Houghton squeeze past Shildon to keep 100% Inter-County record

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Houghton’s Inter-County squad made it three wins out of three in their latest Division Two fixture, edging home 124-122 against Shildon.

At Houghton, the home squad finished five shots up thanks mainly to John Doyle, Tom Patterson, Jack Scullion and Peter Harding’s 23-16 win over D. Simpson.

The other two home squads suffered last-end defeats, Mal Baker, Sam Patterson, David Wright and Brian Henderson snr narrowly lost 19-18 to Ken Peters, while Ian Whorlton’s quartet of Laurie Williams, R. Johnson and Richard Thorpe let slip a 21-16 to finish 22-21 down to Billy Maddison.

At Shildon, Joe Sutherland, David Armstrong, John Godfrey and Alan J. Dunn racked up a cracking 22-14 win over Richie Walker, while Karl Armstrong, Matty Henderson, Freddie Fletcher and Jimmy McAdoo defeated L. Clark 21-18.

The only losing rink was Keith Waterson, Fred Sanderson, Trevor Joicey and Tom Burt, who went down 33-19 to L. Appleby, which left the away squad three shots adrift overall.

The 7-5 win keeps Houghton in the second promotion spot. Leaders The Parks defeated Durham 9-3, while Spennymoor won the battle at the bottom 7-5 against Ferryhill. Houghton next face unbeaten The Parks.

Latest standings (after three rounds): The Parks 32½, Houghton 30, Durham 18, Shildon 13½, Spennymoor 8, Ferryhill 6

Sunderland return to Division One action on February 7 with a crunch game against Aycliffe. Following the cancellation of the recent Darlington match, the same team will be used for the Aycliffe game.

Players are reminded that the away leg starts at 1pm and it is greys, not the usual whites.

Sunderland team – at Houghton: P Bulmer, F Froud, J Jones, P Smithson, P Thomson, E Downs, M Davis, P Thomson, R Usher, I Fairweather, P Dixon, G Farquhar; At Great Aycliffe: G Brown, M Carr, R Robinson, W Ferry, P Collins, A Wood, TW Todd, S Angus, M Wright, A Grimes, P Brickle, M Higgins

The next round of Seniors Inter-Club fixtures take place this week, with both Sunderland squads in action on Wednesday.

In Group Two, Sunderland B must beat visitors Darlington B (12.30pn at Houghton) to keep alive their slim hopes of making the end-of-season play-offs.

Sunderland A have an early 10am start at The Parks for their Group Three game, while, in Group Four, Houghton B will look to lift themselves off the bottom of the group as they head to Durham on Friday.

Sunderland B team: A Grimes, R Usher, F Froud, R Jobling, J Maxfield, A Wood, W Conway, W Roberts, P Thomson, E Downes, P Brickle, TW Todd. Reserves: G Brown, D Gowland

Sunderland A team: P Bulmer, B Walsh, M Davis, W Ferry, P Collins, W Hearne, R Robson, J Jones, A Baker, M Carr, R Robinson, R Graham

Houghton B team: P Hicks, J Eggleston, B Johnson, T Baister, S Barnes, K Waterson, W Wright, F Kell, J Matthews, A Gregory, W Longley, R Thorpe. Reserve: A Glover

Houghton ladies enjoyed a winning start to 2016 as they defeated Durham 7-5 in the latest round of Inter-Club fixtures.

At Houghton, Jenny Smith eased to a 26-16 over F. Slinn while Ellen Faith defeated T. Kitto 24-17. The only home defeat saw Joan Rodgerson go down 23-14 to E. Horan.

At Durham, the only Houghton win saw Mary Middleton run out a 22-13 victor against D. Appleby. Florence Phythian narrowly went down 18-17 to L. Tipping, while Jean Lewins lost 24-12 to A. Stafford.

Houghton face Hartlepool next on Februay 10..

Houghton ladies should find out their opposition in the next round of the Yetton Plate as Hartlepool face Scarborough today. Houghton will face the winners in the last 16 on January 30.

Durham Vice-Presidents are at Houghton tomorrow for a mixed friendly (2pm).

Houghton team: E Barkes, M Watson, W Laidler, J Scullion, A Pratt, E Barren, P Martin, F Phythian, M Glover, O Charlton, F Sanderson, W Davis, J Watt, C Martin, M Eggleston, A Glover, J Lawson, F Holmes, C Middleton, W Holmes, J Eggleston, I Koch Klau, M Middleton, TW Todd

The regional rounds of the National Championships have recommenced after the Christmas break.

Stanley’s Brett Arkley secured a singles semi-final spot with a 21-10 win over South Shields’ Neal Ridley, and he will next play either David Bolt (Shields) or Mark Higgins (Stanley).

Ian McIntosh won an all-Shields affair 21-4 over Phil Smithson and will face club-mate Daniel Targar.

In the pairs, Gary Smith (Shields) reached the semi-finals by defeating Stanley’s Michael Laydon 23-11. He faces a trip to either West Denton or Houghton next. Phil Dixon and Gary Farquhar (Shields) eased to a 26-15 win over West Denton’s Clive Knott to set up an all-Shields semi-final against Daniel Targar, who knocked out club-mate David Bolt 26-13.

Bolt had better news in the triples after securing a place in the regional final play-offs with a 23-9 victory over West Denton’s Peter Duffy alongside Stanley’s Gary Robson. The remaining place will be between Michael Laydon (Stanley) and Clive Knott (West Denton).

Two of the three regional finalists have already been decided in the fours – Ian Riches (Shields) and Stewart Hubbard (Shields) – while club-mate David Bolt will need to beat West Denton’s Clive Knott to make it a clean sweep.

The area final of the Over-60s singles will be an al-Shields affair as Alan Lawton faces Ebby Dent, who has received two walkovers out of his three games to reach the area final.

The Over-50s triples area final was an all-Stanley affair which saw Brett Arkley outgun Derek Craig 17-9. Arkley will now face Cumbria’s Ronnie McMath for a place at the National Championships.

In the area final of the mixed fours, Ian Riches (Shields) defeated The Parks’ Phil Mason 22-10 and will play the area final winner from Cumbria. In the Over-60s double fours, Stanley pipped Cumbria 40-39, while Hartlepool defeated Hornsea 44-31. The two now meet in the last 16.

Durham County finally get into Liberty Cup action against Cumbria at Penrith today, however the 4pm start will make it a late finish for the Durham lads.

Durham have had to make a couple of changes to the original team, with the Shields duo of Neal Ridley and Billy Ferry coming off the bench.