WEARSIDE League leaders Ryhope CW celebrated winning the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup with a last-ditch extra-time winner at Kirkbymoorside yesterday.
The Yorkshiremen, third-from-top, matched the Wearsiders throughout an enthralling two hours but just when it appeared the tie would be decided by penalties, Jonathan Davies became Ryhope’s hero.
A throw-in was knocked on and Davies ran in at the far post to head past goalkeeper Adam Magson and send Ryhope supporters delirious.
John Butler had the ball in the home net on 29 minutes but was shown a yellow card for handling and six minutes later Chris Trewick almost grabbed the lead for Ryhope but his effort rattled the crossbar.
Martin Swales’ side had more of the play but there was a scare on the hour when the home side were awarded a penalty for a foul on prolific scorer Ryan Rivis. Rob McDirmid’s kick was saved by goalkeeper Neil Atkinson and Ryhope breathed a sigh of relief.
In the first period of extra-time Magson made a great double save from Nathan O’Neil and Butler and after 112 minutes, Liam Cooper’s shot was blocked on the Ryhope line.
With only a minute of extra-time remaining, Davies came up trumps and Ryhope claimed their first silverware of the season.
In addition to challenging for the championship, they are also through to the finals of the Wearside League Cup and Sunderland Shipowners’ Cup.
H Spennymoor Town will be crowned champions of the STL Northern League First Division if they defeat relegated West Allotment Celtic at the Brewery field tomorrow night.
Whitley Bay’s lingering hopes almost disappeared in a goalless draw at Jarrow Roofing and Moors now need only three points from their last three games.
The race is now on for the runners-up position with Whitley Bay, Newcastle Benfield and Consett in contention.
The Steelmen maintained their challenge with victory at Tow Law where Anthony Lund and Marc Walton were on target. Andrew Thompson had levelled for the Lawyers.
Andrew Bulford converted a 14th-minute penalty for Dunston UTS but Bedlington Terriers claimed all three points with strikes from Peter Snowdon and Richard Flynn.
Billingham Synthonia defeated neighbours Billingham Town for the second time in a week thanks to Nathan Jameson and Chay Liddle. Glen Butterworth converted a penalty for Town.
In Division Two, Marske United are favourites to join Newton Aycliffe and Guisborough Town in the top flight next season.
Victory at Gillford Park tomorrow will put them beyond the reach of North Shields but should they draw or lose, then the scene will be set for a winner-takes-all contest when the two challengers meet on Saturday.
Marske leapfrogged the Robins with yesterday’s victory at Northallerton Town, who were first to score through Darren Mowbray.
Danny Brunskill levelled and near the end Anthony Ormerod and Stephen Cochrane (pen) scored vital goals for the Seasiders.