Over-40s League: Fantastic Foresters on fire to topple table-toppers Marden
Impressive Ryhope Foresters ended Marden's unbeaten Premier Division record with a superb 4-1 away win.
Ryhope’s man of the match, Stephen Halliday, opened the scoring at the Blue Flames ground, with a brilliant 30-yard chip.
Marden’s Tony Healer equalised with a tap-in after great work from Mark Scott to make the scores level at half-time.
But Ryhope’s superior quality and effort shone through in the second half and further goals from Halliday, Simon Andrews and Lee Thornton made sure the three points deservedly returned to Wearside.
On a day when half of the scheduled games were frozen off, the only other top-flight game saw Hartlepool Touchdown hammer Hebburn Town 7-0.
Bob Smith (3), Scott Newbegin (2) and Andy McKenna (2) scored.
Depleted Willow Pond were beaten 3-0 at third-top Stanley in Division Three, despite a spirited display.
Injuries ruled out Andy Norman, Kit Tipling, Dave Kelly, Lee Brown and Dean Cassidy, so keeper John Davis played at right-back and team secretary Ally Wilson had to fill in at left-back.
Stanley tested the away defence from the kick-off, but Willow held firm and passed the ball well until the final third, where Stanley’s defence and keeper Michael Young easily dealt with the threat.
Star man Paul Quinn inspired countless Stanley attacks and they went ahead when a passing move on their left saw Darren Rosser shoot through a crowded box into the bottom corner, with keeper Matt Gartland diving after seeing the ball late.
A lofted ball forward from a Willow free-kick on halfway saw Gary Golightly beat the defence and fire home, but he was ruled offside.
Willow lost defender Darren Smith to a knock on his knee, with star man Mark Wood taking the helm in impressive fashion.
It was almost the Alamo, but Willow looked set to reach half-time only a goal down until possession was lost in midfield and the hosts scythed through before Chris Carter sidefooted past the static Gartland.
Willow had more of the ball on the restart but were thwarted by Stanley’s sub keeper, Anthony Myers, and his solid defence.
Willow were susceptible to the counter-attack, with last-ditch tackles from Mark Wood and Stuart Hope kept the score down, while Gartland had to save smartly from Carter’s 20-yard drive.
Carter, though, made it 3-0 when he latched onto a through ball from the wing and rifled home.
It was almost four as Quinn’s 30-yard screamer skimmed the bar.
Rolls-Royce fought well to draw 1-1 at Hartlepool Stag & Monkey , moving up to seventh place with the point.
Stag had the ball in the net after just five minutes but Brendan Deer’s effort was ruled out for offside.
Deer did get his goal shortly after though, chesting down a Stephen Gofton cross and smashing a half-volley back across the keeper.
Rolls had their best spell either side of half-time and equalised with a well-worked goal just before the interval when Andy Laidler timed his run magnificently to get on the end of Andy Parkin’s great cross to make it 1-1.
Rolls were under siege for the final 20 minutes, with Mark Dobson and Gofton having shots saved, while Graham Rowbotham’s effort was hacked off the line.
The Hartlepool side thought they had won it right at the death when Dobson cut in from the edge of the box, beating two men, and curled a left-foot shot into the bottom corner, only for the ref to disallow it for another player being in an offside position.
Wingate Cons were good 4-1 winners at Woodhorn Lane, while Richmond Town, in fourth, thumped second-placed Redcar Town 6-1.
Easington CIU moved up to sixth place in Division One with a thrilling 4-3 victory over South Shields.
Whitley Bay Seahorse went down by the same score at Dormans, with the Teessiders climbing to fourth.
Hartlepool Gillen Arms extended their lead at the top to four points, albeit having played two games more than Hylton CW.
Gillens had to fight to edge home 2-1 against St Mary’s College. Les Hammill scrambled the opener, and he doubled the lead from Mark Weatherall’s cross before the Yarm side bagged a last-minute consolation from a free-kick.
South Shields Catholic Club saw off Horden Sportsmans 4-2 to climb to third-bottom spot in Division Three.
Peterlee Helford, beaten 3-0 by Wallsend Boys Club, slipped to fifth-bottom spot, while Cobblers Hall and CSSC Darsley Park drew 0-0.
North Shields Pineapple dropped to second-bottom after a 4-1 defeat at Hartlepool Catholic Club.
It was far from plain sailing for Pool, though, with Shields in front until almost the hour mark.
The introduction of two subs turned the game. Dobing and Robbie Wright combined to find Mick Eglintine and he drilled the ball low into the net.
Wright played in Eglintine again and he won the race against defender and keeper to poke home. Then Eglintine flicked on a free-kick and Darren Rowbotham lobbed the keeper with a sublime finish.
Catholic got their fourth late on, Marc Gibson lashing home.
Ivy Legends missed the chance to go top in Division Four again.
With leaders Roseberry Grange having their game frozen off, Ivy looked to win at Hartlepool Jacksons Arms to regain pole position, but, instead, they slipped to a 2-1 defeat to their mid-table hosts.
Ivy stay a point off top spot, now having played a game more.
Boldon Colliery Tavern climbed to fourth place after a 2-1 win over bottom club Trimdon Vets, while Wearmouth Old Boys were beaten 4-1 by third-top Billingham Swan.