While Newcastle United’s friendly with Fiorentina lasted only 63 minutes, eight Wearside League games played out to the final whistle. In a high-scoring opening day Willington thrashed newcomers Silksworth Rangers 6-1 while Boldon CA, Darlington Cleveland Bridge and Redcar Athletic, among the early-season favourites to challenge Ryhope CW, also enjoyed big wins. Annfield Plain, 3-2 winners at Hartlepool, and Ashbrooke Belford House, who defeated Wolviston 3-1, were the only teams to win away. The solitary draw was Stockton Town’s 1-1 against visitors Prudhoe Town.
Last season’s champions Ryhope CW open their campaign on Wednesday with a trip to Wolviston while Jarrow, 1-0 winners yesterday, have a home game with Sunderland West End. With Easington’s promotion and the demise of New Marske after manager Monty Alexander’s departure to Northern League Stokesley, Redcar, Jarrow and Kirkbymoorside – who finished last season fourth, fifth and sixth – will be hoping to stop Ryhope winning a second successive clean sweep of trophies. A full list of forthcoming fixtures can be found on the Wearside League site.