ONLY six league games and a cup semi-final took place last Sunday when the Wear/Tyne derby seemed to take preference.
One of the biggest surprise results of the season came last Sunday when First Division Easington HMS Victory reached the final of the John & Pat McManus Memorial Cup after their semi-final 5-3 against leading Premier Division Peterlee Helford United.
The HMS Victory battled hard throughout the 90 minutes and thoroughly deserved their win on the balance of play with their goals coming from Carl Price, Ryan Douglas, Michael Stuart, Nathan Graham and Gary Spalding whereas Michael Cain, Andrew Lonsdale and Gary Shaw all replied for the Helford outfit.
The HMS Victory now plays Seaham Island or Murton Park, who meet in the other semi-final on Sunday.
In the Premier Division, Peterlee Catholic Club still have it all to do to avoid relegation this after they suffered a setback losing 3-2 to title chasing Seaham the George.
Goals from Shane O’Brien and Ashley Gillespie were not enough for the Catholic Club because Mitchell Holman, Dan McEwen, and sub Stephen Hopkirk were all on target for the George who moved up to second place, four points behind title favourites and leaders Wingate FC, who didn’t have a match last weekend.
The Catholic Club meanwhile, are now four points behind their nearest relegation threat colleagues, Easington Lane WMC and still with a game in hand over their challengers.
Two clubs in mid-table battled out an epic eight-goal encounter when Murton Park View finished all square at 4-4.
Leading scorer for the Park View, Stephen Turner notched a brace while Elliott Hughes and Ryan Pinder added their names to the score sheet, while for the CIU, Simon Todd was on target twice with Daniel Sanders and Liam Ord also netted for them.
In the First Division, it is still so tight with only five points separating the top five clubs as two battles for the promotion places.
Leaders Easington Southside were without a match so Thornley Harry’s Bar move up to second place three points behind the Southside with a game in hand.
Last weekend they hit third-place Easington Welfare for six winning 6-3 in a key promotion encounter.
Dave Jackson notched a brilliant hat-trick for Harrys Bar with a brace coming from Kyle Middleton with the other goal netted by Shaun Jackson with Ian Rikerby, Joe Taboun and Mark Bagnall replying for the Welfare whose hopes of a fight back received a setback when Michael Fortune was sent off, reducing the Welfare to 10 men.
Despite the defeat, the Welfare with two matches left still have a chance of going up to the top flight next season.
Still with seven games to play, Shotton Comrades are most people’s choice of winning the title after putting together a great winning sequence of results, their latest being a 6-2 win against Wingate Grange, thanks to a brace from Lee Smith along with efforts from Liam Cockerill, Lee Buck, Stephen Digby and substitute Brett Carr with Michael Lee netting twice in reply for the Grange outfit.
A seven-goal thriller saw South Hetton Cricket Club lose a little ground in their attempt for promotion when going down 4-3 in a great match against FC Easington.
Mark Hartley, Damien Hope and sub Alan Curl were the Cricket Club marksmen, while two goals from Steve Brown plus efforts from Adam Bradley and Daniel Sennett were the scorers for the FC outfit.
In the only Second Division match played, Peterlee Acre Rigg Social Club missed a golden opportunity to move up to third place in the table when a goal from Scott Jackson was not enough against Seaham Marlborough, losing 3-1 to their opponents whose goals came from Wes Smith, Sean Rollin and Kyle Milner.