Last-day targets for Ryhope

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RYHOPE CW have been confirmed as runners-up having enjoyed a fantastic first season in the Ebac Northern League Second Division.

But they still have two goals to aim for in tonight’s final game against Tow Law Town at Ironworks Road.

Martin Swales’s men have scored in every game this season and have lost only one league match away from home in the last three seasons.

“Hopefully we’ll score at least one goal tonight and be unbeaten, which would round off an unbelievable four seasons during which we have qualified to rise to the very pinnacle of local football in the North East,” enthused secretary Dougie Benison.

This term, Ryhope have won 29, drawn eight and lost just four of their 41 games, scoring 142 goals and conceding just 50 to boast by far the best goals difference.

Victory would see the club, who won successive Wearside League quadruples before joining the Northern League, end just three points behind champions Crook Town.

Birtley Town’s ambition in their last game is to win at Whitehaven and edge out of the bottom six.

Despite struggling for most of the season, manager Scott Oliver is happy, saying: “We were never seriously involved in a relegation fight and I always thought we were good enough to stay out of trouble. Now we’ve got to plan ahead for the next campaign.”

There is one game in the First Division when relegated Norton take on Bishop Auckland who, with four games left, have a very good chance of a top-six finish.