WHEATLEY Hill WMC climbed into third place with a hard-earned 3-2 victory in the only league match.
A feisty encounter at Bishop Auckland Reserves saw strong challenges from the start.
The home side took the lead after Bobby Gibson’s well-struck free-kick was tipped onto the bar, with Liam Bain tidying up from close range.
Both teams increased the tempo in the second half, and visitors Wheatley Hill drew level from the penalty spot. after a handball offence.
Wheatley struck twice more in quick succession to take control of the match, with David Jackson, Lee Smith and Shaun Jackson all on target, though Bishops produced a late rally and a sharp, quick strike from Lewis Dunn eventually crossed the line after the keeper got a touch.
Keeper Russell Blenkinsop was outstanding for Wheatley, with a series of quality saves to keep the home side at bay.
Callum Sweeney stood out for Bishops, who aim for revenge in this weekend’s cup rematch.
Three ties were played in the Clem Smith Bowl, with Hartlepool Reserves, Coundon & Leeholme and Horsley Hill all clinching semi-final spots.
Hylton Sports Club were disappointed to be overrun in the second half of their home clash with Hartlepool Reserves.
The Wearsiders trailed to a hungry, young visiting side but responded well to take a 2-1 lead, thanks to Martin Hope’s brace, but the visitors’ fitness told in the end and they ran out 6-2 winners.
Four-goal Lewis Murphy, Carl O’Sullivan and Jake Larkin struck for Pool. Alan Golightly was Hylton’s man of the match.
Coundon & Leeholme showed no mercy to lowly Ferryhill Town, handing out a 10-0 beating to their visitors.
Ferryhill stood firm until the 21st minute, when Mark Wood made the breakthrough. Kurt Matthews, Darren Simpson and Stevie Johnson soon made it four, and Johnson added a fifth by the interval.
Coundon maintained their stranglehold in the second period as man of the match.
Simpson notched on 58 minutes, Johnson completed his hat-trick and Wood grabbed his second.
Matthews made it 9-0 before Coundon had a penalty saved, but sub Carl Raine completed the scoring, taking the tally into double figures.
Horsley Hill sailed into the semis with final an emphatic 4-1 win against Shildon Reserves side.
Hill took the lead after 32 minutes through Frankie Hucks, after some good play through midfield, then Levi Collins doubled the lead early in the second half.
Stephen Clifford threw Shildon a lifeline, but the South Tynesiders struck twice more to progress, with Adam Bell and star man Collins on target.
James Huntley starred in vain for Shildon.