Washington promoted to Northern League top flight as Fairley seals the deal

Ryhope CW (red and white) take on Stokesley SC on Saturday. Picture by David Wood
Ryhope CW (red and white) take on Stokesley SC on Saturday. Picture by David Wood
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WASHINGTON are back in the First Division of the Ebac Northern League.

They needed one point from their penultimate game at Thornaby to seal promotion, but came away with all three to start the celebrations.

The inspirational James Fairley was involved in both goals for the Mechanics.

His cross on 27 minutes was headed home by Paul Wardle wide of goalkeeper Michael Duff and midway during the second period Fairley tapped in the crucial second goal for Steven Hutchinson’s men.

Washington – who host Willington in their final match of the campaign at Nissan this Saturday – will end as runners-up to champions Seaham Red Star and it’s now between Team Northumbria and Norton and Stockton Ancients for the third promotion place.

Team North, who have completed their season, are currently third but will be overtaken if Norton defeat Tow Law Town in their final game this Saturday.

The Teessiders will fancy their chances after hitting Esh Winning for six at the weekend, thanks to goals by hat-trick hero Michael Jamieson, John Seaton, Carl Charlton and Rocky Andrews, but nothing short of a win at Tow Law will see them over the line.

Hebburn Town’s hopes ended with a 4-3 defeat at home to in-form Heaton Stannington, whose marksmen were Joe Weir, Ryan Bailey, Adam Rowntree and Richard Hoggins.

Shaun Reay and Channon North twice had Hebburn in front before the Stann went 4-2 up just prior to the hour mark. Andy McIntosh made it 4-3, but the South Tynesiders were unable to score again.

Ryhope CW are ending the season with a flourish and could yet finish in the top six. Gary Pearson’s men went nap at home to Stokesley SC as the goals flowed from Josh Home Jackson, Richard Hodgson, Mattie Weirs and Conor Winter, with a brace. Jack Bradbury was Stokesley’s only marksman.

Ryhope head to second-bottom Tow Law tomorrow night before finishing off at Chester-le-Street on Saturday.

Birtley Town signed off with a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Northallerton. Josh Knox and Aaron Ramsbottom struck in the first half, but it wasn’t until the last 10 minutes that Knox and Ben Darville ended Birtley’s hopes.

South Shields also enjoyed a 4-0 romp, against Ryton and Crawcrook Albion. The Mariners made a dream start with goals by Chris Feasey and Ben Riding in the opening eight minutes.

Soon after the break, Barry Smith made it three and Paul Kane headed in the fourth.