New York lose Challenge Shield final

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Stobswood Welfare claimed the spoils 2-0 over New York in the North East Amateur Challenge Shield final, which was held over from last season.

The match at Heaton Stannington was preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of John Alder and Liam Sweeney.

It was Stobswood who started the stronger, almost scoring in a goalmouth scramble before Philip Tweddle netted from the resulting corner to give them a 13th minute lead.

New York keeper Chris Lewis prevented Welfare from extending that lead with an excellent tip over from a John Spears effort, while early in the second half another Spears attempt was headed off the line.

Stobswood keeper Josh Rutherford made a vital double block inside the last 20 minutes, with his side immediately extending their advantage at the other end.

Lewis came out of goal to block one effort, but the ball broke to Jacob Baker who smashed home from distance.

That was enough to secure success for Steve Gibbard’s side and their good-humoured travelling support.

Meanwhile the league campaign began the following day with a cracker as Bedlington Juniors ran last season’s division two winners Hazlerigg Victory very close before going down by the odd goal in seven.

Adam Ord bagged a brace for Bedlington with David Tait also scoring, with Kurt Blacklock netting a pair of his own for Hazlerigg, Sean Bates and Darren Howey completing the scoring.

Newcomers Blyth Town Reserves are the early leaders, however, after a 3-0 win away to Wardley. Ryan Knight, Chris Arkless and David Stewart were the goalscorers for Town.

Forest Hall YPC also began life in the league successfully, coming away from Ponteland United Reserves with a 2-0 success. Mark Milne and Lewis Walker were the men on target for Forest Hall.

Ryton and Crawcrook Albion Reserves and North Shields Athletic Reserves meanwhile shared four goals and the spoils in their opening game. Michael Robinson and Michael Lowdon scored for Albion, with a brace from last year’s division one player of the year Leeroy Odd earning Athletic a point.