Over-40s League: Slick Marlborough men rock title rivals Thornley to lift Ironside Cup

Ironside Trophy winners Seaham Marlborough celebrate their win over Thornley Celtic at Wearmouth CW last weekend. Picture by Tim Richardson
Ironside Trophy winners Seaham Marlborough celebrate their win over Thornley Celtic at Wearmouth CW last weekend. Picture by Tim Richardson
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Seaham Marlborough lifted the Ironside Cup thanks to a 2-0 final win over Second Division rivals Thornley Celtic.

The pair have challenged all season long for the Second Division title, with Celtic set to be champions if they take two points from their final two games.

On an immaculate pitch at Wearmouth CW, Thornley started the brighter, forcing a series of corners, but Seaham’s defence stood strong in front of keeper Lowes.

Mitchell’s free-kick forced Thornley’s keeper into the first real save, and Seaham kept up the tempo to break the deadlock as Punshon nutmegged his marker on the left and played a cornfield ball to the marauding right-back, whose cross was clinically dispatched over the keeper’s head by Jason Mitchell

A last-ditch tackle denied Duffy a second goal right on half-time.

Thornley started the second half well, but the outstanding Haddon helped keep them outflows made a point blank save to deny Thornley, then sub Holt went close for Marlborough.

The decisive second goal came on 67 minutes, when Crangle’s cross was headed into the bottom corner of the net by sub Cougle to spark wild celebrations on the sideline.

Good possession football saw them run the clock down to seal the win.

Marden need three wins from their final three games to snatch the Premier Division title from Hartlepool Touchdown, ended their campaign with a 3-2 win at relegated South Shields.

Marden outgunned Red House WMC 5-0, while Ryhope Foresters lost 2-0 to Billingham Swan.

Washington Sandpiper gained promotion from the First Division in fine style at the first attempt with 7-0 win at Milbourne Arms.

Sandpiper got off to a flying start when right-back Nathan Hicks picked up a ball on the edge of the box and fired into the bottom corner after two minutes.

Justin Kirtley then scored two very similar poacher goals before Hicks made it 4-0 with a lovely left-foot curler into the top corner.

Left-back Jimmy Thompson added a fifth in the second half with a delightful direct free-kick curled into the top corner. The prolific Justin Kirtley then completed his hat-trick followed by his fourth goal to finish the game at 7-0.

Andy Lumsden starred for Washington.

Pelton Crown boosted their survival bid, beating Grindon Broadway 2-0, while Easington CIU were thumped 8-2 at Consett.

Hylton CW guaranteed third place in Division Two, beating Horden Sportsmans 2-1.

Mill View SC scored twice in each half to overwhelm Hartlepool Catholic Club 4-0.

Thornley Celtic’s title bid suffered a midweek setback as they lost 1-0 to Horden Sportsmans.

Rolls Royce missed several first-teamers because of injuries or other commitments but still battled for a deserved 4-2 Third Division victory over Richmond Town. Mick Atkinson (2), Gary Barker and Ged Carolan all notched.

Willow Pond shared the spoils with Redcar Old Boys in a 2-2 draw.

John Carless fired home Redcar’s penalty opener, after an Andy Norman foul. Stand-in Willow keeper Mark Wilkinson made some good saves before his side levelled on the counter, Kit Tipling heading home a pinpoint Ronald Bulmer cross.

Carless restored Redcar’s lead in the second half, after Brian Adamson went close for the hosts, then three fine Wilkinson stops in one on ones kept Willow in it.

Adamson, though, levelled, rising high to power home a corner.

Oddies drew 2-2 at Hartlepool Stag & Monkey, having levelled at 1-1 and going ahead with a well-worked counter-attack.

The Philadelphia lost 6-4 at Washington JFC Biddick Inn, while Boldon Colliery Tavern look doomed to finish bottom after a 7-1 thrashing at Wingate Cons.

Wearmouth Old Boys moved off the bottom of the Fourth Division thanks to a hard-earned 1-0 win over Billingham Vets.

Their good, simple football was rewarded when a free-kick into the box flew into the net off a luckless defender. They defended well to see out the win, only their fourth of the season.

Ivy Legends, in sixth place, secured a 3-1 derby success at Oddfellows Arms.

Colonel Prior lost 5-1 at Pelton Newfield, while Newcastle East End all but secured the title in a 3-3 draw at second-top New Marske SC.