A BUMPER crowd of 653 joined in the celebrations at the Brewery Field when Spennymoor Town clinched the Ebac Northern League First Division championship and promotion to the Evo-Stik League on Saturday.
Jason Ainsley’s side went into the game needing just one point, but they managed all three, although it was a close call against fourth-top Guisborough Town.
The only goal came after 38 minutes with a trade-mark free-kick from Keith Graydon.
Guisborough defender Leon Carling was sent off for holding back striker Andrew Johnson and one-time Sunderland reserve-team player Graydon produced a tremendous shot past the wall and goalkeeper Luke Coddington from 22 yards.
Celtic Nation finished runners-up following a comfortable 3-0 victory over Morpeth Town, with goals by Peter Murphy, Willie Gibson and former Spennymoor player Michael Rae.
Shildon also competed almost all season for the title but have to be content with third place. They signed off with a 1-1 draw at Dunston UTS, for whom Lee McAndrew cancelled out Ben Wood’s early spot kick.
Guisborough are fourth but can be overtaken by West Auckland, who play four games in five days this week before heading off to Wembley on May 10 for the FA Carlsberg Vase Final against Sholing.
On Saturday, West, no doubt with one eye on the Vase, were thumped 4-1 at Newton Aycliffe for whom John Close, Craig Nichol, Jamie Owens and Stuart Owen netted before Robert Briggs hit a last-minute consolation.
Sunderland RCA, with one game to play, end fifth-bottom after losing 3-1 at Crook Town who enjoyed a three-goal lead courtesy of Kyle Davis (2) and Chris Wallace. Just before the end, Kyle Morris grabbed the Wearsiders’ only goal.