Tommy Jopling reaches champion of champions bowls final

HONORARY MEMBER: Jim Huntingdon (left) and Jeff Wilson (right), present Billy McCready with a life membership award.
HONORARY MEMBER: Jim Huntingdon (left) and Jeff Wilson (right), present Billy McCready with a life membership award.
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TOMMY Jopling eased to a 21-8 semi-final win over Stanley’s Michael English, as his run in this year’s county seniors champion of champions competition continues.

Building an early 10-2 lead, Jopling was never in trouble and with the score at 15-8 a 3,2,1 sealed the 21-8 win. In the final, Jopling will face either Shildon’s B.Hutchinson or Gateshead’s R.Wood.

In the pairs, Jopling teamed up with Hendy Shields and progressed to another final following a win over Hartlepool’s Alan Hartley. The Sunderland duo will face either Darlington’s Tony Macey or Durham’s Dave Christie in the final.

H Sunderland entertained the Durham Select team at Crowtree in the second of the season’s planned friendlies.

Prior to the game, the outdoor Sunderland & District Bowling Association’s former president Jim Huntingdon and the newly-installed president Jeff Wilson, presented an honorary life membership to Billy McCready.

Despite several late changes to the Sunderland squad, they still went down 114-113. The top rink for the hosts were A.Curtis, M.Eggleston, M.Carr and W.Conway.

Scores (Sunderland skips first): TW.Todd 14 S.Clarke 18, P.Brickle 17 J.Layfield 16, E.Baker 23 J.Scullion 16, L.Todd 22 A.Cooper 23, E.Pattinson 12 K.Hartley 27, W.Conway 25 E.Weightman 14.

H This week is a crunch week for both of Sunderland’s senior squads. The A team head to group leaders South Shields knowing a 5-0 win would seal a play-off place. The B team entertain Consett at Crowtree looking to reverse the shock defeat at Consett they suffered earlier in the season. Nothing less than a 5-0 win will keep any play-off hopes alive.

Group 2: (played-points) Darlington B 9-30, Stanley 7-27, Sunderland B 8-23, Hartlepool A 8-19½, Park View 7-9, Consett 7-6½.

Group 3: South Shields 8-29, Sunderland A 8-23½, Hebburn 8-21, Gateshead 7-18, The Parks B 9-17, Houghton A 8-11½.

Club Competition Latest Draws: Singles: T.Jopling v P.Thomson (jnr), W.Ferry v F.Knubley, Pairs: Pat Thomson or TW.Todd v R.Graham, M.Laydon v T.Jopling or D.Bolt, Triples: P.Brickle v D.Hulley, F.Knubley v W.Funnell, Fours: D.Bolt v R.Robinson, T.Jopling v W.Funnell, Two Bowl Singles: F.Adams v N.Ridley, JA.Smith v P.Thomson (jnr), J.Flett v R.Robinson, A.Grimes v M.Laydon, G.Farquhar v D.Todner, M.Wright v LJ.Todd, Mixed Pairs: TW.Todd v R.Graham, EE.Peacock v R.Robinson, Senior Singles: G.Brown v R.Graham, T.Jopling v W.Hearne, Pairs – LJ.Todd or TW.Todd v J.Flett, Triples: F.Knubley v T.Jopling, Fours: W.Ferry or LJ.Todd v R.Hart, T.Jopling v T.Wood, Two Bowl Singles: TW.Todd v J.Coundon, T.Jopling v R.Robinson, Ladies Singles: E.Baker v A.Curtis, Pairs: P.Johnson v A.Raine, D.Kerrigan v S.Davies.

H Durham County seniors warmed up for their National final at Melton with a cracking 170-131 win over Nottinghamshire. More importantly, the 20 points collected, clinched the Midland Seniors League.

Scores: (Durham Skips first) V.Robson 24 J.Sharpe 23, T.Jopling 19 D.Adams 14, W.Bell 15 J.Guy 26, G.Peacock 30 P.May 13, D.Craig 29 T.Palmer 8, J.Layfield 22 D.Elwell 18, H.Robinson 15 R.Maskill 14, L.Parnell 16 T.Doig 15.

H The selectors have named an unchanged team for the national final against Kent. Sunderland’s Tommy Jopling, Joe Flett and Houghton’s Eric Weightman make the starting line-up while Sunderland’s Billy Hearne is on the bench.