Over-40s League: Dukes reigns as Oddies keep up title push

Ryhope Foresters (red) and Penshaw Catholic Club fight at a corner. Picture by Kevin Brady
Ryhope Foresters (red) and Penshaw Catholic Club fight at a corner. Picture by Kevin Brady
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ODDIES took another step towards the Fourth Division title, coming through a tough test at Billingham Vets.

The Teessiders fought well and stormed in front on 55 minutes, but the table-topping Wearsiders showed their class to take control, with Micky Greaves eventually levelling with a drive from just outside the box into the bottom right corner with 10 minutes to go.

Blue House were well on top at the start and led 3-0 in 15 minutes

Three minutes from time, Oddies won it when a free-kick was flicked goalwards by Ralph Dodd. The keeper could only parry the ball to right-back Brian Dukes, who slammed home to steer Oddies eight points clear at the top.

Ivy Legends defeated Hartlepool Vets 2-0

Ivy struck almost instantly when a speculative punt forward produced hesitation between defenders and keeper on the edge of the box. Phil Cleugh took advantage and looped the ball into the net.

Legends broke out of defence to double their lead on 80 minutes when a good ball across the box from Michael Cleugh saw Dave Dixon slotting home.

Rolls-Royce dropped to third on goal difference after losing 2-1 to promotion rivals Sedgefield Black Lion, while Colonel Prior crashed 6-0 at Woodhorn Lane and Chaplins lost 2-1 at Heighington Bay Horse.

Mill View WMC made it two wins on the trot for “Flying Window Cleaner” Micky Little and Sammy Ward, with The Philadelphia beaten 3-1 in Division Three.

Phili took the lead when they chased a hopeful through ball before rounding the keeper to slot into an empty net

Mill began to improve and Clifton Thompson equalised with a powerful shot from the edge of the box. Thompson repeated the feat soon afterwards to make it 2-1 at half-time.

Mill deservedly increased their lead when man of the match Thompson completed his hat-trick with a close-range header from Gavin Kirk’s cross.

Willow Pond lost to a Derek Cooper goal at Hartlepool Stag & Monkey, while Thornley Celtic dropped from top spot after a 0-0 draw at Wallsend Winstons. Horden Sportsmans took pole position thanks to a 4-1 win over Richmond Town.

Steels Social Club edged a 2-1 Premier Division victory against Ferryhill Greyhound.

Despite a strong wind, Steels had the better of the play and were eventually rewarded when Laidler’s fine through ball found star man Phil Sowerby, whose fierce shot left the keeper with no chance.

Ferryhill fought back, with Jewitt levelling, but Steels upped their game and created a number of chances. A second goal looked like eluding them, though, until a Clark free-kick could only be parried by the keeper and Jimmy Hayden gleefully put away the rebound.

Steels could not add to their tally and were fortunate to come away with the win when the visitors missed a last-minute penalty .

Andrew Mullen starred for Ferryhill.

Red House WMC edged a 3-2 win at Hebburn Town to stay a point behind fifth-top Steels.

Fifth-placed Grindon Broadway were held 1-1 by lowly Gateshead Rutherford, who slipped to the bottom of the table as Hartlepool Catholic Club beat Consett 2-0, Chris Tierney firing a brilliant opener.

Blue House were stunned as hosts Wingate Cons hit back from three goals down to secure an epic 4-3 victory in Division Two.

Blue House were well on top at the start and led 3-0 in 15 minutes, but Les Williams made early substitutions, and they paid off in the second half.

Paul Bestford ran on to a through ball to pull one back, then two Kevin Taylor goals in two minutes drew them level, heading in Steve Cooper’s corner and striking again after good work from Alan Presho. Wingate won it five minutes from time, with Bestford’s low cross finished off by Cooper.

Leaders Wearmouth CW drew 1-1 with Blakelaw SC to move four points clear,while Humbledon & Plains Farm lost 2-0 to Coxhoe Red Lion, Hylton CW beat Cobblers Hall 1-0 and Houghton Cricket succumbed 4-1 to Darsley Park.

Seaham drew 0-0 at Peterlee Helford, with defences on top.

Telford had the best chance of the first half when Esteris set up Lowther, whose shot was blocked by the keeper’s outstretched boot.

Seaham had a couple of penalty appeals turned down, and were denied by saves from John Monk.

Easington CIU lost 1-0 at fellow Premier side Darlington Shuttle and Loom in the Kip Watson Villa Real Cup despite putting in a fine performance.

Norman Hird had two efforts saved before a scuffed shot gave the hosts the lead. The second period saw Graham Langthorne, Hird and Tommy Garside all have shots brilliantly saved, and Anthony Ward’s effort was kicked off the line.

David Banks was Easington’s man of the match.

Pelton Crown fought hard before going down 4-2 to Premier big guns Hartlepool Touchdown, while Washington JFC Biddick Inn exited 2-1 at Premier side Spennymoor Salvin Arms and Durham Stonebridge shocked South Shields with a 3-1 victory.