Uni on top in local leagues

Sports Editor Mark Sleightholm reports on the Mens Football teams successful seasons in local leagues

Mark Sleightholm
30th April 2018
Berocca Juniors have not had the greatest of comebacks, while Hardly Athletic hit rock bottom this season. Image: Pixabay

After their fourth successive top-two finish in the BUCS Northern 1A league, the men’s first football team have now turned their attention to the local Northern Football Alliance.

The University are consistently at the top of the Bay Plastics Premier Division, and on Monday travelled to Ashington to thrash the Colliers by five goals to nil. They were unable to repeat this success two days later, however, away against the tougher competition of Wallington. In a league dominated by high score lines the game was surprisingly turgid, but the hosts scored the solitary goal of the match and gave Newcastle only their third defeat of the season.

That this is a rare exception to their dominance this season is also reflected in their cup performance. Newcastle have waltzed into the final of the Reeves Independent George Dobbins League Cup on 15 May. This will pit them against Birtley Town, currently their closest challengers for the league title.

[pullquote]The University are consistently at the top of the Bay Plastics Premier Division[/pullquote]

Before they can concentrate on their bid for the double, however, they face Whitley Bay A in Northumberland FA’s wonderfully-titled Scott’s Les Todd Senior Benevolent Bowl. A 5-1 drubbing of Killingworth Town back in February thrust Newcastle into the final, which takes place on 4 May at the home of the Northumberland FA’s home of Whitley Park, next door to the University’s own Longbenton ground.

In the Northern Football Alliance league Whitley Bay have proved challenging for Newcastle. Their initial meeting in September 2017 ended in a 3-3 draw, while Newcastle snuck a narrow victory when they travelled to Whitley in March, setting up Friday’s cup final to be a closely-fought affair.

Meanwhile the Newcastle seconds are also flying high, currently sitting in first place in the top division of the Newcastle Corinthians League. Unbeaten so far the University team are within touching distance of the title, but it could all come down to their final match of the season when the University take on current second-place holders New York FC on 5 May.

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