CLEATOR Moor Celtic leapfrogged Horden CW into third place when they deservedly finished 3-1 winners in last night’s Wearside League game.
Neither side managed to break the deadlock in the opening half at Welfare Park, but two minutes into the second period Adam Meagan beat Horden goalkeeper Chris Davidson.
The Colliers were awarded a 74th-minute penalty, which Darren Atkinson despatched wide of goalkeeper Craig Devine to level, but the home side’s hopes wilted when ace marksman Leigh Dunn struck a tremendous 40-yard free-kick which flashed past Davidson.
In the last minute, Dunn was again on target to make it 3-1.
The win puts the Cumbrians only a point behind second-top Easington Colliery, with the teams having played the same number of games.
Horden’s chances of finishing runners-up now look remote since they have played four games more than their two rivals.
A waterlogged pitch caused the postponement of Sunderland West End’s game against Spennymoor Town Reserves at Coxhoe.
In the Ebac Northern League First Division, Shildon’s championship hopes were dealt a blow when they surprisingly lost 3-0 to Dunston UTS.
Lee McAndrew, Andy Bulford and Dale Burrell clinched a fully-deserved victory for Dunston, who are also in a six-team race to end in pole position.
Despite losing though, Shildon – who face Gateshead at Eppleton CW in tomorrow’s Durham Challenge Cup final (10.45am) – still have it in their own hands to come out on top.
They are third, five points behind leaders Guisborough and one adrift of West Auckland with two games in hand on both their rivals.
Bishop Auckland were unable to complete their journey to Penrith because of a road accident and the game was called off.