Over-40s League:

Houghton Cricket Club (red) take on Willow Pond last week. Picture by Tim Richardson
Houghton Cricket Club (red) take on Willow Pond last week. Picture by Tim Richardson
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Willow Pond stayed sixth in Division Three after a comfortable 2-0 victory at Houghton Cricket Club – their third in a row.

Lowly Houghton started out by far the brighter of the two teams and could have been ahead within two minutes.

But Willow defended well and soon got their passing game together, spending large amounts of time in Houghton’s half, albeit without breaking the deadlock.

Willow weathered an impressive five-minute spell by Houghton in the second period, but they soon took back full control and went ahead 10 minutes into the second half.

Man of the match Dave Kelly sent over a driven corner which was met cleverly at the near post by Mark Wood, who powered his effort past a static Houghton defence.

The win was confirmed 10 minutes later when Willow’s top scorer, Kit Tipling, beat the offside trap to double the lead.

Rolls-Royce slipped to 11th place after a close-fought 3-2 defeat at Durham County Strollers.

Lowly Oddies’ recent good run continued with a 2-2 draw at home to Hedworthfield Red Hackle, while Washington JFC Biddick Inn dropped to ninth place after going down 5-2 at Redcar Old Boys.

Wingate Cons stayed seventh after winning 5-2 at Shildon Grey Horse.

Grindon Broadway revelled in an outstanding all-round performance as they climbed to fifth place in Division One, thanks to a 5-1 romp at Dubmire.

The visitors started like a house on fire, with Dubmire second to everything.

Grindon capitalised to go 3-0 up in the first 14 minutes. The first 2 goals were scored by Alan Ridley, making his tally seven goals in the last two games, with the second one a 20-yard shot which went into the top right corner.

He later had to leave the pitch with facial injuries and a broken nose.

After 14 minutes, his brother Carl Ridley made it 3-0, then Paul Griffiths made it four.

Dubmire reduced the arrears after 70 minutes, with man of the match David Firth on target.

But Grindon instantly grabbed a killer fifth goal, with Griffiths notching his second goal.

Mark Fox was outstanding for Grindon.

Table-toppers Hylton CW capitalised on their rivals’ cup duties to extend their advantage at the top to four points following a 3-0 victory at bottom club Coxhoe Red Lion.

Easington CIU consolidated third place despite being held to a 1-1 draw at lowly St Mary’s College.

Oddfellows Arms secured only their fourth win of the season in Division Four.

But they remain in second-bottom spot despite edging home 4-3 against Boldon Colliery Tavern.

Leaders Roseberry Grange proved too strong for lowly visitors Colonel Prior, while fourth-bottom Wearmouth Old Boys secured their fifth victory, 4-2 away to mid-table Sedgefield.

Ivy Legends were without a match, so Hartlepool Vets moved back into the top three in with a 1-0 win over promotion rivals Heighington Bay Horse. Durham County forced a 1-1 draw at Hartlepool Tech.

In Division Two, John Hogg Funerals moved up to 11th place after a hard-earned 2-1 victory over Milbourne Arms, while Horden Sportsmans enjoyed the derby bragging rights after a 7-1 demolition of Peterlee Helford to move within a point of their neighbours, with two games in hand.

Fifth-placed Durham Stonebridge made Wallsend Boys Club work hard for a 4-3 win which kept them second, while third-top Cobblers Hall routed Hartlepool Catholic Club 6-0.

Penshaw Catholic Club enjoyed a day to savour in the Kip Watson Villa Real Cup, storming past the challenge of hosts Thornley Celtic with a 7-1 away success.

Wearmouth CW showed their Premier class to finally see off battling Darsley Park 2-1, while Red House WMC were given a tougher time than expected before pipping Second Division strugglers North Shields Pineapple 5-3.

Premier club Ryhope Foresters held off Third Division high-fliers Stanley before winning 4- 2 away.

Seaham Marlborough took Premier side Darlington Shuttle and Loom to extra time, only to lose out 3-1, while Washington Victoria Inn succumbed 4-3 in a thriller at Consett.

Pelton Crown put up an excellent fight only to go down 3-1 to Premier stalwarts Cramlington Burton House, while Tudhoe Black Horse were beaten 2-0 at Hartlepool Touchdown.

Ashington outfit Woodhorn Lane gave First Division high-fliers Hartlepool Gillen Arms a fright before losing on penalties after a close-fought 1-1 draw.

South Shields edged home 2-1 at Teesside team Dormans.

The Over-40s League is sad to announce that Mary Watson, the wife of the late Kip Watson, who was one of the founders of the league, has died. She was a devoted supporter of the league and of Kip’s considerable work in football in Sunderland and beyond.