RYHOPE CW are on course for quadruple success after yesterday adding the Sunderland Shipowners’ Cup to the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup which they won last week.
For the second time, though, the Wearsiders were taken to the wire and needed extra-time before seeing off a strong challenge from Easington Colliery.
Martin Swales’ side went ahead on 15 minutes when John Butler glanced in a header following a corner from Jonathan Davis.
The Colliers hit back with a 50th-minute equaliser by John Harrison, who headed home after Michael Patterson had delivered a good cross.
With 15 minutes remaining, Davis opened up the Easington defence for Chris Trewick to restore the advantage to Ryhope but with five minutes remaining Harrison kept the Colliers in the tie.
The deciding goal came five minutes into extra-time and for the third occasion Davis was the provider. His excellent cross was met at the far post by Dave Anderson and he gave Easington goalkeeper Niki Lawson no chance.
Ryhope are in pole position to clinch the championship, two points ahead of Easington with a game in hand. They have also reached the final of the Wearside League Cup and meet Willington at Hall Lane on Saturday, May 21.
Two games were played in the league and there was more good news for Ryhope. Third-placed New Marske conceded two points at Stockton Town for who Chris Stockton bagged a brace of goals.
Annfield Plain consolidated a mid-table position with victory over Cleator Moor Celtic at Derwent Park. Paul Henderson and Jonathan Kemp were the marksmen.
H STL Northern League champions Spennymoor Town surpassed last season’s total of 100 points when they reached 103 with yesterday’s victory over Bedlington Terriers.
Only one goal separated the sides. Calvin Smith produced a stunning finish from 20 yards giving goalkeeper Paul Newton no chance in the 25th minute.
Bedlington’s best chance came a minute into the second half when goalkeeper Craig Turns was forced to fingertip a goalbound effort from Richard Hodgson to safety.
Whitley Bay end third top, equal on points with runners-up Consett. The Seahorses completed their league fixtures with a three-goal romp at fourth-placed Newcastle Benfield.
Gary Ormston, David Coulson and Brian Smith were the marksmen, setting Ian Chandler’s men up nicely for Sunday’s FA Carlsberg Vase final against Coalville Town at Wembley.