IT remains nip and tuck between Ryhope CW and Stockton Town in the two-horse race for the Wearside League championship.
Both sides won at the weekend when Ryhope preserved a two-point lead over their rivals. The teams both have 11 games to play.
Ryhope, the only unbeaten side, made it 24 wins and three draws when they edged fourth-from-bottom Boldon CA.
It wasn’t until the 40th minute when Lee Owens went past the last defender and slotted the ball wide of goalkeeper Stephen Halliday.
The South Tynesiders belied their lowly position and were always in with a chance of causing an upset until the Wearsiders struck twice in the last five minutes to secure a 3-0 victory.
Chris Trewick pounced following a corner and, a minute from time, Nathan O’Neil struck a free-kick from outside the box past the wall and Halliday into the top left-hand corner of the net.
Stockton Town hit Jarrow for six and created a club record when they kept a sixth consecutive clean sheet.
Goalkeeper Michael Arthur was never seriously extended, but opposite number Simon Parkin was constantly in action.
Kallum Hannah gave the Teessiders a 10th-minute lead and although the visitors didn’t concede again until the second half, once Hannah made it two, the floodgates opened.
Adam Nicholson, Tony Johnson and Chris Stockton also beat Parkin and, just before the end, Hannah completed his hat-trick with a superb individual effort.
Second-bottom Coxhoe Athletic competed well against third-top Cleator Moor Celtic but did not make the most of their chances in a 3-0 defeat. John Kerr struck a post for Coxhoe.
One goal was all that separated Sunderland West End and Silksworth CW in the city derby at Ford Quarry. With only 14 minutes on the clock, Jamie Fryatt volleyed the only goal past Silksworth goalkeeper Joe Clayton.
Goals were more plentiful at Seaton Carew, where Horden CW impressively hit back from a two-goal deficit to win 4-2.
Visiting goalkeeper Steven Hubery made a good save in the seventh minute, but the ball rebounded to Terry Wilkinson, who fired the loose ball into the net.
Just before the half hour mark, Joe Osborne headed home a Craig Hutchinson cross for Seaton’s second,s but two goals in six pre-interval minutes threw the outcome wide open.
Chris Tarn lobbed Seaton keeper Gary Fleetham on 39 minutes and in the 45th, Paul Moss restored parity.
There was little between the sides until Horden struck twice in the final stages. Andrew Lonsdale gave them the lead for the first time, then Haydn Pace made sure of all three points.
Easington Colliery enjoyed a comfortable victory at Annfield Plain, where they had the incentive of a fifth-minute opener by David Laight.
Although the hosts twice hit the woodwork, the Colliers eased home as David Paul netted following a free-kick to complete the scoring at 2-0.
The Darville brothers were again prominent for Richmond Town.
Liam opened the scoring after only three minutes when he rounded Leam Rangers goalkeeper Ryan Docherty. After Scott Ryan made it two from close range, Ben Darville bagged a brace of goals in a 4-0 victory.
Redcar Athletic went nap at home to bottom-of-the-table Hartlepool, Adam Preston rifling a hat-trick in a 5-1 rout.
Harton and Westoe CW are on an upward trend and their latest success came at Wolviston, thanks to two superb goals by David Bulman, a tremendous 30-yard free-kick and a marvellous chip over the keeper from the edge of the penalty area.