RYHOPE CW lifted the Bob Gurney Memorial Cup with a thrilling victory over neighbours Silksworth CW last night, writes Malcolm Pratt.
Following a one-sided first half which ended with Martin Swales’ side four goals ahead, Ryhope went five up on 46 minutes, but then had to withstand a spirited rally from Silksworth.
Clayton Davis was a 10th-minute marksman and three goals flowed in the space of four minutes just before the interval. John Butler (2) and Davis were again on target.
Nathan Johnson made it five and at this stage it looked all over for Mark McGinley’s team, but Andrew Place led the fightback with his 65th-minute strike.
Glen Hargrave further reduced the deficit and when Place scored his second goal of the night, it was all to play for but Ryhope held on to a two-goals lead.
Birtley Town, preparing for another season in the Ebac Northern League Second Division, enjoyed a six-goals romp at Gateshead Rutherford.
Cameron Nichol rifled a hat-trick, Matthew Fisher bagged a brace with Lewis Davison also on target.
An only goal in the 11th minute by Dan Hawkins earned Bishop Auckland victory over Bishop Auckland Town while ENL Second Division promotion hopefuls North Shields went nap at home to Prudhoe Town.
Ryan Carr (2), Gareth Bainbridge (2) and Adam Scope netted and the Robins are unbeaten in six games, including four wins.
Almost £500 was raised for the Heart Foundation in the game between Dunston UTS and Whickham which UTS won with first-half strikes from Nicky Kane and Lewis Teasdale (pen).