County Durham bowlers have a tough week in Bowls England clashes

It was a chastening weekend for both the men’s and women’s county teams as both were well beaten in their respective Bowls England clashes.

By Richard Mckie
Saturday, 16th July 2022, 6:00 am
The Durham County Balcomb Trophy squad.
The Durham County Balcomb Trophy squad.

In the Middleton Cup, the men’s dismal record against Cumbria continues and is now six straight losses in the Middleton against the Cumbrian’s.

After Durham’s cracking win over Lancashire, hopes were high of maybe turning the tables on Cumbria but on a quick Gosforth surface the Durham squad never got out of the blocks, eventually shaking hands 37 shots adrift with 14 ends unplayed.

The only Durham winning rink saw Blackhall’s John Mansfield beat Jack Park 19-10, club mate Paul Hartley went down 20-15 to Stephen Farish and Dairy Lane’s Dale Oram lost 21-11 against Stu Irwin.

Roker Marine's Peter Thomson in action on the green.

It was the same score for team manager David Bolt against Mark Irwin while Elm Tree’s David Fenwick lost 27-14 to John Baird, the remaining rink skipped by Gary Farquhar finished 20-12 down to Ian Gallagher.

So another tough one to take for the Durham lads, who are accustomed to plugging away on heavy surfaces and just cannot adjust quick enough with a quicker playing surface, unlike Cumbria, who seem to thrive on a sharp surface.

Things were no better in the women’s John’s Trophy as Durham were thumped 148-90 at Kirbymoorside by Yorkshire.

Across the green, Durham actually won on two rinks, and both were skipped by Dairy Lane players. Norma Stephenson won 21-17 and Joan Rodgerson won 20-15, but the remaining four rinks went down by 67 shots overall.

The bright news on a miserable day was the men’s B team as they kept alive their slim title hopes with a hard fought 22 shot win over Yorkshire at Dairy Lane. Locally Barnes Park’s Michael Davis snatched a last end double to get home 19-17. Dairy Lane’s Jeff Wilson saw a 12-6 lead whittled away and had to settle for a 19-18 loss. Club mate Alan J Dunn also lost 20-17, the 17-5 points return puts Durham top by five points from Cumbria who have played a game less. The two go head to head at Courtfield today, Durham would need a 20-2 win to mathematically secure the title, anything less would leave the door open for Cumbria in their final game against Lancashire.

The quarter-finals in the men’s county competitions have been taking place this week. In the pairs both local hopes progressed to the semi-finals. Roker Marine’s Peter Thomson turned round a 13-5 deficit to beat Stockton West End’s Dave Mallaby 16-14 while Dairy Lane’s David Armstrong beat Blackhall’s Paul Gorton 20-11. In the semi-finals Thomson will play RA’s Mark Jones and Armstrong plays Dunston’s Alan Jobling.

The sole local hope in the triples is the Pumas David Sykes, Gary Farquhar and David Bolt, in the last eight they ground-out a 20-10 win at Blackhall against Paul Hartley. Barnes Park’s Bryan Sanderson lost a thriller against Dunston’s Alex Bryden 17-16. The semi-final draw is: D Bolt v T Greathead (Owton Lodge), A Bryden v F Close (Lyndhurst).

The two local squads in the fours both went out, Marine’s Peter Thomson lost 17-12 at Leadgate against Garry Robson and Dairy Lane’s Mal Peach went down 16-14 at Spennymoor to Barry Attwood.

Both local hopes in the fours went out, Dairy Lane’s Mal Peach lost 16-14 at Spennymoor against Barry Attwood and Roker Marine’s Peter Thomson went down 17-12 at Leadgate to the XX champion Garry Robson. In the semi-finals, Attwood will face Darlington RA’s Liam Macey while Robson will face the winner of the delayed all Dunston tie between Brett Arkley and Alex Bryden.

The singles last eight ties were due to be played last night, the Pumas Scott Baker hosted one of three Dairy Lane hopes Gary McPheators, Dan Todner went to RA to face Liam Macey and Dale Oram was due to go to Barnes Park to face Frankie Froud. The Mark Higgins (Seaham Town) against Elm Tree’s Mark Hodgson game is due to be played this morning.

In the two bowl quarter-finals Dairy Lane’s Gary McPheators’ run came to an end with a 17-7 loss against defending county champion Dunston’s Alex Bryden. Silksworth’s Jaxon McKenna booked a semi-final tie against Jarrow’s Maurice Dunlop after winning a thriller against Elm Tree’s David Fenwick 15-14.

Following last weekend’s carnage, Durham will be looking for a change in fortunes tomorrow as the respective double fours compete in the regional finals day. The men head to Dunnington and face Yorkshire in the semi-final while the women travel to York RI to face Cumbria in the last four. The Dunnington event is being live streamed via the Wrong Bias YouTube channel.

In the Swan Cup, Barnes Park’s 6-0 win at South Hylton keeps them top by 1½ points from holders Dairy Lane, the latter beat the Pumas 5½-½. In division two leaders New Herrington lost 5-1 at Pemberton, the latter go top. Bottom of the table Hylton Colliery had a cracking 5-1 win over third placed Washington. The Howey holders Barnes Park B are flying although they dropped a first rink point of the season in a 3-1 win at Dairy Lane A, none of the chasing four teams won. The bottom two both ended there wait for a win, Hetton Workmen beat Dairy Lane B 3½-½ and Seaham Town beat Houghton Town 4-0.

Division two leaders Roker Marine B extended their lead at the top with a 4-0 home win over Washington A. Pemberton A’s 4-0 win over Whitburn moves them in to second place. The bottom three teams all won, Barnes Park A beat Pemberton B 3-1 and Sunderland A won a local derby against their B team 3-1. South Hetton beat New Herrington 4-0.

The semi-finals of the Sunderland & District 3-2-1 triples are on Tuesday, Seaham Town play North Biddick and Sunderland face Washington Glebe, with the games at Barnes Park and South Hylton.

Seaham Town’s unbeaten start in the Earl division one continues, a 5-1 win at Houghton Town makes it seven straight wins, Usworth stay second after a 5-1 win over Hetton Workmen. The other game saw North Biddick beat Hylton Colliery 4½-1½. New Herrington came out on top in the division two top of the table battle with South Hylton 5-1, Pemberton and Whitburn leap frog South Hylton after both won 5-1.

In round five of the Storey Bowl, leaders Hetton Workmen beat bottom of the table Houghton Town 6-1, Seaham Town jump into second after a 6-1 win against Hylton Colliery, New Herrington are only 3½ points behind the leaders after a 6-1 home win against Thompson Park.

There has been more action in the Durham section of the Bowls England competitions; Dunston’s Brett Arkley won the area final of the champion of champions 21-7 against Spennymoor’s Graham Black. Dairy Lane’s Joan Rodgerson won the area final of the over 55 pairs 17-11 against Darlington Woodland’s Jane Pattison and go to the regional finals day on August 6 at Redcar.

In the mixed pairs the Pumas Jaxon McKenna booked an area final slot after a 24-14 win over Jarrow’s Maurice Dunlop. Dairy Lane will face Appleby in the area final of the Tony Allcock mixed over 60’s double fours, Dairy Lane beat Hunden’s 30-24. There was heartache for Dairy Lane however in the double fours as they went out on an extra end at Marine, in the area final Marine will face Silksworth Pumas on July 24 at Dairy Lane (6pm).