Double final disappointment for Dixon in Champion of Champions

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FORMER Sunderland star Phillip Dixon suffered double disappointment in the finals of the Durham County Champion of Champions.

Four finals were played, with some cracking finishes on a dramatic weekend.

In the singles, Dixon (pictured), now playing out of Stanley, lost a thrilling singles final 21-20 to Hartlepool’s Paul Hartley.

Dixon, playing alongside Gary Farquhar, then succumbed by 12 shots in the pairs final against Hartley and Carl Higgins.

In the triples final, Stanley’s Brett Arkley, Ian Peacock and John Thurlbeck defeated Hartlepool’s Ian Jackson 21-20 in another thriller, while the fours title went to the South Shields quartet of Derek Robson, Dave Paterson, Alan Lawton and Ian Riches.

* Tomorrow will see the final Inter-County League fixture played as Houghton and Hartlepool take to the green.

Houghton’s relegation back to Division One was finally confirmed when Hartlepool could only manage a 8-4 win over The Parks, however that win for Hartlepool has given them a chance to avoid the remaining relegation place.

Currently Hartlepool need a minimum of six-and-a-half points and a 47-shot winning margin against Houghton to avoid the drop and send The Parks down instead.

League standings: Darlington (champions) 47, South Shields 46½, Sunderland 35½, The Parks 20, Hartlepool 13½, Houghton 5½

In Division Two, despite having an uncertain future, Gateshead have been promoted, with Great Aycliffe taking the second promotion spot.

Division Two final table: Gateshead 33, Great Aycliffe 29½, Durham 29, Shildon 16½, Ferryhill 12

* The Durham County seniors had to settle for the runners-up spot for the third year in the last four in the Midland Seniors League. In their final fixture against Warwickshire, Durham ran out 16-6 winners by 27 shots, however Yorkshire’s 18-4 win over Nott’s secured the Tykes’ first title since 2007.

Final table: Yorkshire (champions) 112, Durham 101, Lincolnshire 88, Warwickshire 49, Nottinghamshire 43, Derbyshire 32, Leicestershire 13

* There could be another national title returning to the region today as Darlington battle it out with Essex County in the final of the Denny Plate.

Darlington will be attempting to win the Plate for a third time, having been successful in 2003 and 2009.

* As the indoor season enters its final few weeks, all eyes will turn to Melton Mowbray next week as the National Championships final stages begin.

The championships run from April 3-12, with plenty of local interest. The opening event on Friday will be the men’s pairs, with the Stanley duo of David Bolt and Gary Smith among the fancied title contenders.

In their opening tie at 6pm, the Stanley pair will face Riverain’s Glen Williams and Tony Webb.