Winning return for the A-team

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THE Sunderland Senior A team returned to Senior League action this week with a comfortable 52-32 win over Hebburn at Houghton.

Michael Wright, Billy Hearne, Ray Robinson and Bobby Graham ran out 18-10 winners over R.Strand, while Arthur Baker, Fred Knubley, Michael Davis and Billy Ferry recorded an 18-11 victory over Alan Birrell.

The remaining quartet of Pat Collins, Barney Walsh, John Jones and Tommy Jopling recovered from 9-1 down to defeat A.Giles 15-11. The 5-0 win puts the A team at the top of the group.

Latest Table (pld-pts): Sunderland A 4-15½, South Shields 3-11½, Hebburn 5-11, Houghton A 3-8, Parks B 3-5, Gateshead A 4-4.

The B team are next in action on Wednesday, November 26, at Houghton against Hartlepool A (1230).

The following team has been selected: At Houghton – G.Brown, P.Brickle, A.Ferguson, TW.Todd, A.Grimes, D.Gowland, F.Froud, R.Jobling, P.Bulmer, P.Thomson, W.Conway, W.Roberts. Reserves – R.Usher, A.Wood.

H Houghton Ladies produced a five-star performance to progress into the next round of this season’s Yetton Trophy, with three of the four rinks recording victories.

Houghton defeated South Shields 94-67 to set up a tie against West Denton on Saturday, November 22.

Rink Scores (Houghton skips first): At Houghton – JB.Smith 26 A.Stidolph 9, B.Johnson 23 M.Robson 22. At Shields – N.Stephenson 27 D.Sproats 15, F.Phythian 16 P.Carlin 21.

Following the previous weekend defeat in the Denny Cup to Gateshead, Sunderland dropped into the Denny Plate to face West Denton in what turned out to be a thrilling match.

At West Denton, Tommy Jopling steered Alfie Ferguson, Peter Thomson (snr) and Terry Todd to an impressive 22-14 win over Clive Knott, while Pat Collins, Peter Brickle, Keith Hopper and John Jones slumped to a 26-12 defeat which left the away squad six shots down.

At Houghton, Bobby Graham’s quartet of Tony Grimes, Billy Roberts and Frankie Froud saw an early 10-1 lead wiped out, but eventually held out to record a 23-20 win over Peter Duffy.

The final rink left of George Brown, Michael Carr, Richie Mckie and Michael Davis ground out a 20-16 advantage to leave the home squad seven shots up and record a coupon busting 77-76 win.

The win sets up a tie against Durham this weekend and the following team has been named:

At Houghton – G.Brown, M.Carr, R.Robinson, M.Davis, A.Ferguson, W.Roberts, F.Froud, R.Graham. At Durham – A.Grimes, P.Thomson, TW.Todd, T.Jopling, P.Collins, P.Brickle, K.Hopper, J.Jones. Reserve for both venues – W.Hearne.

Houghton are also in Denny Plate action this weekend as they take on South Shields.

The following team has been selected: At Houghton – J.Doyle, J.Sutherland, J.Thurburn, P.Harding, M.Baker, D.Armstrong, B.Henderson, AJ.Dunn. At Shields – T.Patterson, O.Lynn, T.Burt, J.Wilson, B.Henderson (jnr), F.Sanderson, S.Tindale, J.McAdoo.

H After last year’s disappointing first round exit in the Liberty Trophy, the Durham County executive committee reintroduced the team manager role which was taken up by Stanley’s international Gary Smith.

This year’s draw has handed Durham a rare home fixture at Stanley as Cumbria provide the opposition next Saturday.

Team manager Smith has injected some proven experience into the line-up as Davey Webb, Billy Ferry and Jimmy Lambert have all been added to the team, while Neil Ridley will make his debut.

The breakdown of the 33-man squad is as follows: Stanley (16), Hartlepool (12), Darlington (5).

Two seasons ago, the same opposition dumped Durham out at the semi-final stage and with a few Durham reputations dented from last year’s early exit, it should be a cracker of a match. The action starts at 11am.

The full team is as follows: J.Forcer (Ha), W.Ferry (St), D.Webb (St), P.Mosley (Ha), J.Lambert (St), G.Farquhar (St), P.Smithson (St), GR.Smith (St), M.Peach (St), N.Cummings (Da), J.Fielding (Da), D.Bolt (St), M.Ray (Ha), C.Higgins (Ha), M.Squirrel (Ha), P.Harltley (Ha), J.Lambert (St), G.Farquhar (St), P.Smithson (St), GR.Smith (St), N.Ridley (St), P.Dixon (St), B.Arkley (St), J.Thurlbeck (St), M.Bennett (St), M.Jones (Da), G.Skipp (Ha), A.Kirtland (Da). Reserves – M.Laydon (St), I.Jackson (Ha), CBoston (Ha), D.Fenwick (Ha), A.Barkess (St), J.Ballantine (Ha), I,Riches (SS), J.Wells (Ha), M.Barkess (St).

Latest National Results (local interest only): Singles: J.Dellar (Du) 11 Pat Thomson (Ho) 21, Pete Thomson (Ho) 11 M.Higgins (St) 21, B.Henderson (Ho) 7 J.Morgan (Pa) 21. Pairs: P.Dixon (St) 25 C.Yeomans (Pa) 16, GR.Smith (St) 17 P.Duffy (WD) 16, B.Henderson (Ho) 15 G.Brass (SS) 24, M.Laydon (St) 21 P.Thomson (Ho) 16. Triples: P.Thomson (Ho) 16 P.Duffy (WD) 15, I.Riches (SS) 19 D.Targar (Pa) 17, S.Patterson (Ho) 6 G.Robson (St) 18. Over 60’s Singles: R.Cragg (SS) 9 T.Jopling (Su) 21. Over 60’s Pairs: E.Henry (St) 26 R.Robinson (Su) 14, T.Jopling (Su) 21 I.Brown (Pa) 7. Over 55 Triples: J.Hume (WD) 14 T.Jopling (Su) 19. Over 60’s Fours: C.Boyle (Pa) 19 T.Jopling (Su) 14. Champion of Champions Area Final: P.Dixon (St) 21 M.Smith (Ga) 12. Ladies Champion of Champions Area Final: S.Hind (Ga) 21 M.Metcalf (Ho) 13.

H Bowls lost another good servant as Cumbria’s outdoor county secretary Eric Johnson (55) passed away suddenly.

H There are some Annual General Meetings planned for the next couple of days. Sunderland and District’s is today at Houghton Dairy Lane (2pm) and Bowls Durham is on on Tuesday, also at Houghton Dairy Lane (7pm).