SHOTTON Builders Warehouse are revelling in a double success, landing the George Ivey Memorial Cup in dramatic fashion and clinching the Second Division title less than 48 hours later.
In the cup final, Builders Warehouse beat Wingate Plough Inn in a penalty shoot-out after an entertaining match finished at 2-2 after extra time.
The Builders have had a great season and manager Lee Beeston paid tribute to his men, saying: “We are pleased to have won two trophies in 48 hours last weekend, but we need a third, which we are capable of adding.
“You need luck to have a lot of success, but I have a great squad of players who have all performed well to help us what we have achieved.”
David Wilcox and Michael Boardman were on target for the Builders in the final, with Joe Coulson and John Scott replying.
The Builders have the Second Division Cup final against NSCC at Easington Colliery next Friday night.
The league title was wrapped up when the Builders Warehouse edged home 3-2 against New Seaham Mallard, thanks to a brace from Karl Garside and a strike from substitute John Brown. Luke Wilson and sub Ashley Wilkinson kept Mallard in the game all the way.
Trimdon Colliery Albion are favourites to take the second promotion spot after hammering Easington Half Moon 8-1, with Moon still not safe from having to apply for re-election at the AGM.
Adam Croft, Paul Wilkinson and Brian Harrison notched two goals apiece, while Graham Blakey and Kurt Luke also found the target.
Peterlee Oaklands and Seaham Marlborough finished all square at 1-1, with Martin Mason firing home a spectacular effort for the hosts and star man Wes Smith hitting Marlborough’s goal.
Acre Rigg Celtic and Wingate Plough Inn also drew 1-1, with man of the match Graeme Coxon and Joe Coulson the respective marksmen.
In the First Division, leaders Easington Southside stretched their advantage to four points after beating second-top Thornley Harry’s Bar 2-1, and their fate is now in their own hands.
Luke Barnes was instrumental in Southside’s success and he set up Kieran Purvis to open the scoring before Tom Farrell increased the lead. Harry’s Bar pulled one back to set up a nerve-wracking last 20 minutes, but the hosts held firm.
Easington HMS Victory’s promotion hopes are all but over after a 3-1 defeat to Shotton Comrades, who are in with a shout for going up themselves.
HMS were many pundits’ pre-season fancy for promotion and they went ahead in the first half thanks to a brilliant strike from Nathan Graham.
But Comrades came out all guns blazing on the restart and Scott Danks equalised before sending in a great cross for Lee Buck to head powerfully home for a 2-1 lead. Soon after, a great through ball from David Hardman found sub Lliam Cockerill, who fired past advancing keeper Dan Brenkley to confirm victory.
Aaron Dodds netted in vain for Murton New Hesledon against Hetton Social as they went down 4-1, with the outstanding Nathan Fannon notching all four Social goals.
Michael and Jonathan Lee were both on target for Wingate Grange, but they still went down 4-2 to a strong Seaham Phoenix side.
Goals from Liam Houghton and Matthew Johnson paved the way for South Hetton Cricket Club to beat Easington Welfare 2-0 to stay on course for a promotion spot.
Wingate took a big step towards winning the Premier Division title after crushing Peterlee Helford United 3-0, killing off the defending champions’ hopes of a second successive title.
Wingate have impressed all season and will be worthy champions if they can continue in their rich vein of form, which saw Craig McManus, Peter Crawford and Keith Bailey convincingly knock the stuffing out of Helford.
Horden CW Supporters Club and Seaham The George will have a say in the destination of the title because both clubs can still pip Wingate.
A key fixture will be George’s clash with Wingate next weekend.
The Supporters Club are three points behind the leaders, albeit having played three games more, after hammering Hetton The Tuns 4-0. Jonathan Monaghan’s brace was backed by strikes from Kristopher Hope and Christopher Wright.
Third-top Seaham The George enjoyed a comfortable 7-0 win over already-relegated Horden Comrades, with two goals from Thomas Hobkirk supported by Marc Ruddock, Michael Wilson and substitutes Ryan Temple, Darren Ruddock and Michael Taylor.
The George are now only seven points behind the leaders but have two games in hand.
At the other end of the table, the pressure is on to see who gets relegated alongside Horden Comrades – it looks a battle between Easington Lane WMC and Peterlee Catholic Club.
Easington Lane enhanced their chances of staying in the top flight when a John Purvis brace saw them beat Murton Park View 2-0, and they are now four points ahead of the Catholic Club, who lost 3-1 to Seaham Island, but have only game to play, while the Peterlee side have three more matches.
Paul Wintrip responded to efforts from Island Club’s John Dale, Marc Taylor and Anthony Watson.