Durham Sunday League: Finch-perfect New Inn stun table-toppers Houghton

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Hetton New Inn stunned leaders Houghton with a thrilling 4-3 derby triumph in Division Three.

The unexpected victory steered Hetton up two places to eighth and eased their relegation fears.

Two-goal star man Keith Finch, Jordan Hay and Jordan Knox guided Hetton home, capping a fine team performance.

For Houghton, a fourth defeat means they are only six points clear, having played more games than all of their rivals, six more than second-top Durham County.

Hetton took the lead in just the third minute, with a penalty which Houghton claimed was very soft. They were awarded a second penalty, as players jostled for position, in the 44th minute to double the lead, and still had time to add a third from close range before the interval.

In the second half, Houghton fought back with a goal apiece from James Carman and James Wood.

As Houghton pushed for the equaliser, New Inn added a decisive fourth goal on the counter-attack.

Houghton’s Andrew Brooke pulled a third back in the 90th minute but ran out of time to find an equaliser.

The other Third Division derby lived up to expectations as Burnside WMC locked horns with lowly Dubmire WMC.

The game started at a very fast pace, with the away side taking the lead with a low drive from Elliot Cutts finding the net from outside the box. Burnside doubled their lead after half an hour, with Max Stoker coolly finishing from close range.

Several more chances followed before Craig Ellison curled one in from outside the box, leaving the keeper with no chance, to make it a deserved 3-0 interval lead.

Some acrobatic saves from both keepers kept the score down, but Dubmire grabbed one back to cut the deficit.

Keeper Sean Robinson starred for Burnside.

Durham County maintained their 100% league record with a seventh win out of seven.

They thumped Lumley Snooker Club 4-0, with Bradley Hird stealing the show thanks to a clinical hat-trick. Alex Hird also notched, with Ben Reed man of the match.

Houghton Wild Boar All-Stars finished 5-2 winners at home to Ferryhill Dynamos to climb into sixth place in Division One.

Nick Thompson scrambled home the only goal of the first half to give Boar the lead, perhaps against the run of play, but Ferryhill’s Chris Devine equalised 10 minutes into the second half before Rob Thompson and a super header from Nick Thompson made it 3-1 to the hosts

Devine reduced the deficit to 3-2 and a couple of brilliant saves from keeper Sean Simpson prevented Ferryhill adding to their tally.

The pivotal moment of the match came on 75 minutes, when the visitors had Nigel Milner sent off after reacting to Boar being awarded a penalty for a foul on Karl Anderson.

Nick Thompson, in search of his hat-trick, stepped up to take the kick but merely sidefooted the ball into the arms of keeper John Cavanagh.

Ferryhill’s 10 men struggled to keep out further Houghton attacks and Dean Clark and Dan Johnston both scored to seal the visitors’ fate.

Sean Simpson starred in goal for Boar, with David Gibson best for the visitors.

Whitehills produced a battling performance to secure a 1-0 victory at home to West Rainton to move joint top with Durham County Seniors, albeit having played four games more.

Bradley Graham bagged the only goal midway through the first half. West Rainton proceeded to dominate the rest of the game, but a strong defensive display and some fantastic saves from keeper Stephen Turnbull denied the visitors.

Stephen Fisher shone for Whitehills.

Brandon Sports Club climbed to sixth place thanks to a close-fought 2-1 win over second-bottom Hilda Park.

Hilda impressed throughout, but the outstanding goalkeeping of man of the match Robert Barron proved decisive in denying them any reward.

Hilda created the better early chances but failed to take any of them, and Brandon duly took the lead with a well-taken David Fort free-kick.

Slow to start the second half, Hilda came under intense Brandon pressure, but, on the break, Chris Watson crossed for Jak Gordon to slide home an equaliser.

Michael Fort, who led the line well, then pounced for Brandon’s winner. Daniel Foster shone for Hilda.

The big derby saw Sacriston WMC hold leaders Sacriston Cricket Club to a 1-1 draw, in a game of two halves.

The cricketers made a great start, with Shaun Gregory firing the early opener from a brilliant Marc Bladen pass, but they could not build on their first-half dominance.

Sacriston WMC had the majority of play in the second half but looked like missing out until star man David Wardle grabbed a merited leveller. Anthony Ward stood out for the cricketers.

High Handenhold Bird Inn moved up to fourth in Division Two thanks to a 3-1 win at Ferryhill Community Hub.

Brett Maughan had Hub ahead, but Bird Inn stepped up their game and deservedly turned the tie around, thanks to Marc Wood’s brace and a Daniel Watkins strike.

In the only Fourth Division match, Dave Lucas grabbed a hat-trick in vain for table-toppers Lumley, who lost out 5-3 in a good end-to-end game at Birtley Coach & Horses.

Chester Garden Farm dominated from start to finish to run out 13-1 winners at home to Newton Hall Jovial Monk in the Stepy’s Coaches President’s Trophy.

Monk were under the cosh from the off, and, with no subs available, could not cope. Dan Johnson’s four-goal salvo was backed by hat-tricks from Tom Wray and Ryan Johnson, with Bailey Hunter, Liam Walsh and Michael Toon also on target.

Fourth Division newcomers Eppleton Cricket Club found hosts Bishop Middleham too strong in their D&P Trophies Knockout Trophy second round tie.

Bishop eased home 4-1, thanks to John Cook (2), Adam Partington and an own goal, after trailing to Liam Ord’s opener. Michael Ambler was the visitors’ top performer, with Steven Ferguson best for Bishop.