Colliers dig out victory against all the odds

Bilclough cup final'Shilbottle(green) v Tweedmouth..Shilbotlle won 2-1 AET
Bilclough cup final'Shilbottle(green) v Tweedmouth..Shilbotlle won 2-1 AET

North Northumberland League, Bilclough Cup Final

Shilbottle CW 2 Tweedmouth Rangers 1 (aet)

Shilbottle just came out on top in this hard-fought cup final that was decided after a period of extra-time.

The Colliers were appearing in their 18th cup final in recent years. Tweedmouth Rangers were looking for their fourth trophy of the current season, having already won the Second Division Championship plus the Robson and Runciman Cups.

Play was fairly even early on, with neither side able to create much of a scoring opportunity. The first real chance came after 20 minutes when Kenny Collins almost gave the Colliers the lead but his effort drifted wide.

However, it was Collins who eventually gave the Colliers the lead after 35 minutes when he had a header well saved by the Tweedmouth keeper but managed to force home the rebound to put his side in front (1-0).

A good save from Andrew Wilson in the Shilbottle goal just before the break ensured the Colliers maintained their single-goal advantage at the interval. The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with very few scoring opportunities.

Phil Grey was unlucky with a cracking drive that flew just wide and Stephen Shendon just failed to get his head on a good opportunity as Shibottle looked to settle the match with a second goal.

As this second goal failed to arrive Tweedmouth began to get on top during the final quarter of the game.

The Colliers appeared to have hung on as the game moved into the final minute but the pressure told as Kenny Collins handled the ball on the goal-line to prevent an equaliser and was subsequently sent off, with Tweedmouth drawing level from the resultant penalty with almost the last kick of regulation time (1-1).

The Colliers looked up against it, down to 10 men, as extra-time began but battled courageously and eventually won the cup with a goal midway through the final period of extra-time (1-2).

A good free-kick from Phil Grey produced a scramble in the Tweedmouth box and Stephen Shendon forced the ball home from close range for what proved to be the winning goal.

The Colliers still had to withstand an onslaught from the Berwick side during the remaining minutes but, with Ron Murray outstanding in the centre of defence, they hung on to lift the trophy.

Shilbottle: A Wilson, M Cook, S McEwan, B Balmbra, R Murray, V Crane, Chisholm, B Wake, K Collins, P Grey, R Brown, S Shendon, M Nealings, L Brooks, A Turvey, M Brown. Shilbottle’s man-of-the-match: Ron Murray.