Belford denied second chance of NNL title

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There was no case of deja vu for Belford who missed out on the North Northumberland League Division 2 title at the second time of asking.

Belford, who only returned to the NNL ranks at the beginning of the season, thought they had clinched the championship in their first season back in the local league when they celebrated three weeks earlier following a win over Craster.

But the celebrations were cut short, just a few days later, when the league committee ordered that a game featuring their main rivals, Amble St Cuthbert, had to be replayed.

Amble had lost to Lynemouth, but it later transpired Lynemouth had fielded an ineligible player.

In the replay, Amble won, which meant Belford had to take at least a point from their final game of the season, at home to Tweedmouth Harrow, to be certain this time around.

They made a good start by scoring two goals in the opening ten minutes through Kevin Greshon and Ross Moore.

But the game turned on a missed penalty for Belford by Darren Thompson midway through the first half.

Instead of possibly going 3-0 up, their heads dropped for a spell, and the Harrow hit back with three goals, scored by Johnny Blythe, Jordan Richardson and Terry James to turn the tables and lead 3-2 at the break.

The second half was a tense and tight affair with both teams having a player sent off.

With only ten minutes remaining Belford were awarded a second penalty, and this time Moore scored to make it 3-3, meaning that if they could hang on the title would be theirs. However, late in the game a substitute netted the winner for the Harrow, making it three wins in a week for the Berwick side.

With the very last kick of the game Belford had a chance to snatch a draw but the ball hit the top of the bar.

The result meant Amble, who had some players at the game, won the league.

North Sunderland failed in their attempt to end the season with a trophy when they were beaten 3-1 by Wansbeck in the final of the Laidler - Lancaster Cup.

Michael Freathy gave Wansbeck the lead midway through the first half with a shot from the edge of the box.

He doubled their advantage with a second half penalty before the Seahouses side pulled one back through Chris Gardner, but Johnny Graham added a third in injury time.