Over-40s League: Five-goal Oddies seal title joy in sensational first season

Red House WMC Over-40s (red and black) take on Hartlepool Touchdown
Red House WMC Over-40s (red and black) take on Hartlepool Touchdown
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ODDIES confirmed the Fourth Division championship in style, crushing Chaplins 5-1.

Victory moved them 11 points clear after a magnificent first season in the league.

Michael Grieves put Oddies 1-0 up inside five minutes, but they paid the price for switching as Chaplins hit back to level.

Grieves, though, regained the lead and Oddies took command, creating chance after chance and eventually running out comfortable 5-1 winners.

Rolls-Royce, looking to make it a Sunderland one-two in the promotion places, joined Sedgefield Black Lion on 45 points from 21 games by thumping Woodhorn Lane 5-0.

Colonel Prior edged a 2-1 win over Newcastle East End, while Durham City Strollers’ visit to Billingham Vets was pretty even throughout. Both sides hit the post and Strollers had two headers just over the bar.

Red House WMC made Hartlepool Touchdown fight every inch for a 2-1 win which keeps them in contention for the Premier Division title.

Touchdown got off to a flier, going ahead inside five minutes when Andy McKenna headed home Scott Newbegin’s cross, and he added a second from Bob Smith’s defence-splitting pass.

Visitors Red House got one back before the break, scoring direct from a corner, and they continued to make life tough for Touchdown on the restart, taking control when the hosts had a man sent off 20 minutes from time and only being denied an equaliser by a clearance off the line.

Relegated bottom club Easington CIU lost 4-1 to fourth-top Spennymoor Salvin Arms, while sixth-placed Steels SC were beaten 3-0 by visitors Cramlington Burton House.

Penshaw Catholic took a big step towards promotion in Division One by beating third-placed Redcar Newmarket 2-1, moving six points clear of the Teessiders with only three games to go.

In a hotly contested game, Penshaw edged the first half and took the lead through Martin Cowell.

Redcar started brightly in the second half but John Kelly’s headed goal made it 2-0. Redcar responded well and pulled one back with 20 minutes left, but the hosts held out for the win.

Darren Oliver was Penshaw’s man of the match.

Second-top Heaton Stannington were surprisingly held 0-0 by bottom club Hartlepool Catholic Club and trail Penshaw by four points.

Pelton Crown won 5-3 at Gateshead Rutherford to consolidate fifth place, while Grindon Broadway succumbed 2-1 at Wallsend Community, who, with games in hand, have genuine a promotion chance.

Dubmire remain in danger in fourth-bottom spot after losing 3-2 in a six-pointer at Consett, who are now eight points clear of the bottom two.

Humbledon & Plains Farm climbed to second place in Division Two, thanks to a close-fought 2-1 victory over lowly Wingate Cons.

The hosts bossed the first half and took a two-goal lead into the break. Wingate got more into it in the second half but only scored late on, Kevin Taylor netting after Brian Coulson nodded down Barry Speckman’s corner.

Plainsy, though, have played six games more than third-top North Ormsby Vets and are only two points better off.

Hylton CW maintained fifth place by beating bottom club Houghton Cricket Club 3-2, while Seaham lost 3-0 at Durham Stonebridge.

Mill View WMC kept up their promotion push in Division Three, outgunning Trimdon Vets 3-0.

Trimdon started slightly the better side with the wind behind them, but Mill got into their stride and took the lead when an excellent Ian Mills cross was converted by Clifton Thompson.

Mill doubled their lead after a good spell of pressure when Darren Thompson headed home a pinpoint Clifton Thompson corner.

It was 3-0 when George Duncan scored a fine individual goal, finished off by lobbing the keeper from 20 yards.

Gary Wright was outstanding in midfield. Mill View are third, but, with only two games to play, must win both to stand a chance of promotion.

Leaders Thornley Celtic crashed 4-1 at Redcar OId Boys but are three points clear of Mill View, with three games in hand. Second-top Horden Sportsmans beat Wallsend Winstons 2-0 and are a point behind top spot with the same number of matches played.

Willow Pond climbed out of the bottom two by beating Washington JFC Biddick Inn 2-1, while The Philadelphia lost by the same score at Richmond Town.

Ryhope Foresters progressed to the First Division’s Alan Spedding Cup final, pipping Hartlepool Gillen Arms in a tight semi-final.

Foresters caught out their visitors at the back to make the breakthrough, and they were denied by two fine saves from the keeper before Gillen hit the bar.

Two more superb saves defied Ryhope, who were rocked as Simon Blackett volleyed an equaliser.

But Foresters regrouped and grabbed a deserved winner.

The Second Division’s Ironside Cup final will see leaders Wearmouth CW take on fourth-top CSSC Darsley Park.

Wearmouth edged a tight tie 1-0 at North Ormesby Vets, while Darsley Park overwhelmed Peterlee Helford 7-2.