Over-40s League: Willow Pond edge out Rolls-Royce in derby thriller
Willow Pond grabbed the derby bragging rights in Division Three with a hard-fought 3-2 win at Rolls-Royce.
Willow stormed into a three-goal first-half lead, sparked by a fine individual effort from Stuart Hope, who won the ball on the left and fired a ferocious shot into the bottom corner, past diving keeper Mark Boundy.
Kit Tipling lobbed the stranded Boundy for 2-0 after good work from Willow midfielder Gary Barker, then man of the match David Kelly’s mazy run past the defence and keeper ended with a tap-in for Tipling to extend the lead, following a rare mistake by otherwise immaculate Rolls star man Simon Chapman in the build-up.
Outstanding referee Ryan Moore waved away claims for offside.
Rolls tried to respond when Darren Bland blazed over when a goal looked certain.
Rolls rang the changes in the second half and the fresh legs immediately paid dividends, Chapman winning the ball in midfield to set up Micky Atkinson, who chipped on-rushing Willow keeper Andy Tilbury.
Rolls got back to 3-2 when Ronald Bulmer’s clearance bounced off Andy Norman, wrongfooting Tilbury and allowing Rolls attacker Dave Watson to make sure the ball crossed the line.
Kelly fired over as Willow pushed for a killer fourth goal, then Tipling hit the post.
Tilbury sustained a head injury from the post after diving full stretch to tip wide a Wayne Browell free-kick, then made a double save to see out the victory, taking Willow up to eighth.
Ivy Legends lost 3-2 at Durham County Strollers, while Washington JFC Biddick Inn won by the same score at Wingate Cons.
Washington Victoria Inn picked up to wins out of two in the Premier Division.
They first won 2-1 at Hartlepool Raby Arms after falling behind to a fine free-kick from Simon Blackett. A good strike right on half-time levelled it up, and they bagged a fine winner in the second half.
In midweek, Victoria Inn beat Hylton CW 3-1 away in an end to end thriller.
Keith Gamble headed home a great Steve Burns cross for Victoria’s opener, then Chris Dawson ran through the defence to slot home for 2-0.
Star man Paul Diamond chased down a 50/50 with the Hylton keeper and scored into an empty net to extend the lead, with Hylton rallying as Lee Forbister converted an inch-perfect cross from Lee Blackett.
Paul Diamond starred for Washington with Lee Blackett winning the honours for Hylton.
Earlier, Hylton CW beat Wallsend Community 2-1, Ryhope Foresters saw off lowly Redhouse WMC 2-0 and Easington Colliery were thumped 4-1 at Heaton Stannington.
Sherburn Village drew 1-1 with Pelton Crown in Division One.
Relegation-threatened Peterlee Helford United went down 3-1 to South Shields Catholic Club in Division Two, while Dubmire were beaten 4-2 at Redcar Town before drawing 3-3 with Coxhoe Red Lion in midweek.
Pennywell Comrades had mixed fortunes in Division Four, beating Boldon Colliery Tavern 2-0 in midweek after losing 3-2 to Trimdon Vets.
The Doxy Lad slipped to bottom spot after a 1-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers Hartlepool Tech. Wearmouth CW Old Boys stayed fifth after a 1-1 draw with Durham County.
Grindon Broadway crashed out of the First Division’s Alan Spedding Cup, going down 2-1 to leaders Whitley Bay Seahorse in their close-fought quarter-final.
Bay’s Harding opened the scoring in the 10th minute, and it was end to end for the rest of the first half.
Grindon equalised after 50 minutes when a long ball down the left wing was caught by a determined Bland. When the Whitley keeper came off his line, he left a difficult angle, but Bland bent the ball around him and into the net.
Bay, though, won it on the hour as Wallace’s quickly taken free-kick drifted into the top right corner of the net, with the keeper well beaten.
Grindon finished strongly but could not find a winner.
Houghton Cricket Club exited the Third Division Echo Cup with a 4-1 home defeat to Billingham Vets, while The Philadelphia were pipped 2-1 at Heighington Bay Horse.