INDOOR bowls fans have enjoyed a weekend of high-quality action as a North East venue hosted a prestigious national championship for the first time in 20 years.

Darlington Indoor Bowls Club, on North Road, welcomed hundreds of supporters for two days of competition, dubbed the FA Cup of Bowls.

Teams from across the UK gathered to contest the men’s Denny Cup and the ladies' Yetton Trophy at the All-England national team championship finals.

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Each of the eight clubs involved, which included a team from Stanley, County Durham, in the men’s final and a ladies team from York, brought support with them to Darlington, while the event also attracted local enthusiasts and some curious members of the public.

Sadly, the Stanley team were beaten by Desborough in the final, the fourth year in a row they have been pipped at the post.

In the ladies’ competition, York beat Egham 77-76 with the final bowl of a thrilling three-and-a-half hour final.

Graham Peacock, co-secretary of the Darlington Indoor Bowls Club, said hosting the event had been a fantastic experience and had a provided a boost to the club.

He said: “It has been a fantastic two days. We’ve had hundreds of people in to watch and the representatives from the Indoor Bowls Association have been very pleased with our hosting.

“I know the teams taking part have been very pleased with the quality of the facilities too and the way we have looked after them and their supporters.”

Darlington won the right to host the All-England Championships for two years and the competition will return next Easter.

- A full round up of all the sporting action at the Darlington Indoor Bowls Club will feature in the Local Heroes supplement on Saturday (April 26)