Seniors crash out at quarter-final stage

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THERE was disappointment for the current Senior Inter club play-off champions Sunderland A as they crashed out in the quarter-finals 63-50 (5-0) to Hartlepool A at Houghton.

Sunderland were left rueing a slow start across the green as they found themselves 17-0 down.

And despite a gallant effort, all three rinks were eventually beaten.

Arthur Baker, Hendy Shields, Fred Knubley and Billy Ferry turned round an 11-4 deficit to lead 16-11 only to lose the last three ends to finish 19-16 down to Cliff Simpson.

Joe Flett, Ronnie Robson, Ray Robinson and Bobby Graham saw a 14-10 lead wiped out and finished 21-16 down to Albert Ward.

The remaining quartet of Pat Collins, Billy Hearne, John Jones and Tommy Jopling trailed 21-9 before making a late recovery, but still went down 23-18 to Keith Wilford.

H The County Champion of Champions finals took place last weekend at Hartlepool with Stanley collecting three of the four titles on offer.

In the fours final, the hopes of the Houghton quartet of Brian Henderson (jnr), Brian Henderson (snr), Steve Kempster and Jimmy McAdoo of clinching a first title for their club were dashed as the strong Stanley quartet of Brett Arkley, James McKenna, Phil Smithson and John Thurlbeck took the honours 22-17.

In the triples final, the Sunderland trio of Jim Lambert, Dave Morgan and David Bolt went down 24-12 to Darlington’s Noah Cummings, Mark Jones and Andrew Kirtland.

The pairs final was decided on an extra end as Stanley’s Brett Arkley and John Thurlbeck defeated Hartlepool’s Carl Higgins and Paul Hartley 19-18.

The third Stanley title came in the singles as Brett Arkley completed his own treble with a 21-9 win over Gateshead’s Mark Smith.

Earlier in the week, the senior finals took place at Darlington.

In the singles, Houghton’s Bill Piggot narrowly went down 21-17 to Gateshead’s Bob Graham while Darlington’s Graham Peacock and Stuart Clarke took the pairs title with a 22-17 win over Park View’s Alan Stewart and Colin Chapman.

The triples final only lasted nine ends as Aycliffe’s Ken Hutchinson, Fred Edwards and Dave Barron cruised to a 30-1 win over Durham’s Gerry Payne, Ray Johnson and John Stafford.

The fours title also went to Aycliffe as Phil Payne, Brian Hutchinson, Keith Dunning and Bill Duffy defeated Durham’s Brian Slinn, George Alderson, Paul Heath and Peter Wilkinson 20-12.

H Indoor bowls in the North East over recent years has seen around 600 bowlers left homeless – and another North East indoor bowling venue’s future is in doubt.

There are fears that after 37 years, Concordia Indoor Bowling club, based in Cramlington, could close and be turned into a tenpin bowling alley.

This could be the third Northumberland venue to close following Tynedale and the planned Ashington closure, as well as Sunderland.

With doubts over Consett and Hebburn, the once thriving region is starting to feel some pain as local councils see indoor bowls as an easy target.

H Alex Marshall will have the chance to secure a third Commonwealth Games gold medal when he competes for Scotland at this summer’s event in Glasgow.

Marshall has been named in a 100strong host nation team which comprises five men and five women.

Squad: Darren Burnett (Arbroath), Paul Foster (Troon), Alex Marshall (Tranent), David Peacock (Dalkieth), Neil Spiers (Edinburgh), Lauren Baillie (Port Seton), Caroline Brown (Bellshill), Claire Johnston (Auchinleck), Margaret Letham (Bothwell), Lorraine Molloy (East Whitburn).