Durham take the Liberty

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DURHAM County are off to a flier in the Liberty Trophy, thanks to a 123-103 win over Cumbria at Stanley.

In a rare home tie, Durham held a six-shot advantage for most of the tight game before surging to a 20-shot triumph, setting up a clash with Lancashire, at a neutral venue to be decided, after they beat Northumberland by 17 runs.

Durham only went down on one of the six rinks as Hartlepool’s Paul Mosley lost 26-17 to Stuart Airey. Andy Kirkland scored the biggest victory, 24-9.

Rink scores (Durham skips first): P Mosley 17 S Airey 26, GR Smith 23 G Taylor 21, D Bolt 21 I Gallagher 17, J Thurlbeck 19 S Farish 17, P Hartley 19 A Baxter 13, A Kirtland 24 M Rice 9.

Durham County’s senior squad suffered a disappointing defeat in the first round of the National Inter-County Over-60s competition, going down by 18 shots to Lincolnshire at York – despite winning on three rinks and drawing another.

Rink scores (Durham skips first): J Kelson 8 M Smith 29, D Webb 17 M Dolby 17, D Craig 11 L Feary 25, S Blewitt 19 T Musson 13, A Stephenson 19 B Hawes 17, W Bell 22 G Draper 13.

The seniors return to action on Thursday against the same opposition, Lincolnshire, again at York, in the Midlands Seniors League. Sunderland’s Ray Robinson and Tommy Jopling retain their places.

Sunderland’s Ray Robinson, Barney Walsh and Tommy Joplin scored a cracking away win to progress in the national Over-50s triples. They inflicted a 24-9 defeat on Durham’s Brian Slinn.

In the Champion of Champions, Stanley’s Phil Dixon has progressed to the Inter-Area finals and will next face Cumbria’s Martyn Rice. The winner will move into next month’s final stages.

Latest national competition results – Singles: M Barkess (Stanley) 4 GR Smith (Stanley) 21. Pairs: D Morrison (West Denton) 12 M Laydon (Stanley) 24. Triples: GR Smith (Stanley) 20 C Knott (West Denton) 10, I Riches (Shields) 7 P Dixon (Stanley) 20. Fours: B Arkley (Stanley) 21 N Ridley (Stanley) 10. Over-60 singles: B Orrell (Gateshead) 21 R Robinson (Sunderland) 16. Over-60 double fours: South Shields 40 Park View A 32.

Houghton Ladies suffered a 94-54 defeat to West Denton in the Yetton Trophy third round, with their conquerors next facing Cumbria, who beat Eden by 61 shots.

The Denny Cup continues today, with Stanley, last year’s beaten finalists, taking on The Parks while Hartlepool face Aycliffe.

In the Denny Plate, South Shields meet Durham, with the winners facing either Darlington or Redcar in the last 32.