Singles agony as Durham succumb to Cumbrians in Northern Counties League

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Durham slipped to a second defeat of the season in the Northern Counties League, succumbing 11-7 to Cumbria at Barnard Castle.

The morning foursomes ended with Durham only one point down, but the singles were a disappointment for the hosts, with only Richard Aisbitt victorious in the first five matches out.

Boldon’s Gavin Nesbit and new County champions Kris Rae (Tyneside) secured a 3&2 foursomes success, while Boldon’s Rhys Thompson and Chris Handy of South Moor edged home 2&1.

Martin McCririck and John Kennedy teamed up for a half, while the other three Durham pairings all suffered narrow defeats to leave them 3½-2½ down.

Aisbitt began the singles with a thumping 5&4 triumph, but the next four games were all lost to leave Durham on the brink of defeat.

Handy stormed home 6&5, while Castle Eden’s Stuart Brown won 3&2 and Kennedy (Consett) was a one-hole victor, with Jamie Birbeck of Bishop Auckland securing a half as Cumbria won the singles 7½-4½ for an 11-7 overall triumph.

Durham’s next match is against Cheshire at Brancepeth Castle on July 9.