Four Silksworth bowlers staged a sensational comeback to win the British Isles Championships fours title for England yesterday.
Philip Dixon, Neal Ridley, Ian Riches and David Bolt came from 17-9 down after 15 ends to secure a magnificent 19-18 victory over Ireland in the final at Hamilton’s Eddlewood Bowling Club.
Incredibly, a four on the final end - the second of the match for Bolt’s rink - steered the Wearsiders home, leaving Ireland devastated.
Ireland started on fire and were six shots up after five ends. England managed nine shots from three ends to cut the deficit to 12-9 by the 12th.
Ireland regained control with a 17-9 lead by the 15th and Bolt looked doomed, but he won five of the remaining six ends, scoring one, two, one, two and four, to snatch an unforgettable victory.
Earlier, Bolt’s team saw off Wales 28-16 in the semi-final. l The County competitions have reached the quarter-final stage and there is plenty of local interest.
In the singles, Seaham Town’s Brian Henderson snr secured a last-eight place with an impressive 21-10 win over Dunston’s Alec Bryden.
Silksworth’s Peter Thomson had to come from behind to defeat Dunston’s Malcolm Johnston 21-18, while Roker Marine’s Richie Mckie defeated Seaham youngster Bryan Henderson jnr 21-16.
Roker Marine’s Jimmy Richardson’s hopes were ended as defending champion Darlington RA’s Andrew Kirtland eased to a 21-3 win.
Quarter-final draw: A Kirtland (Darlington RA) v J Webster (Vane Tempest), P Bailey (Vane Tempest) v B Henderson snr) (Seaham Town), G Peacock (Hundens) v R Mckie (Marine), C Higgins (Hartlepool Old Boys) v P Thomson (Silksworth). All ties to be played at Stockton on Monday
In the pairs, Silksworth’s Lee Maughan and Billy Ferry moved into the last eight with a 21-16 win over B. James (Vane Tempest), however two other local hopes were dashed.
Houghton’s Mal Peach and Keith Makepeace were beaten 21-16 by Elm Tree’s Glen Skipp, while the Silksworth duo of Neal Ridley and Ian Riches were beaten 28-15 by Hartlepool’s Ian Jackson.
The Seaham Town triple of Bryan Henderson jnr, Jimmy McAdoo and Brian Henderson snr had a cracking 20-16 success against Hartlepool’s John Mansfield to progress into the quarter-finals and a tie against Silksworth’s Michael Laydon.
Fellow Seaham player David Wright was beaten 24-6 by Elm Tree’s Colin Boston, while Silksworth’s David Bolt’s tie against Leeholme’s Barry Attwood has been delayed due to Bolt’s international commitments.
On Tuesday, the fours quarter-finals will be held at Seaham Town. The only local interest is the Silksworth rink of Scot Baker, Paul Baker, Gary Farquhar and Phil Smithson, who face Hartlepool’s Ken Hind.
Three other local entries were beaten at the last-16 stage, with Dairy Lane’s Ray Robinson beaten 20-17, Roker Marine’s John Smith going down 20-16 and Seaham’s Brian Henderson snr sunk 29-13.
The two-bowl singles is down to the semi-final stage. Barnes West End’s Bryan Sanderson faces Leadgate’s David Reed, while Elm Tree’s Dave Fenwick faces Hundens’ Stuart Clarke. Usworth’s Brian Poulter lost 16-12 to Owton Lodge’s Tom Grainger and the Roker Marine duo of Ebby Dent and Jimmy Richardson both lost on their last ends.
l Durham County’s B team bounced back from successive Alsop Trophy defeats to ease past Lancashire by 83 shots, collecting 20 points.
Durham had five winning rinks, with the pick of them being Mark Hodgson (Owton Lodge), Sam Patterson (Hetton Workmens), Peter Coulson (Darlington RA) and Houghton Dairy Lane’s Alan J. Dunn, who romped to a 39-5 victory.
The B team bring their season to a close today when they entertain leaders Cumbria at Stockton.
Durham: G Dougherty (Park), M Hodgson (Owton Lodge), N Willey (Stockton), S Patterson (Hetton Workmens); S Land (Spennymoor), P Coulson (Darlington RA), D Oram (Blackhall), A Dunn (Houghton DL); J Sutherland (Houghton DL), S Tindale (Houghton Town), M Gleeson (Leeholme), S Clarke (Hundens); A Middleton (Roker Marine), D Todner (Houghton DL), A Hill (Barnes Park), R Robinson (Houghton DL); A Greathead (Park); J Harston (Hundens), J Ballantyne (Stockton), J Godfrey (Houghton DL); A Parnell (Stockton), A Taylor (Park), H Dougherty (Park), K Wilford (Owton Lodge). Res: A Mole (Park), J Wilson (Houghton DL)
l On Tuesday, Hetton Workmen’s youngster Sam Patterson travels to John Whitehead Park to face Leeholme’s Matt Gleeson in the County junior singles quarter-finals. The winner will face either Noah Cummings or Keith Burton (both Darlington RA) in the semis.
l In the ladies County double rink competition, Sunderland had a tremendous 44-32 win at Darlington North Park to progress to a semi-final date with Consett Park. Hetton Workmen have to travel to Darlington Woodlands in their quarter-final.
l The Silver Jack pairs holders, Silksworth’s David Bolt and Phil Smithson (sub), progressed past the preliminary round by beating Dairy Lane’s Jeff Wilson and Ray Robinson 17-7 to set up a first round tie against Roker Marine’s Bobby Graham
l Houghton Dairy Lane’s 7-0 win over Thompson Park has propelled them to the top of the Earl Cup Division One.
Previous leaders Roker Marine were beaten 6-1 at Silksworth, while Usworth enjoyed their first win, 6-1 against South Hylton.
Divison Two leaders Houghton Town had a bye this week, allowing Barnes West End to go top following a 6-1 win over Ryhope. North Biddick’s 6-1 home victory against Whitburn extended their lead in Division Three.
Swan Cup holders Houghton Dairy Lane enjoyed two victories, firstly beating neighbours Houghton Town 6½-½ and then outgunning closest rivals Silksworth 6-1 to go top of the table. After six straight defeats, bottom club Roker Park broke their duck with a 6-1 win over Barnes Park.
Ryhope A stayed top of the Harold Howey Trophy Division One thanks to a 4-0 win at Chester-le-Street, although Houghton Dairy Lane A are just half a point behind after beating their B team 4-0.
In Division Two, Roker Marnie A maintained their unbeaten record with a ninth straight win, 4-0 against bottom club Roker Marine B.
The Storey Bowl holders Hetton Workmen’s remain on course to retain their title after a 6-1 win at Wearmouth extended their lead at the top to 15 points.
l The Sunderland and District Bowling Association have called another extraordinary general meeting of all clubs at Houghton Dairy Lane on Sunday July 12 (10am). All clubs should have received notification of the meeting and any club which has not should contact association secretary Eric Weightman.
l There was some sad news as Bobby Martin (89) sadly passed away, The former Pemberton and Mowbray club secretary was a very popular figure on the local bowls scene until ill health stopped him from playing.