Northern League: Ryhope CW top gun Conor Winter signs off as Second Division’s top scorer

Ryhope CW striker Conor Winter, the 36-goal top scorer in the Ebac Northern League Second Division this season

Ryhope CW striker Conor Winter, the 36-goal top scorer in the Ebac Northern League Second Division this season

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Ryhope CW striker Conor Winter fired a matchwinning double last night to ensure that he will be this season’s leading scorer in the Ebac Northern League Second Division.

Gary Pearson’s men, runners-up to South Shields, signed off last night with a 2-1 victory at Birtley Town, who, along with Stokesley SC, finish in the relegation places.

A brace from Winter, taking his league tally to 36, had Ryhope comfortably on top, but, when Michael Heckles replied with eight minutes remaining, the home side sensed they were in with a chance of causing an upset.

But the Wearsiders – who fielded skipper Phil Hall and Richard Hodgson for the last time – held on for a 30th win in 42 games and finish 13 points adrift of the Mariners, who completed a 35th victory, defeating Northallerton Town with an only goal by Stephen Ramsey, who flicked home a long Ben Riding throw on 78 minutes.

Brandon United roared to their biggest win of the season when they thumped Alnwick Town 6-0 as the goals flowed from James Ellis (2), Kyle Wren, Anthony Philipson, Joe Calvert and Andrew Clarkson.

Theo Furness (2) and Kieran Edwards fired Thornaby into a three-goal lead before fifth-bottom Crook Town managed one reply, netted by Josh Bynoe.

Shildon won the First Division championship on Monday but didn’t let up at home to Ashington last night.

The Railwaymen romped to an 8-1 victory with strikes by Paul Connor (3), Ben Wood, Danny Moore, Billy Greulich Smith, Michael Rae and Anthony Bell.

It was the Colliers’ biggest defeat for a long time, with Kyle Downey grabbing the consolation.

Consett moved into fifth place with a 2-0 victory at FA Vase finalists Morpeth Town, where Jordan Nellis and Danny Craggs scored the goals.

Relegated Norton and Stockton Ancients ensured a second-bottom finish by defeating Penrith 3-0, courtesy of Riu Williamson, Stephen Jackson and Thibault Charmey.

North Shields pipped Blyth Spartans 4-3 in a thrilling Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup final in front of 2,421 fans at St James’s Park, Ryan Carr hitting a late winner. Gary Ormston and Gareth Bainbridge (2) also netted for Graham Fenton’s men. Neal Hooks, Sean Reid and an own goal counted for Blyth.