Shildon-Spennymoor final promises to be an epic

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A GOOD gate is expected at Billingham Synthonia this morning (10.45am) for the Durham Challenge Cup final between Shildon and Spennymoor Town.

Jason Ainsley’s Moors are favourites to clinch the Ebac Northern League championship, but Shildon have been season-long challengers at the top and, with both sides’ FA Vase dreams long over, will be desperate for silverware.

The league’s groundhop weekend begins with three matches today.

Second Division champions North Shields miss 47-goal striker Gareth Bainbridge when they meet runners-up West Allotment Celtic in an 11am kick off at the Daren Persson Stadium.

West Allotment boss Paul Stoneman lines up Leam Hudson in a 20-man squad.

The second groundhop games is at Hillheads when Whitley Bay meet Newcastle Benfield (2.30pm), before Ashington take on Crook Town at Woodhorn Lane (6.30pm).