Grindon Broadway’s Kenny Ball Cup dreams were dashed late on in their quarter-final at Premier Division high-fliers Cramlington Burton House.
First Division Grindon started off at a pace that shocked their hosts, and they missed a good third-minute chance.
Aubrey Rutherford gave Cramlington the lead against the run of play, but Grindon continued to compete really well. In the 2nd half Grindon deservedly equalised with a 20-yard David Taylor free-kick into the top corner.
Cramlington started to take control in the second half, but were kept at bay until the 65th minute, when Rutherford netted his second. Grindon tired and Chris Wall bagged a clincher three minutes from time.
Paul Griffiths shone for Grindon.
Tudhoe Black Horse won a thriller 4-3 at Ryhope Foresters, while Billingham Swan won 3-1 at Pelton Crown and Hartlepool Touchdown beat Marden, in the battle of the Premier’s top two, with Andy McKenna notching the only goal.
Dubmire succumbed to a 5-1 defeat to First Division rivals Heaton Stannington in the Alan Spedding Cup final at Wearmouth CW.
Steels King Bros look good to beat the drop in the Premier Division after two fine wins, 2-0 at South Shields and 4-1 at home to Hebburn Town, lifted them seven points clear of the bottom two.
Champions-elect Wearmouth CW must wait until May 21 for their final game in Division One.
They had to settle for a 2-2 draw at fifth-placed Easington CIU last week to climb to 62 points from 25 games.
Fourth-top Heaton Stannington are the only team who can catch them, 14 points behind with five games left.
Grindon Broadway outgunned Pelton Crown 3-0 in their penultimate match to move third.
Thornley Celtic lost 2-0 at Blakelaw SC in Division Two, but two points in their final three matches will still clinch the title from Seaham Marlborough, whose league season is over.
Mill View SC slipped to eighth place after going down 2-0 at Horden Sportsmans, who are up to ninth.
There was little between the sides throughout , but Horden made the breakthrough midway through the second half when Daryl Burns met Brian Kamara’s cross from the left.
Man of the match Craig Griffiths sealed the win, racing clear and finishing low into the corner.
Hylton CW won 3-0 at North Shields Pineapple and should finish third.
Blue House clinched the Third Division title, edging home 2-1 in a nervy battle at lowly Sedgefield Black Lion, their 22nd win in 28 league games.
Wallsend Winstons beat Hartlepool Stag & Monkey 2-0 and Woodhorn Lane 4-2 to move second, five points clear of rivals The Philadelphia, who were held 2-2 by Hedworthfield Red Hackle.
Phili dictated the play early on and deservedly struck in the fifth minute as good play down the right saw Ian Pallas slot a lovely pass to star man Alan Jones, who advanced into the area and thumped the ball past the home keeper.
Good defending denied them a second goal, but Hedworthfield improved on the restart and, after Phili missed a penalty, the home side struck twice in two minutes to go 2-1 up.
The Philadelphia’s old fighting spirit kicked in and Paul Russell’s free-kick deceived the defence and the keeper to nestle in the corner of the net for a 79th-minute leveller.
Houghton Cricket moved clear of safety, beating Willow Pond 2-1.
Rolls-Royce totally dominated in a 5-0 win at Redcar Old Boys.
Neil Thompson opened the scoring with a far-post header after an excellent cross from Atkinson. Wayne ‘Dynamo’ Browell scored a hat-trick, including a penalty, with his newly found magic boots, and Davey White added a good solo effort.
In midweek, Rolls-Royce cruised home 5-0 at Houghton Cricket.
Boldon Colliery Tavern look doomed to the drop after a 4-0 defeat at Hedworthfield Red Hackle.
In Division Four, Wearmouth Old Boys stayed bottom after losing 4-0 and 3-0 to second-top New Marske SC.
Colonel Prior beat Ivy Legends 4-2, after Ivy lost 2-1 at third-top Durgam County Strollers. Oddfellows Arms crashed 6-1 to Shildon Grey Horse.