Derby defeat rocks Durham’s Middleton hopes

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DURHAM’S hope of progress into the Middleton Cup quarter-finals suffered a potentially fatal blow with a 17-5 defeat to Northumberland at Spennymoor.

Durham were always chasing the game, but they turned things around to lead by three going into the latter stages of the contest.

Northumberland, however, stepped up to the mark and stormed back to take a 124-107 win.

The Silksworth quartet of Phil Dixon, Ian Riches, Gary Smith and David Bolt were the pick of the bunch for Durham, recording an impressive 24-14 win over Steven Harvey. Andy Kirtland secured the only other rink success by four shots.

With Lancashire recording a second successive win, Durham need to beat the leaders in the final round of games at Bolton on July 6 and then hope Northumberland do not better Durham’s result as they face bottom-of-the-group Lincolnshire.

Rink scores (Durham skips first): J Fielding 17 C Palmer 19, P Mosley 13 C Yeomans 26, D Bolt 24 S Harvey 14, J Mansfield 17 P Harvey 17, G Skipp 11 P Ging 27, A Kirtland 25 S Richardson 21

H Durham County’s B team entertain Lancashire in the latest round of Northern Counties Alsop Trophy games at Houghton Dairy Lane this weekend. After two good wins, Durham have a seven-point lead over Northumberland.

Locally, the following players have been selected – M. Laydon, J. McKenna (Silksworth), O. Lynn (Houghton Town), A.J. Dunn (Houghton Dairy Lane), R. Robinson (Roker Marine), J. Halcrow (Whitburn), J. McAdoo (Seaham Town), D. Ridley (Herrington Wkm), Reserves: N. Ridley (Silksworth), A. Middleton (Roker Marine).

Middleton Cup standings

P W D L Diff Pt

Lancashire 2 2 0 0 23 36

Northumberland 2 1 0 1 15 21

Durham 2 1 0 0 3 21

Lincolnshire 2 0 0 1 -41 10