Houghton Ladies’ cracking run in the Yetton Plate sadly came to an end as they were beaten 97-52 by Lincoln in the quarter-final at Leeds.
A slow start meant the Houghton squad were always playing catch-up, but, despite a valiant performance, they came up short.
Joan Rodgerson’s quartet of E. Prudhoe, Evelyn Barkes and B. Robson went down 21-17 to Kath Draper, while J. Watt, Margaret Eggleston, Susan Forster and Betty Johnson were beaten 17-10 by Jill Edson.
The remaining two rinks each succumbed by 17 shots.
Maureen Hall, Audrey Vout, Mary Middleton and Jenny Smith were beaten 29-12 by Lynn Mountain, and Florence Phythian’s rink of Ann Todd, E.Barren and Joan Baker lost 30-13 to Penny Strong.
In the semi-finals, Lincoln will face Acle, who defeated Avon Valley by 35 shots.
Staying on the Yetton subject, the local bowls scene sadly lost another member of the Sunderland 1984 Yetton Cup national champions as Mary Irwin (84) passed away.
Although not seen on the bowls scene for many years, it was widely recognised that, during the 1980s, Mary was one of the best skips in Sunderland.
In the Area final of the national pairs, the all-Shields affair saw Phil Dixon and Gary Farquhar record a cracking win over Phil Smithson and Gary Smith, sealing their place in the later stages at Melton Mowbray in April.
The final stages of the national mixed fours takes place at Lincoln this weekend. Local hopes are with the South Shields quartet of Nina Riches, Ann Upsall, Ian Riches and David Bolt.
The draw has been unkind to the Shields quartet, who will need to be at their best as they face the host club’s former world singles champion Billy Jackson in the last 16.
After a two-month wait, the Sunderland Inter-Club squad finally return to league action next Sunday as they face South Shields.
Sunderland team – at Houghton: P Bulmer, W Conway, R Robinson, R Mckie; P Thomson, E Downes, R Jobling, P Thomson; P Collins, W Roberts, J Jones, M Higgins; at Shields: A Grimes, M Carr, P Smithson, W Ferry; G Brown, A Wood, TW Todd, S Angus; M Wright, P Brickle, P Dixon, G Farquhar
The outstanding game against Aycliffe has been rearranged for Sunday, April 3.
Latest standings: Hartlepool played 2 puts 24, Gateshead 4-23, South Shields 2-16, Darlington 1-8, Sunderland 2-8, Great Aycliffe 3-5
On Wednesday, the Houghton A Vets team will bring their season to a close as they entertain Gateshead.
Although neither team can make the play-offs, the battle to avoid bottom spot in the group adds a bit of spice to the game as the losers will finish bottom.
Houghton A team – T Winship, C Wallace, T Joicey, I Whorlton; J Sutherland, J Godfrey, F Fletcher, D Wright; J Doyle, J Thuburn, F Johnson, P Harding
On the same day, Houghton B will also bring their group campaign to an end as they make the trip to Gateshead B. Houghton need a 4-1 win to overtake Ferryhill and avoid bottom spot.
Meanwhile, Sunderland A now know they will travel to The Parks in the end-of-season play-offs, with the game arranged for Thursday, March 10 (10am).
Houghton travel to Durham tomorrow for a mixed friendly fixture (2pm).
Houghton team – J Taylor, J Wilson, P Martin, B Henderson, M Henderson, M Miller, M Nicholson, M Baker, C Martin, E Barren, C Wallace, F Phythian, M Glover, M. Eggleston, A Glover, W Davis, J Watt, J Eggleston, J Baker, TW Todd, F Holmes, M Bullen, M Lowis, W Holmes, D Wilson, I Koch Klau, D Taylor, R. Johnson, MA Wallace, C Middleton, A Bullen, M Middleton
There is another mixed friendly arranged for Tuesday, March 22 against Peterborough (2.30pm).
As the indoor season enters the latter stages, the various dates for the club competitions at Houghton have been added.
Singles: R Robinson v P Thomson, J Wilson v B Holmes (Tuesday, April 5)
Pairs: P Thomson/R Robinson v W Piggott, F Froud v D Armstrong (Wednesday, April 6)
Triples: V Hendry v W Holmes, P Thomson v W Piggott (Thursday, April 7)
Fours: W Piggott v B Henderson, J Wilson v AJ Dunn (Monday, April 11)
Over-60s singles: F Fletcher v W Laidler, M Wright v A Grimes (Saturday, April 2)
Over-60s pairs: F Fletcher v J Wilson, W Holmes v J Coundon (Sunday, April 10)
Over-60s triples: AJ Dunn v J Wilson, T Pescod v W Holmes (Saturday, April 9)
Over-60s fours: AJ Dunn v R Johnson, F Johnson v W Piggott (Wednesday, April 13)
Ladies’ singles semi-finals: J Watt v B Robson, E Faith v S Moody (Tuesday, April 7)
Ladies’ pairs semi-finals: B Robson v N Stephenson, B Johnson v E Faith (Monday, April 11)
Ladies’ triples final: N Stephenson v E Faith (Wednesday, April 13)
Last weekend, Darlington hosted the Denny Cup quarter-final tie between defending champions Cumbria and Notts. A 92-78 win for the Cumbrians has set up a semi-final against Norfolk.
There was good news for both England’s Under-25 teams as the ladies and men’s teams lifted their respective trophies. The ladies retained the Acle Trophy at Paisley, while the men regained the Joyce Brimble Trophy with three wins over Scotland, Ireland and Wales.