Bowls by Richard Mckie
It has been make or break this week in the various County competitions as they reached the dreaded semi-final stages where only the winners are assured of a place at the National Championships at Leamington Spa in August.
In the County Blue Riband Singles event, Houghton Dairy Lane’s Peter Hudspeth journey came to an end at the hands of the 2002 County champion Dunston’s Alex Bryden.
Hudspeth was beaten 21-13, and in the County final, Bryden will face Elm Tree’s David Fenwick, who defeated Darlington RA’s John Hills 21-8.
In the Pairs, Darlington RA’s Andrew Kirtland sealed a County final spot with an impressive 26-7 win over Dunston’s Alex Bryden.
Gary Farquhar and David Bolt will provide the opposition in the final after the Silksworth duo came out on top 16-15 against the Seaham Town based Henderson father and son combination.
The County Triples final will be an all-Silksworth affair after Jack Deverson, Paul Sainthouse and Josh Halcrow held on for a last end 17-15 win over Elm Tree’s Rob Carson.
Phil Dixon, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt also held on for a nervous 18-16 win over Darlington RA’s John Lynch.
Silksworth’s Shaun McIntosh, Lee Maughan, Billy Ferry and Gary Farquhar – current County Fours champions – came up against an inspired Hartlepool Park’s Dale Oram, who steered his rink to a 17-13 semi-final win.
Oram will face Leadgate’s Gary Robson in the final after Robson ditched a bare jack with his final bowl to secure a dramatic 18-16 win over Stockton’s Paul Mosley.
Roker Marine’s Pat Thomson has a chance of a first County title, against Stockton’s Mark Hodgson, after nailing a place in the final in the Two Bowl Singles with a 17-7 win over Darlington RA’s Liam Macey.
Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna will look to go one better this year – runner-up in last year’s Junior Singles – after a 21-6 semi-final win over Barnes Park’s Jay Taylor.
McKenna will now face Darlington RA’s Liam Macey in the final.
The Junior Pairs competition was only introduced this year by Bowls England, and the inaugural County final saw Darlington RA’s Keith Burton and Liam Macey run out 24-15 winners over Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna and Josh Halcrow.
Another new competition was the Senior Fours, where the first County winners were Dipton’s George Williams, Cyril Pearson, Michael Creegan and Michael English, who defeated Spennymoor’s Barry Attwood 19-17.
Houghton Dairy Lane legend Ken Briscoe secured a place in the George Turley Champion of Champions final with a 21-17 win over Pelton Fell’s Michael Lusk.
Briscoe will face Leadgate’s Dave Warnaby, who defeated club-mate Peter Coulson 21-6.
All the County finals will take place at Silksworth on Sunday, July 30.
The County B will attempt to win the Northern Counties Alsop Trophy for the first time in five years.
The Durham squad will go into today’s final game against Lancashire at Dairy Lane knowing they only need to win on two of the six rinks to lift the title.
The following team has been selected: A.Greathead (Park), N.Willey (Stockton), S.Bennett (Pelton Fell), R.Mckie (Roker Marine), B.Poulter (Usworth), A.Mole (Park), A.Taylor (Park), D.Oram (Park), J.Sutherland (Houghton DL), A.Hind (Houghton DL), S.Tindale (Houghton DL), AJ.Dunn (Houghton DL), J.Richardson (Roker Marine), G.Dougherty (Park), A.Middleton (Roker Marine), , A.Hill (Barnes Park), M.Hodgson (Stockton), P.Hudspith (Houghton DL), H.Dougherty (Park), J.McAdoo (Houghton DL), J.Taylor (Barnes Park), C.Howie (Park) A.Parnell (Stockton), R.Robinson (Houghton DL). Reserves: M.Davis (Barnes Park), J.Godfrey (Houghton DL), J.Deverson (Sunderland), J.Harston (Hundens), J.Wilson (Houghton DL), V.Tunstall (Hundens), S.Clarke (Hundens).
Latest Standings: Cumbria 52, Durham 49, Northumberland 44, Yorkshire 33, Lancashire 20.
The Ladies’ County Two Bowl day was held at Horden where 18 players competed for two qualifying places at Leamington as well as the county title.
Houghton Town’s Ellen Faith and Sunderland’s Sue Almond reached the last eight.
Last November, Silksworth’s David Bolt lifted the Hong Kong Classic Singles title and Bolt will have an opportunity to defend his title in November as he is part of a Mixed Four squad named by Bowls England.
The Durham star will be joined by Taylor Monk (Kent), Lorraine Kuhler (Sussex) and Kirsty Richards (Warwickshire) as they compete in Singles and then a Pairs competition.
