DURHAM County A made a successful start to their Middleton Cup campaign with a 132-112 win over Lincolnshire at Kirkbymoorside, picking up 16 points in the process.
Durham returned four winning cards from the six rinks, with the Silksworth quartet of Phil Dixon, Ian Riches, Gary Smith and David Bolt the pick of the bunch with an impressive 27-13 win.
The other match in the group saw Lancashire snatch a dramatic, last-bowl 18-4 win over Northumberland, who are Durham’s next opponents – at Spennymoor next Saturday.
Rink scores (Durham skips first): P Mosley 20 J West 14, G Skipp 19 S Dunham 22, J Fielding 27 M Smith 16, J Mansfield 23 K Rands 25, D Bolt 27 C Banks 13, A Kirtland 16 I Walker 22
Latest group standings: Lancashire 18, Durham 16, Lincolnshire 6, Northumberland 4.
Durham County B also enjoyed a winning start, securing a narrow 116-113 (17-5) win over Northumberland at Alnwick in the Alsop Trophy.
Durham recorded three winning rinks, including a 23-15 win for Houghton Dairy Lane’s Alan J. Dunn while Seaham Town’s Jimmy McAdoo drew 19-19.
Rink scores (Durham skips first): D Oram 26 K Rowe 21, J McAdoo 19 R Topping 19, AJ Dunn 23 B Rootham 15, H Dougherty 21 H Burt 11, A Taylor 16 A Hall 22, R Robinson 11 C Lewars 22
The B team face Yorkshire at Northallerton today, with nine local players selected – M. Laydon and J. McKenna (both Silksworth), A. Middleton and R. Robinson (both Roker Marine), D. Ridley (Herrington Workmen), D. Todner & A.J. Dunn (both Houghton DL), O. Lynn (Houghton Town) and J. McAdoo (Seaham Town).
H Durham must travel to Kirkbymoorside to meet Lincolnshire in the first round of the National Double Fours, with team manager Andrew Kirtland naming a strong-looking squad.
DURHAM: N Cumming (Nevilles Cross), P Mosley (Owton Lodge), J Fielding, A Kirtland (both Darlington RA), J Mansfield (Park), G Skipp (Owton Lodge), G Smith, D Bolt (both Silksworth). Reserves: S Baker, P Dixon (both Silksworth)
* More bowls in today’s Sunderland Echo