Sunderland crash out of the Bowls Denny Plate

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SUNDERLAND’S run in the Denny Plate came to an end with a 44-shot defeat at York to a strong Lincoln team.

All four Sunderland rinks were defeated, and although the Crowtree outfit were only three shots down at the halfway mark, they fell away in the latter stages.

Keith Hopper, Billy Hearne, John Jones and Tommy Jopling lost 21-14; Michael Laydon, Terry Todd, Gary Farquhar and Bobby Graham lost 20-11; Peter Thomson’s quartet of Joe Flett, Vic Avery and Pat Thomson went down 23-12, while Phillip Dixon, Peter Brickle, Ray Robinson and Billy Ferry were beaten 29-12.

The 44-shot margin was harsh on Sunderland but it will have given the inexperienced squad an idea of the level needed to progress in competitions of this nature.

The following day, the Sunderland inter-county squad returned to inter-club action as Aycliffe provided the opposition.

Following last month’s win over Shildon, the Crowtree side completed a second win 8-4 (124-105).

At Aycliffe, the away squad went down by seven shots. Pat Collins, George Simpson, John Jones and Tommy Jopling produced a late surge to sneak home 21-19, while George Brown, Peter Thomson (snr), Terry Todd and Peter Thomson (jnr) recorded a fine 20-13 win.

The remaining rink of Peter Bulmer, Phillip Dixon, Keith Hopper and Gary Farquhar never recovered from an 11-0 deficit and finished 27-11 down.

At Crowtree, Bobby Borthwick, Michael Laydon, Alf Ferguson and Joe Flett were always in control and recorded a 23-12 win. Michael Wright, Peter Brickle, Ray Robinson and Billy Ferry eased to a 23-13 win, while Ritchie Jobling, Billy Hearne, Michael Davis and Stevie Angus went down 21-16, which left the home squad 16 shots up.

With February handing Sunderland its bye, the next inter-club game is on March 13 against Durham.

H In this year’s county champion of champions events, there is still plenty of local interest.

In the seniors fours, Sunderland’s Joe Flett, John Jones, Dennis Hulley and Tommy Jopling defeated Park View’s N.Herbert 22-10 to progress into the semi-finals. The Sunderland quartet will play the winner of B.Robson (Durham) and G.Peacock (Darlington)

Locally, the draws are as follows:-

Singles: M.Jones (Darlington) v T.Jopling (Sunderland).

Pairs T.Jopling (Sunderland) v I.McIntosh (Shields).

Senior Singles: T.Jopling (Sunderland) v G.Peacock (Darlington).

Senior Pairs: R.Balderson (Hartlepool) v T.Jopling (Sunderland).

Senior Triples: A.Baker (Sunderland) v B.Hutchinson (Shildon), B.Hutchinson (Shildon) v J.Thurburn (Houghton).

Senior Fours: B.Robson (Durham) / G.Peacock (Darlington) v T.Jopling (Sunderland).

H The local stages of this season’s national competitions are reaching a climax.

In the singles, Stanley’s Gary Smith has progressed to the area final after a 21-15 win over The Park’s Chris Yeomans. The area final could be a repeat of last year should Smith’s clubmate Robert Chisholm defeat Hebburn’s Darren Paterson.

In the pairs, Smith teams up with Brian Harris to face Yeomans again for a place in the area final.

In the triples. Stanley’s Ian Riches, Jim Humphrey and Michael Bennett moved into the area final after a fine 23-11 win over clubmate Alan Theobald while Dave Morgan’s quartet moved into the fours semi-final with a 27-6 win over West Denton’s Clive Knott. In the semi-final, Morgan will face The Park’s Kevin Blaylock.

Following Hartlepool’s demolition of Stanley in the Denny Cup, it was a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show as Nottingham defeated the Poolies 80-62 in the next round.

H The local stage of the ladies Yetton Trophy has been a farce.

West Denton and The Parks both won their opening ties over Gateshead and Newcastle but then conceded the next round to South Shields and Stanley respectively.

Then Stanley conceded their tie to South Shields, who progressed into the last 32 to face Cumbria, who in turn had received concessions off Blackpool and Durham!

Finally, when Shields and Cumbria met it was Shields who came out on top with a cracking 84-60 win to set up a last 16 tie against York next Thursday.

The Durham County seniors travelled to New Earswick to face Yorkshire in the next round of Midlands league fixtures. With the senior Liberty Cup semi-final against Essex on the horizon, the Durham squad enjoyed a confidence-boosting 13-9 win, by 19 shots overall.