Houghton Dairy Lane end 19-year wait for Silver Jacks title, as Bolt clinches fourth Champion of Champions crown

The Sunderland & District Champion of Champions and Silver Jacks winners (from left): David Bolt (Silksworth), Alan J Dunn and Joe Sutherland (Houghton Dairy Lane) and Richie Jobling (Barnes West End)
The Sunderland & District Champion of Champions and Silver Jacks winners (from left): David Bolt (Silksworth), Alan J Dunn and Joe Sutherland (Houghton Dairy Lane) and Richie Jobling (Barnes West End)
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Houghton Dairy Lane are celebrating their first Sunderland & District Silver Jacks title in 19 years.

The last of the three domestic finals were played at a sunny Dairy Lane in front of a good crowd.

Ladies Open Pairs winners, Sunderland's Charlotte Bayliss (left) and Lorna Breheny (right) with SWBA president Gwen Eltringham

Ladies Open Pairs winners, Sunderland's Charlotte Bayliss (left) and Lorna Breheny (right) with SWBA president Gwen Eltringham

The Silver Jacks final, after the previous washout, recommenced on the third end, with the host club’s Joe Sutherland and Alan J. Dunn up against Silksworth’s Hendy Shields, a late sub for the EBF-tied Jaxon McKenna, and Billy Ferry.

On the night, Dunn couldn’t do anything wrong as the Silksworth pair found themselves 13-1 down after 10 ends. With Sutherland backing his skip up well, the writing was on the wall, so, after 16 ends with Dunn leading 16-6, the Silksworth pair shook hands.

This was a first Silver Jacks title for the Dairy Lane duo. The last success for the club was 19 years ago when David Morgan and Ian Lambert clinched the trophy.

The two Champion of Champions singles finals were played at the same time.

In the main final, Silksworth’s David Bolt faced Houghton Town’s Paul Wallace and, despite a gallant effort by the Town player, an on-song Bolt took the title with a 21-12 victory.

That makes Bolt the only player to have notched four successes, with his first some 22 years ago.

In the seniors final, Barnes West End’s Richie Jobling faced the 2002 champion, Thompson Park’s Dennis Hulley.

In a one-sided final, Jobling dominated from the start and eventually ran out a 21-9 winner to secure his first success and West End’s second in total.

Houghton Dairy Lane have had a cracking season.

Haviing already sealed the Earl Cup title, they brought an end to their title-winning Swan Cup campaign with a 5-2 success at Seaham Town, their 17th win in 18 matches, to complete a domestic league double.

Over the two leagues, Dairy Lane have played 30 games and only lost one, while rattling up 176 points in the process. They also compete in the Durham and District League and have sealed the Division One title there.

Thompson Park and Seaham Town have been relegated from the Earl Cup First Division and will be replaced by the top twp in Division Two, Hetton Workmen and Barnes West End.

North Biddick and Sunderland go down to Division Three, where there still has a couple of outstanding games, however Whitburn and Roker Park have already guaranteed promotion.

Final Earl Cup tables, Division One: Houghton DL 73pt, Silksworth 60, Roker Marine 49, Barnes Park 38, Houghton Town 30, Thompson Park 23, Seaham Town 21

Division Two: Hetton Workmen 63, Barnes West End 61, Hylton CW 39½, South Hylton 39, Usworth 37½, North Biddick 31, Sunderland 23

The popular ladies Open Pairs was again held at Roker Park, with Ashbrooke Funerals again sponsoring the well-supported competition.

The title went to a couple of newcomers, in the shape of Sunderland’s Charlotte Bayliss and Lorraine Breheny, after a hard-fought 12-5 victory over Barnes Park’s Maureen Burnett and Ann Callaghan.

Sunderland ladies have won the Sunderland Women’s Bowls Association league title.

Only one-and-a-half points covered the top three in a thrilling title race, but the Ashbrooke club held off Whitburn by a point, with Barnes Park a further half point behind. Long-time leaders Roker Marine finished fourth.

The once-proud league use to boast 14 teams. Sadly, times have changed and with Ryhope and Silksworth ladies both dropping out mid-season, the league is down to just six clubs.

Final table: Sunderland 29½pt, Whitburn 28½, Barnes Park 28, Roker Marine 25½, Houghton Town 22, Roker Park 16½.

The National Championships have entered the final week of competition.

Sadly, all local hopes have been dashed.

In the triples first round, both Durham qualifiers went out.

Houghton Dairy Lane’s Colin Brown, David Armstrong and Dan Todner found Suffolk’s former England international, Mark Royal, too hot to handle, going down 24-6, while Hartlepool Park’s Dale Oram was beaten 19-12 by Middlesex’s Craig Hill.

In the pairs, Stockton’s Paul Mosley notched up a couple of wins before losing in the last 16 to the eventual winner, Sam Tolchard (Devon).

The other Durham hope was Dipton’s Michael English, who went out in the second round, beaten 28-23 by Yorkshire’s Scott Walton.

Both hopes in the two-bowl singles failed to make progress.

Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna was beaten 16-7 by Hereford’s Tom Holmes and Hartlepool Old Boys’ Carl Higgins narrowly went down 13-12 to Hertfordshire’s Bradley Coles.

The final hope of glory lay with Silksworth’s David Bolt in the singles.

But, after a hard-fought 21-17 win over Hereford’s Ryan Atkins, Bolt’s hopes were ended in the second round with a 21-18 defeat at the hands of Surrey’s Tom Orr.

The other northern hope, Dipton’s Michael English, was beaten 21-9 by Northants’ Vernon Gearey in the preliminary round.

Earlier in the week, Leadgate’s Ian Peacock was beaten 21-14 in the last 16 of the senior singles.

There has been plenty of local success on the Open tournament circuit.

Joe Sutherland and Jimmy McAdoo landed the Houghton Dairy Lane Pairs crown, while Frankie Froud led his rink to victories in both the Hexham Triples and the Chester-le-Street Open Triples.

The popular Dawdon Open Pairs title was won by Bryan Henderson (jnr) and Brian Henderson (snr) .

The indoor leagues at Houghton commence on Friday. All league players are reminded they must pay their membership fees before playing in any of the leagues, as per club rules.