Over-40s League: Briant brace bowls over cricketers as Willow Pond go top

Ivy Legends (blue and claret) keep the ball against The Philadelphia at The Limes last weekend.
Ivy Legends (blue and claret) keep the ball against The Philadelphia at The Limes last weekend.

Willow Pond moved top of Division Three thanks to a 3-1 victory at Houghton Cricket Club.

Houghton started brightly, with star man Alan Russell impressing, but Willow broke to open the scoring.

Brian Adamson won the ball and fed David Kelly who weaved his way through the defence before crossing for James Briant to head home.

Michael Forster fired over the bar for the hosts before Willow doubled the lead after dynamic right-back Lee Brown forced a corner. From the flag kick, David Law set up Gary Golightly, who dribbled past defenders and hit a low shot past stand-in keeper Michael Carmen.

Houghton pulled one back when John Collins collected a throw and crossed to Martin Cowell, who calmly took it down and slammed his shot past diving keeper Patrick Lesca into the bottom corner.

Houghton tried to turn the screw, but Willow broke to hit their third, with Briant outpacing his marker and rifling under Carmen.

Rolls-Royce enjoyed a convincing 7-0 win after totally dominating against Heighington Bay Horse.

Rolls took the lead on 10 minutes, with Wayne Browell stabbing home Davy White’s cross. Browell returned the compliment, crossing from the left for White to head in for 2-0.

It was 3-0 by half-time, when White surged from halfway and fired home from inside the box.

Simon ‘Chirpy’ Chapman’s floated free-kick was volleyed home superbly by Gary Barker, then Browell drove in a cross, which was deflected in for an own goal, though the forward claimed it.

Browell struck again from a tight angle, before White slotted home for 7-0 from Anderson’s pass.

Star man Thompson was fantastic in midfield.

Ivy Legends handed out a 4-0 beating to The Philadelphia, while Washington JFC Biddick Inn went down 2-1 at Redcar Old Boys.

Penshaw Catholic Club somehow contrived to lose heavily to Heaton Stannington in the Premier Division after dictating the first half.

Penshaw failed to capitalise on their possession and goalscoring opportunities, as Heaton rode their luck and defended stoutly.

Steve Preen hit the Tynesiders’ opener, but the lively Luke Charlsworth eventually levelled, volleying home when the ball broke to him.

Penshaw piled on the pressure, but Heaton survived and, as the hosts pushed for a winner, they were caught out as Preen struck again with a free header before fellow striker Aubrey Rutherford added a late double.

Redhouse WMC enjoyed an excellent 2-1 derby success at Wearmouth CW, while Washington Victoria Inn moved third with a 2-1 win at Spennymoor Town and Hylton CW fought hard in a 4-3 loss to leaders Marden.

Ryhope Foresters bagged a 3-0 win at Wallsend Community, while Easington CIU secured a 2-0 victory at Hartlepool Raby Arms.

They went ahead with a good finish against the run of play and broke well in the final few minutes to seal the points.

Seaham Marlborough maintained their outstanding start with a 7-0 drubbing of Wallsend BC in Division One.

They are unbeaten in second spot, with a +22 goal difference.

Grindon Broadway lost 1-0 at Dormans to slip from second to fifth.

Simon Shaw’s penalty had Dormans ahead when Grindon showed little in the first half. Grindon’s second-half changes got them on top, but they rued the referee’s decisions, with a strong penalty claim rejected and a goal disallowed when Griffiths scored from 10 yards, and the ball clearly went over the line.

Sherburn Village lost an epic 7-5 to Thornley Celtic.

In Division Two, Peterlee Helford United nodded home a last-minute corner to rescue a 3-3 draw against Hartlepool Catholic Club, though they had been 2-0 up in the first half.

Mill View succumbed 3-1 at St Mary’s College, while Plains Farm Alldec sit second-bottom after a 4-2 loss at South Shields Catholic Club. Dubmire Club crashed 5-4 at Stanley.

Wearmouth Old Boys climbed to mid-table in Division Four after a fine 3-2 win at high-flying Shildon.

Doxy Lad lost 1-0 at Boldon Colliery Tavern, who sit fourth, and Pennywell Vets were beaten 2-0 by Sedgefield, a fifth defeat out of five.

Pennywell Comrades worked hard to beat Hedworthfield Red Hackle 2-0.