Champions!

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Honours even at Brewery Field, where two goals in a minute from Steven Richardson and Craig Hubbard salvaged a point for the home side after stikes either side of half time from David Pounder and Craig McFarlane had put Whitley Bay ahead. “A magnificent achievement,” Northern League Chairman Mike Amos said, before Spennymoor and ex-Whitley Bay skipper Leon Ryan lifted the Championship trophy aloft.

Two more goals for Gavin Barton gave Consett a 2-1 home win over Ashington, meaning Whitley Bay need a 15-goal margin of victory at Newcastle Benfield on Monday to seal second place and promotion to the Evostik. Benfield, 3-0 losers at Dunston, can still finish third with a win of their own. If, as now seems certain, Bay don’t go up, West Allotment Celtic are down, bowing out of Division One with a 2-2 draw at Bishop Auckland.

In Division Two, North Shields’ 4-1 victory over Marske United was too little too late, the Teeside club having already pipped them to the final promotion place. Guisborough’s week-long party ended with a 4-1 win of their own at Gilford Park. “Promotion party in full swing at the Green Bank, Carlisle. Beer garden and glorious sunshine,” tweeted Town secretary John Butterfield.

The league season formally ends on Tuesday with Dunston’s trip to South Shields. Wednesday sees Chester-le-Street Town versus Team Northumbria in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup Final at Newcastle Benfield, while Spennymoor round off another successful year with a League Cup Final against Benfield at Dunston’s ground the following night. For Whitley Bay, all eyes turn to Wembley and a third successive Vase. Like Mike Amos, we wish them all the best.

¡Viva Northern League!

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