TWO games beat the freezing conditions on Saturday in the Tyneside Amateur League – but there were plenty of goals to warm those who were present.
The only game to go ahead on grass saw Grainger Park Boys Club host division one leaders Walker Central Reserves at Newburn Leisure Centre.
Walker started the stronger side and took the lead after half an hour through a Craig Brown header.
Grainger, however, stuck to their task and Robert Jefferson levelled from a narrow angle shortly before the break.
Walker were without a league win since December 10, and seemed determined to put that right after the break.
Six strikes without reply from Billy Thompson, Mark Winton, Sam Grievson (2) and Jonathon Wright (2) propelled them to a 7-1 success to regain their stranglehold at the top of the league.
That left second-placed West Jesmond needing to win to stay in touch, and their trip to High Howdon Social Club was moved to an all-weather pitch at Hadrian Leisure Centre.
After an even opening period, Jed Manuel’s dinked finish gave Jesmond a 20th minute lead, only for Scott Dodds to level from a tight angle ten minutes later.
However, in five minutes before the break, a triple salvo moved Jesmond clear.
Firstly Adam Finch let fly from fully 30 yards, finding the top corner, before Douglas Cranston added a penalty and Michael Reay turned inside the area to put the visitors 4-1 up at half-time.
Any hopes Howdon had of a comeback were extinguished in the second half as further goals for the visitors followed at regular intervals.
Stuart Davidson netted twice in quick succession (the second via a sizeable deflection), and Michael Robinson made it 7-1.
Dodds grabbed a second consolation for the home side with 15 minutes to play, bringing his total for the campaign to 30 in the process.
West Jesmond weren’t finished however, as the final ten minutes saw Reay add a further pair to complete his hat-trick, and Kester Young came off the bench to bag a brace of his own to seal an emphatic 11-2 success.
Walker remain five points clear at the top of the table, although West Jesmond have a game in hand, with the sides having two and three games to play respectively.