Houghton Dairy Lane’s hopes of retaining their Earl Cup crown took another blow as they succumbed to a 43-shot 7-0 loss at Barnes Park.
Houghton Town broke their duck with a 4½-2½ home win over Hetton Workmen’s.
The Second Division leaders Usworth suffered their first defeat when they crashed to a 6-1 loss at home to Seaham Town.
Roker Park defeated Whitburn 5-2, while South Hylton had a 7-0 win over Thompson Park.
In the Third Division, Grindon Mill won the battle of the bottom two, winning 6-1 against New Herrington.
The Swan Cup holders Houghton Dairy Lane made it six wins on the trot with a 6-1 win over neighbours Houghton Town.
Roker Marine moved into second after a 7-0 win at winless Thompson Park, and Barnes Park’s 5½-1½ win at Seaham moved them into third. Elsewhere, Hetton Workmen’s beat Usworth 6-1.
In Division Two, there was a first win of the season for Grindon Mill when they beat Pemberton 5-2. South Hylton earned a 5½-1½ win at Ryhope.
In the Howey, Washington A suffered a 3-1 loss at Roker Marine B, Houghton Town B suffered a 3-1 defeat against Pennywell, Pemberton B beat Sunderland A 4-0 and Thompson Park A beat Dawdon 4-0.
In the Storey Bowl, Seaham Town hit their third ton of the season in a 7-0 win at Wearmouth.
Houghton Town are still in pursuit of the leaders after a 7-0 win over Pennywell.
Elsewhere, Hylton Colliery Welfare won 7-0 at Dawdon, Roker Park defeated Thompson Park 6-1.
Barnes West End have dominated the 3-2-1 Knock-out Triples and they remain on course for a third consecutive title after a 236-196 semi-final win over Seaham Town, they will face Silksworth in the final on Tuesday, August 1, 6.30pm.
West End’s Bryan Sanderson made progress in the Silver Jacks after beating Marine’s Alan Middleton 23-11, club-mate Frankie Froud also progressed 16-15 against North Biddick’s Billy Piggott.
Dairy Lane’s Ray Robinson had a 21-7 win over Silksworth’s Paul Baker, Silksworth’s Neal Ridley and Ian Riches also head into the last eight after beating club mate Vic Avery 22-11.
Second Round Draw: B.Sanderson (Barnes WE) v G.McPheators (Silksworth), R.Robinson (Houghton DL) v C.Fish (Hetton Wkmn), J.Kelly (Silksworth) v F.Froud (Barnes WE), AJ.Dunn (Houghton DL) v A.Patterson (Grindon Mill), B.Henderson (Seaham Town) v P.Thomson (Roker Marine), S.Patterson (Hetton Wkmn) v P.Harding (Hetton Wkmn), R.Bamborough (North Biddick) v J.Huntingdon (Roker Park). Ties to be played before Saturday, August 12.
In the Burkett Shield, the all Grindon Mill last 16 affair saw Alan Patterson beat C.Barella 24-10 to set up a quarter-final tie against Ian Riches (Silksworth) or Bryan Sanderson (Barnes West End).
Second Round draw: V.Avery (Silksworth) v R.Graham (Roker Marine), P.Harding (Hetton Wkmn) v D.Fenwick (Ryhope), W.Piggott (North Biddick) v TW.Todd (Silksworth), F.Knubley (Roker Marine) v J.Huntingdon (Roker Park),I.Riches (Silksworth) v B.Sanderson (Barnes West End), P.Bamborough (North Biddick) v D.Bolt (Silksworth), B.Henderson (Seaham Town) v F.Froud (Barnes West End). Ties to be played before Tuesday, August 8.
In the Grindon League, there was three 4-1 away wins, Silksworth won at Houghton Dairy Lane, South Hylton beat Whitburn and Barnes West End beat Grindon Mill.
Last weekend saw a local success when Jason Britton, Ian Fairweather and Frankie Froud lifted the Darlington Open Triples.
In the Bowls England Ladies’ Senior Pairs, Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson went out in the third round 22-14 to Darlington Woodland’s Joyce Stephenson.
In the Mixed Fours, the Silksworth squad of Nina Riches, Ann Upstall, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt enjoyed a 20-12 win over Wigton’s Lewis Baxter.
The four travel to Thirsk on Wednesday to face Nafferton’s Stephen Dilks for a place at Leamington in September.
Both the region’s last hopes in the Top Club were beaten, Dipton 3-2 at Aspatria and Darlington RA 4-1 by Nafferton.