Houghton’s Betty Johnson and Jenny Smith lift the bowls title

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Local success went to Houghton’s Betty Johnson and Jenny Smith, as they lifted the title in the Hartlepool Ladies’ Masters pairs.

After progressing through the round robin stages unbeaten, the Houghton duo defeated Eldon Squares Ann Wilkinson and Dorothy Gray 14-4 in the final.

The Sunderland senior B team kept alive their slim play-off hopes with a 4-1 (49-31) win at Park View.

George Gibson’s quartet of Alfie Ferguson, Tony Wood and Tom Jones enjoyed a 20-6 victory, while Colin Ratcliffe, Alan Cartledge, Bobby Adams and Terry Todd survived a late scare to sneak home 17-11.

The remaining rink of Tony Grimes, Vic Hendry, Dennis Hulley and Billy Conway looked set for victory after leading 12-10 with two ends to play but a dropped single, followed by a last end dropped three, helped seal a 14-12 defeat.

Latest Group Standings: Group 2 (played-points): Darlington B 8-24, Sunderland B 8-23, Stanley 5-19, Hartlepool B 7-14½, Consett 5-7½, Park View 5-7.

Group 3: South Shields 7-26, Sunderland A 8-23½, Parks B 8-17, Hebburn 7-16, Gateshead A 6-16, Houghton A 8-11½.

The A team’s scheduled fixture at home against Gateshead was cancelled by the visitors and has now been rearranged for Wednesday, February 9, at 12.30pm.

It will be a busy day as the Sunderland ladies return to Inter club action against South Shields, also at 12.30pm.

The remaining two groups in this years Norman Routledge 20/20 pairs will take to the green on Sunday at Crowtree. The groups commence at 12.00 and will be completed within the two hour time frame.

The local stages of the national competitions have all reached the area finals, with Stanley continuing to dominate.

In the singles there is a cracking game in prospect, as two current England internationals and club mates Gary Smith and Robert Chisholm will lock horns. This is a repeat of last years final whereby Smith ran out a comfortable winner. The tie is due to be played on Saturday, February 12 at Stanley with a 1200 start.

In the pairs area final Smith will team up with Brian Harris to face South Shield’s Ian McIntosh which will be played at Durham on Saturday, February 26, at 4pm.

In the triples area final, Stanley’s Michael Bennett, Ian Riches and Jimmy Humphrey will face West Denton’s Clive Knott. The tie will also take place at Durham on February 26 at 4pm.

The fours final will see Stanley’s Dave Morgan, Robert Chisholm, David Bolt and Gary Smith take on West Denton’s Peter Duffy. The tie will be played at South Shields, although no date has been confirmed.

Other results: Over 60’s Singles Area Two Final: W.Bell (Stanley) 16-21 JHume (Concordia). Over 60’s Pairs Area Two Final: W.Bell (Stanley) 15-21 M.London (Parks). Over 55 Triple Area Two Final: B.Harris (Stanley) 14-15 M.London (Parks). Over 60’s Fours Area Two Final: B.Harris (Stanley) 25-7 B.Orrell (Gateshead). Inter Area Final (Area 1 v Area 2): Stanley 21-10 Cumbria.

The Welsh Open is currently taking place at Swansea, where Stanley’s Robert Chisholm hoped to repeat his title success of two years ago, were dashed in the first round following a 6-6, 9-7 defeat at the hand of David Gourlay. Hartlepool’s Glenn Skipp also made a first round exit after a 10-5,5-7,2-1 defeat at the hands of England’s Simon Skelton.