North Northumberland League
Shilbottle CW 5 Springhill FC 1
Shilbottle got their campaign off to a fine start with this comfortable victory over Springhill at the Welfare Ground.
The Colliers were quickly out of the blocks, but failed to capitalise on several good chances before finally opening the scoring after 30 minutes when Stephen Shendon shot home from close range.
Springhill hit back five minutes later with a fine strike from Michael Antcliffe only for the Colliers to regain the lead just before the break with a headed goal from Liam Brooks.
Shilbottle led by the odd goal in three at the interval, but increased their advantage shortly after the restart when an effort from Liam Brooks struck the bar and the rebound was headed home by Josh Hay.
It was one-way traffic at this stage and Liam Brooks got his second goal after 65 minutes with a fine finish.
Shilbottle got their fifth goal 10 minutes later when Josh Hay headed home his second from a right-wing cross.
Things were looking bleak for Springhill at this stage but they battled well to prevent any further Shilbottle goals, although they finished well beaten in the end.
Shilbottle: A Wilson, C Graham, B Balmbra, M Graham, R Hume, R Murray, A Turvey, P Grey, L Brooks, S Shendon, R Brown, J Hay, R Douglas, C Chisholm.Shilbottle’s man of the match: Matty Graham. Match sponsor: Les Ternent (Shilbottle).
Elsewhere in Division One, the opening day of the season saw Bamburgh Castle beat Highfields United 3-2.
Rothbury smashed Tweedmouth Harrow 10-0 and Tweedmouth Rangers defeated Red Row Welfare 5-0.
Craster Rovers 3
Amble St Cuthbert 3
There was a dramatic finish to this competitive but clean opener.
After a goalless first half of few chances, Craster took a two-goal lead through a tap-in and a header from a corner, both scored by Richard Stanwix.
Amble had shaded the open play and got back into the game through a move finished by new striker Ethan Iredale.
With 10 minutes remaining Iredale added a second impressively heading in a well-delivered free-kick to level the scores.
Good chances followed for both sides, but it was Amble who appeared to have won it with a 90th-minute superbly-placed left-foot shot from midfielder Tim Hamilton.
The Cuddies’ celebrations proved to be premature, however, as Craster broke clear and a saved shot rebounded to poacher Stanwix, who completed his hat-trick with the last kick of the game.
Match sponsor: Billy Lumsden. Post-match hospitality: The Jolly Fisherman.
Also in Division Two, Duns beat Lynemouth Anglers 6-1, while Wansbeck Juniors defeated Lowick United by the same scoreline.
Embleton WR came out on top against Hedgeley Rovers, winning 5-2, and Wooler Reserves scored a 3-1 triumph over Alnmouth United.