Eight-goal thriller in opening-day derby tie

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Sportsworld North Northumberland League

Division One

The opening day of the season saw newly-promoted Alnmouth Utd off to a flying start as they netted six times without reply away to Highfields Utd.

A Judd Donohoe hat-trick, two from Andrew Murray and a Thomas Hegney goal saw the visitors to victory.

Tweedmouth Rangers had Lee Todd and Craig Colquhoun on target at Rothbury.

North Sunderland 4 Bamburgh 4

In a hard-fought opening-day derby, neither side managed to put the game to bed with the final score ending up at 4-4.

North Sunderland started the brighter of the two sides and quickly took the lead through Ryan Thompson, who smashed home on the volley.

The lead was quickly increased as a long ball out of defence was picked up by Thompson who again finished powerfully.

Bamburgh, to their credit, composed themselves as the game settled into an even contest with both sides competing for every ball.

A series of corners for North Sunderland came to nought and on the stroke of half-time Bamburgh punished them with a corner of their own.

The ball from the left was won by Matty Stephenson, but the ball broke to the edge of the box and a Bamburgh forward reacted first and drilled the ball into the bottom corner (2-1).

Straight after the break Bamburgh drew level after a good overlap saw the ball quickly switched and despatched into the home side’s net (2-2).

North Sunderland conceded again soon after as, from another headed clearance, the ball was smashed home from 30 yards (2-3).

Back came the home side as debutant Jack Convery forced a corner.

Stanton played it short and Alan Stephenson unlocked the Bamburgh defence with a great pass leading to the ball being calmly side-footed home by the impressive Steven Keers (3-3).

Jordan King came on up-front and had an immediate impact, scoring with a classy left-foot finish.

Bamburgh though refused to lie down and with a minute left on the clock they forced an equaliser with a scrappy finish from yet another set piece.

Division Two

Belford made a winning start on their return to the league as they netted seven times without reply in a win over Alnmouth.

A Ross Moore hat-trick, two from Neil Jefferson and single strikes by Craig Grieve and Dan Tully gave Belford the points.

Tweedmouth Harrow began life in Division Two with a win over Lynemouth Anglers Utd, while Wooler Reserves also got off to a winning start with a four-goal win at home to Craster Rovers.

Alan Taylor, two, Martin Nesbit and a kick from keeper Alan Mackay which ended up in the Craster net made up the Wooler total with Michael Brown netting for Craster.

Amble St Cuthbert 2 Springhill 0

With the warm conditions testing the fitness of the players, the much younger Amble side enjoyed the majority of the attacking threat and deservedly made the brea-through in the second half.

In the first half, Cuddie striker Reece Ramsay was unlucky to see a good header just clear the crossbar, and then Springhill saw a header bounce along the top of the home crossbar.

Reece Ramsay then shot just wide, well set up by brother Liam, and a minute later the visitors should have done better on another break, but failed to get a shot away.

As the players tired in the heat, chances were even fewer in the first third of the second half, but on 62 minutes, the home side made the breakthrough, Reece Ramsay forcing the ball over the line after Timmy Young’s first effort was blocked by the impressive Springhill custodian Ross Richardson.

The Cuddies were then in the ascendency, but lost midfielder Joe Henderson with an injury that was later confirmed to be a fractured ankle.

The home side remained on top, however, and on 73 minutes, Tim Hamilton, now playing up with Ramsay, finished a move he started out.

Springhill nearly pulled one back, but were denied by some good defending completed by Ethan Iredale’s goal line clearance.

AStC man of the match: Wayne Gair. Springhill man of the match: Ross Richardson. Match sponsor: Palin & Twyford Solicitors. Match ball sponsor and post-match hospitality: Radcliffe WM Club.