Silksworth’s Farquhar clinches Champion of Champions crown in super style

Gary Farquhar (Silksworth) and Dennis New (Sunderland) hold their Champion of Champions trophies after winning their respective finals at North Biddick
Gary Farquhar (Silksworth) and Dennis New (Sunderland) hold their Champion of Champions trophies after winning their respective finals at North Biddick
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Silksworth’s Gary Farquhar landed the Sunderland & District Champion of Champions title as the knockout competitions came to a conclusion at North Biddick.

In the main final, County star Farquhar took the title for the first time with a 21-12 win over Hylton Colliery Welfare’s Eddie Middlemiss, sealing Silksworth’s 10th success in the competition since the first final in 1931.

In the seniors final, another new name was added to the roll of honour as Sunderland’s Dennis New defeated Dawdon’s Billy Holmes 21-11.

New’s success is only the second ever Sunderland & District title for the Ashbrooke-based club, with the previous one in 2006 when a young Phil Dixon claimed the main title.

The Sunderland Women’s Bowling Association’s ladies version of the Champion of Champions was played to a finish at Barnes Park.

Disappointingly, only six clubs entered their club champions – Ann Raine (Thompson Park), Brenda Harper (Whitburn), Brenda Robson (Houghton Town), Maureen Firth (Roker Park), Brenda Forrest (Ryhope) and Margaret Eggleston (Barnes Park).

The eventual winner was Ryhope’s Brenda Forrest, who defeated Barnes Park’s Margaret Eggleston 21-10 in the final.

The quarter-finals and semi finals of the round robin pairs have been rescheduled for Tuesday at Roker Park, starting at 10am.

The destination of the Harold Howey Trophy veterans’ title went right to the final round of fixtures.

With leaders Houghton Dairy Lane A on a bye, it left the door ajar for second-placed Barnes West End.

A 3-1 West End win over neighbours Barnes Park B moved them into pole position, but the failure to collect all four points on offer left third-placed Silksworth needing a 4-0 win to steal the title.

In their final game at Dawdon, the holders Silksworth ran out 4-0 winners to retain their crown.

Last season, Silksworth pipped West End on shots difference. This season, the gap was half a point and, for the second year running, Houghton Dairy Lane B finished in third.

It has been a difficult outdoor season for Silksworth’s international star, David Bolt.

The British Isles Fours title success was backed up by helping England to a Home International series win, however the remainder of his season was cut short due to ill health.

There was more recent disappointment for the Silksworth star as he has been left out of the International trial which takes place this month for next year’s Home International series, although Bolt wouldn’t have been fully fit for the trial it is a surprise his name isn’t in the list of thirty two trialists, the eight reserves or in the list eight players exempt from the trial.

The National Championship Finals have been completed at Leamington Spa, but it has been a disappointing four weeks for the Durham qualifiers, with a good percentage failing to progress past the first round.

One of the last competitions to the played was the men’s singles. The final saw Cumbria’s Ben Sherwin take the much sought after title with a close-fought 21-19 win over Yorkshire’s Vinnie O’Neill.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau are investigating the ill fated World Series Bowls after it was discovered that a substantial six figure cash sum had gone missing from the WSB accounts.

As the outdoor season comes to a clos,e there is an early chance to see international indoor bowls on show as Stanley hosts the Mixed Test match between England and Wales on September 26-27.

England selectors have selected the following squad: Lauren Copeland (Hartlepool), Zoe Eagles (York & District), Sarah Seymour (City of Ely), Perry Martin (Swale), Graham Smith (Spalding) and Neil Smith (Westlecot).