Fans in for a treat as championship bowls hits town

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NORTH East bowlers have a fantastic opportunity to watch top level international bowls, as both the men and ladies British Isles Championships take place at Stanley, which started yesterday and run until Saturday, March 19.

There is plenty of local talent on show, with former Sunderland stars, but now playing for Stanley, Gary Smith and David Bolt will be on show in the home international series.

Also in the England team is Stanley’s Brett Arkley, Robert Chisholm and the Hartlepool duo of Glenn Skipp and Mark O’Riordan.

In the British Isle’s championships, the Darlington quartet of Ken Tinkler, Tony Macey, Mark Jones and Andrew Kirtland will open up their fours campaign on Monday, March 14, with a semi-final tie against the Channel Island’s Gary Pitschou.

The timetable is as follows: Ladies Home International series: March 11–13. British Isles Championships: March 14–16. Mens Home International Series: March 17–19.

Tickets are still available for the Stanley Indoor event, priced £3, £4, £5, Tel: 01207 236941. The highlight will be the England v Scotland fixture on March 19.

H Sunderland ladies completed their inter club campaign with a magnificent 103-100 win over Darlington. The 9-2 win should secure their division one status for another year.

All three home rinks recorded wins, M.Firth defeated J.Stephenson 22-16, Ella Baker defeated K.Campbell 15-10 and finally Amy Bevan defeated V.Knight 25-15 to leave the home squad 21 shots up.

Florence Rodenby’s Darlington quartet ran out 15-12 winners over O.Kitching. Margaret Mitchinson went down 25-13 to J.Pattison, while Ethel Pattinson went down 22-13 to F.Lynch. That left the away squad 18 shots down but it did seal a fine three shot win overall.

H After a two month wait, Sunderland men return to inter county action on Sunday, with a fixture against Durham. A Sunderland win would go a long way to ease any relegation fears. Due to a couple of late withdrawals, the following team has been selected:

At Crowtree: R.Mckie, M.Kilty, R.Robinson, W.Ferry, G.Brown, G.Simpson, D.Morgan, S.Angus, M.Laydon, V.Avery, A.Ferguson, G.Farquhar. Reserves – M.Carr.

At Durham: M.Wright, P.Brickle, K.Hopper, J.Flett, W.Hearne, T.Wood, J.Jones, T.Jopling, P.Collins, R.Jobling, TW.Todd, P.Thomson, Reserves – P.Thomson (snr)

The draw for the inaugural football league-style knock-out pairs has been made and is as follows:

W.Mitchell v TW.Todd, S.Angus v P.Thomson, EE.Peacock v P.Brickle, W.Mitchell or TW.Todd v J.Coundon, J.Flett v S.Angus or P.Thomson, D.Hulley v T.Jopling.

Latest club competition draws:

Singles final: P.Thomson (jnr) v W.Ferry. Pairs semi-final: Pat Thomson v R.Graham, T.Jopling or D.Bolt v M.Laydon. Triples final: P.Brickle v W.Funnell. Fours semi-final: D.Bolt v R.Robinson, T.Jopling v W.Funnell (both playing Thursday, March 17, at 6.30pm). Two Bowl Singles quarter-finals: P.Thomson (jnr) v D.Todner, J.Flett or R.Robinson v M.Wright, N.Ridley v T.Jopling, G.Brown v A.Grimes. Senior Singles final: G.Brown v T.Jopling. Pairs final: J.Flett v TW.Todd. Triples final: F.Knubley v T.Jopling, Fours final: T.Jopling v R.Hart or W.Ferry. Two Bowl Singles final: J.Coundon v T.Jopling. Mixed Pairs final: R.Graham v R.Robinson. Ladies Singles final: E.Baker v A.Curtis. Ladies Pairs final: P.Johnson v D.Kerrigan

Latest senior inter club standings:

Group 2: (played-points) Stanley 8-32 (+114), Darlington B 9-30 (+141), Sunderland B 9-28 (+52), Hartlepool A 8-19½, Park View 8-13, Consett 10-7½

Group 3: Sunderland A 10-33 (+143), South Shields 9-29½ (+70), Gateshead 9-23, Hebburn 9-21, The Parks B 10-18, Houghton A 9-15½.

H As the first part of the national finals come to a close at Melton Mowbray, there was good news as the national title returned north. The Park’s duo of Brian Houghton and Michael London lifted the Over 60’s pair’s title. In the final they defeated Wey Valley 20-7.

H The world’s most famous bowling green, where Sir Francis Drake famously announced he would finish his game before defeating the Spanish Armada, is facing ruin due to council cut backs.

Legend has it, the naval military hero defiantly said, there was plenty of time to win his game before beating the Spanish, as invading ships sped towards British soil in 1588.

He went on to lose the match, on Plymouth’s Hoe in Devon, before repelling the marauding forces as part of one of the most famous military successes in history.

Financial cut backs will see a drop in maintaining the green and club members will struggle to foot the estimated £20,000 a year up keep.