Durham Sunday League: Dazzler Davis keeps Houghton Town buzzing in Premier title race

Mill View SC (dark blue) take on Milbourne Arms in the Over-40s League last week. Picture by Tim Richardson
Mill View SC (dark blue) take on Milbourne Arms in the Over-40s League last week. Picture by Tim Richardson
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Houghton Town maintained their Premier Division title challenge with a goal bonanza against Brandon Sports Club.

Man of the match Kyle Davis weighed in with four goals in an 8-3 success, with Gary Thompson adding a double as Town made it eight wins in nine league games.

Harry Sunday and sub Daniel Johnston also netted, while Lee Blades, Andrew Morris and Adam Burnham replied. Scott Bryden was Brandon’s top man.

Sacriston Cricket Club boosted their survival hopes with just their second win of the season, 3-1 in a “must-win” at Waldridge Park.

John Harrison fired a double, with Anthony Ward also netting in an entertaining clash. Andrew Solan was man of the match as the cricketers moved four points above bottom club Sacriston WMC.

Sedgefield St Edmund’s moved level on points with leaders Pelton RAOB following a thrilling 4-3 victory at Ouston Cherry Tree, after being 2-0 down.

Tree stormed in front thanks to two great goals from Mark Bailes, including a cracking free-kick.

However, the hosts buckled under Sedgefield’s second-half pressure, as Steve Flockett, Callum Johnson and Lewis Brown put them 3-2 up with 10 minutes to go.

Andy Jefferson made a good save to keep out Glen Donaldson’s penalty and Ouston capitalised to level when Andrew Clarkson headed home Micky Ross’s corner.

Both sides went for a winner, and Saints got it, with Donaldson making amends for his spot-kick woe.

In Division One, Ferryhill Celtic twice came from behind to win 3-2 at Washington Cross Keys, inflicting a first league defeat on their promotion rivals.

Liam Young gave Keys a fifth-minute lead, though Celtic quickly levelled. Alan Wilson, though, converted a cross to restore the home lead.

Ferryhill improved on the restart and were in front by midway through the second half, with star man Jason White (2) and sub Dane Eltringham their heroes.

Nick Shotton stood out for Keys.

Coxhoe Red Lion handed out a 4-0 beating to mid-table rivals Hilda Park on a very difficult pitch.

Stephen Gregory and Craig Thompson stood out for Hilda.

Ferryhill Dynamoes closed the gap to leaders West Rainton to eight points with a pivotal 4-1 victory against the table-toppers.

Ferryhill were two up before Mark Wild pulled one back, then two second-half strikes sealed a comprehensive success.

Nathan Wall, Callum Sweeney, star man Vinny Gash and Jonathan Mason did the damage, with Dynamoes having five matches in hand on Rainton.

Dan Chester stood out for Rainton, who had Steven Bowes sent off.

Bowburn tightened up the promotion race in Division Three with a 3-1 success away to Hetton New Inn, thanks to three goals in the final five minutes.

Bowburn started the game well, dominating possession and creating chances only to find Hetton keeper David Hartill in fine form.

New Inn took heart from their star man’s performance, with Jon Ridley shooting them in front, slotting home after latching onto a poor clearance.

Bowburn were awarded a penalty when Adam Birks was fouled. He stepped up to take the spot-kick, but it was well saved by Hartill and Adam Kirk, following up, hit the post.

Hartill maintained his outstanding display throughout and had an escape when Eddie Carr hit the post.

But the pressure finally told in the 85th minute, when Daniel Crisp drove a shot into the top corner from 20 yards.

Bowburn pressed for the win and Craig Hill netted on the rebound, after Ben Johnson and Adam Kirk were denied. Kirk made it 3-1, sliding home from eight yards following Crisp’s quickly-taken free-kick.

East Rainton closed within seven points of leaders Lambton Lions thanks to a convincing 9-1 success away to bottom club Witton Gilbert WMC.

Daniel Cooke struck for Witton, whose top performer was Paul Reid.

Rainton, whose marksmen were Ollie Hotchkiss (2), Lee Gaunt (2), star man James Wood, Ryan Shaw, Chris Saunders, Jon Grant and Adam O’Neill, have four games in hand on Lions.

Grange Villa maintained their promotion push with a hard-earned 2-1 win at Sacriston The Shoes.

Mark Greener’s double was the match-winner for Villa, with Liam McEldon responding. Jack McRobbie stood out for Shoes.

Bede Lodge SC climbed to third place in Division Two with a convincing 5-1 victory at High Handenhold Bird Inn.

Bird started slowly and Bede capitalised to go 2-0 up, though the home side rallied strongly and pulled one back with a Daniel Watkins strike.

Bird’s pressure failed to bring an equaliser and Bede made the most of a couple of mistakes to run out big winners.

Stuart Thompson was Bede’s hat-trick hero, backed up by strikes from Ian Brown and sub Michael Kitching, with Dave Pratt their man of the match.

Ian Slater starred for Bird.

Leaders Durham County extended their advantage at the top to 10 points after winning an entertaining game 4-2 on a boggy pitch at Langley Park.

Alex Hird bagged a clinical hat-trick to inspire County, with star man Joe Kerry also on the scoresheet.

Subs Jake Welch-Davison and James Wright hit Langley’s goals, with keeper Lee Wright their man of the match.

Premier Division leaders Pelton RAOB had to battle hard to clinch their place in the Ramside Hall Hotel Cup-Winners’ Cup final.

Third Division Chester Garden Farm never let up their determination and were only sunk by a single Cameron Nichol strike.

Paul Weatherburn was top man for Buffs, with Anthony Marsden the pick for the visitors.