-13, Houghton A 6-10

In Group Four, Houghton B entertain The Parks A on Thursday.

Houghton B team: S Barnes, A Glover, W White, F Kell, P Hicks, A Gregory, T Baister, B Johnson, J Matthews, K Waterson, P Taylor, R Thorpe. Reserves: J Eggleston, L Williams

Group Four standings: Hartlepool B 8-27½, Durham B 7-26, Parks A 7-25, Gateshead B 8-15, Ferryhill 8-12, Houghton B 8-9½

Houghton’s Inter-County League team were due to face a top-of-the-table battle against leaders The Parks tomorrow, however the opposition have had to cancel it.

The first Sunderland and District competition draw has been made.

Barnes West End, the 3-2-1 knockout triples defending champions, will return to the scene of their final success last season with a trip to North Biddick.

Draw: Silksworth v Grindon Mill, Washington Glebe v Roker Marine, Sunderland v Houghton Town, Ryhope v Dawdon, Seaham Town v Thompson Park, North Biddick v Barnes West End, Usworth v Wearmouth. Bye: Roker Park

Bowls England have announced a provisional 14-player shortlist for the 2016 World Championships in New Zealand.

The women’s shortlist features the five Atlantic Games gold medal winners.

Men: Andrew Knapper (Berkshire), Robert Newman (Berkshire), Graham Shadwell (Wiltshire), Louis Ridout (Devon), Jamie Walker (Northamptonshire), Robert Paxton (Devon), Sam Tolchard (Devon).

Women: Ellen Falkner (Cambridgeshire), Wendy King (Kent), Sophie Tolchard (Devon), Rebecca Wigfield (Northamptonshire), Jamie-Lea Winch (Leicestershire), Katherine Rednall (Suffolk), Amy Stanton (Worcestershire),

The Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) have announced that the English Short Mat Bowling Association, the English Bowling Federation and the British Crown Green Bowls Association are to join the Safeguarding Bowls group alongside Bowls England and the English Indoor Bowling Association under the umbrella of the BDA to ensure that the sport is kept safe for everyone to play.

County and club welfare officers across the various codes will be able to access training to support them in their role and provide them with knowledge and information on any action they would need to take if a concern was raised within their club. This is a big step forward for the sport and has been welcomed by Sport England and the NSPCC.