Easington Colliery capitalised on a blistering start to run out impressive 5-1 winners on the final day of the Second Division season at Crook Town on Saturday.
Paul Frame’s side secured a seventh-place finish on the back of their success, only behind Whickham on goal difference.
Easington made the perfect start, Jack Pounder heading home a first-minute opener from Aaron Croft’s cross.
The Colliers increased their advantage in the 12th minute when Pounder was fouled by Crook keeper Niki Lawson and Aidan Goodey coolly converted the penalty.
Crook’s Daniel Pigg had a reply chalked off for offside before they got one back close to half-time, when Chris Emms ran through and cleverly clipped the ball over keeper Ethan Anderson.
Easington roared 3-1 up early in the second half, with an excellent team move finished off by Croft, following a one-two with Pounder.
David Paul added a fine fourth goal, firing in from 22 yards, and he then hit the bar before on-loan Hartlepool United youngster Dylan Elliott made it 5-1, finishing off Paul Adams’s cutback.
Fourth-bottom Willington signed off with a 3-2 defeat to Northallerton, having gone in front when Connor Lowes scored.
Danny Jones equalised for Town and Nicky Martin put them ahead, only for Lewis Milner to level things up at 2-2. Martin’s second goal, with the last kick of the game, sealed Northallerton’s win.
Tow Law Town went down heavily to Billingham Town, losing 4-0, as the Teessiders ended in fifth place.
Chris Dickinson, Elliott Beddow and a brace from Connor Dunleavy did the damage.
Champions Stockton Town ended their excellent season with a 1-1 draw at Heaton Stannington, who finish fourth.
Heaton scored first, Gary Yates converted from the penalty spot after a foul on Dan Robinson.
Stockton fought back to equalise through Sonni Coleman, 10 minutes into the second half, who produced a great finish into the top corner.
Runners-up Team Northumbria won 1-0 at lowly Thornaby, with Ben Dibb-Fuller’s 75th-minute penalty proving decisive.
Billingham Synthonia, the third promoted side, ran out 4-1 victors at at Brandon United.
Jordan Wilson scored twice, with John Seaton and Chay Liddle the other scorers. Brandon’s Lewis Martin cancelled out Wilson’s opening goal.
Whickham secured sixth place with a comprehensive 4-1 win at Darlington RA, who ended up third-bottom.
Craig Jelley put them in front on 24 minutes and Andy Brown made it 2-0, 13 minutes later.
Callum Bennett reduced the deficit, but Jelley scored his second after 64 minutes and Mark Fitzpatrick completed the scoring four minutes later.
Blyth Town won 5-0 at Hebburn Town, with goals from Gary Day (2), Malky Morien (2) and Zak Atkinson.