Over-40s League: Glory day for Rolls-Royce as Browell, McDonough seal cup final success

Rolls-Royce captain Ronnie Scrafton (left) celebrates with goalscorer John McDonough following their cup final win over Woodhorn Lane. Picture by David Wood
Rolls-Royce captain Ronnie Scrafton (left) celebrates with goalscorer John McDonough following their cup final win over Woodhorn Lane. Picture by David Wood
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ROLLS-ROYCE secured their first silverware in the league with a hard-fought win over Woodhorn Lane in the Billy Lorraine Cup final.

Their triumph at Herrington Burn YMCA made it a double reason for celebration, following their promotion as runners-up in Division Four.

Rolls were the better team in the first half but were contained well by a hard-working Woodhorn team, who were well marshalled by man of the match Mark Hyman.

Ryan Browell and John McDonough, though, provided the crucial goals for the Sunderland side, with Gary Rennison’s reply ensuring a tight finish before Rolls could celebrate a well-deserved victory.

Marden clinched the Premier Division title with a 5-0 win over Ferryhill Greyhound in their final match, leaving Hartlepool Touchdown to battle Cramlington Burton House for the runners-up spot.

Touchdown moved into second place with a 1-0 victory over the Northumberland side, Bob Smith settling a tightly fought clash with a neat volley into the top corner.

That left Touchdown two points clear of Cramlington, with both sides having two games left.

Ryhope Foresters clinched the third promotion place in Division One by winning their final two matches to pip Heaton Stannington on goal difference. Firstly, Foresters triumphed 3-1 at Gateshead Rutherford to send their opponents to relegation in second-bottom spot, then the Ryhope side beat Hartlepool Gillen Arms 2-0 in midweek.

In Division Two, champions Weearmouth CW ended their glorious season with a 2-0 win at Peterlee Helford.

The Sunderland side started like champions, but, for all their possession, Peterlee’s defence stood firm until the 20th minute.

Helford responded, with efforts from Paul Watson and Brian Esteris drawing good saves. The game was decided on the hour when, from a Peterlee corner, Esteris was brought down only for the appeals to be turned away, and Wearmouth countered to grab a killer second goal. Wearmouth’s keeper made two great saves late on to preserve his clean sheet.

Helford found their shooting boots in midweek, winning a thriller 5-4 at Durham Stonebridge.

Horden Sportsmans suffered last-day heartache in Division Three.

They travelled to Redcar Old Boys knowing that a win would make them champions, but it wasn’t to be as they lost 2-0 to finish a point behind Thornley Celtic.

The first half saw Horden getting plenty of crosses into the box and Steve Medd and Scott McAlinden went close, but a determined Redcar ensured there was no score at half-time.

After the break, Horden looked to play down the middle instead of getting the ball out wide, but created very little. Midway through the half they went three at the back, pushing more men forward in search of the win they needed.

But a poor back pass let Redcar in to open the scoring. Horden then had a player sent off as their frustration took over, but they kept pushing forward.

With two minutes left to play, the home team broke away and, with four men against two, they walked the ball in to seal the win. McAlinden starred for a disconsolate Horden side.