Sassco%20League%2025%20Mar%2001Select's swan song.

For the first time ever, Select had a real opponent to deal with. Durham City were essentially Sporting Redhouse under a new name. A star studded line up included Pud Jackson, Stephen Wilson, Danny Coulson and Ryan McNaught. The team eventually petered out and reduced itself to a mediocre team by the end of the season. A 1-0 win over Select promised so much, but eventually, while Durham faltered, Select went from strength to strength and eventually won the title with a lead of 7 points.

Crown finished third in a season where, with so many rivals, it was a good performance. Success in the cup was the highlight for them. EMS were the shock. Good performances in both cups saw them foot the table just above the Slipway.
 

Crown%20 %206th%20SFL%20Cup%20WinnersCrown replace one Trophy with another.

Crown finally won a second trophy. Cup finalists in the same competition in Season 2 saw them being defeated on penalties.This time, they saw off the challenge of Posithread (4-2) and SNC (1-0) before triumphing over Durham in the Semi's after a 0-0 draw. Surprising considering that they lost 5-1 to the same team only a few weeks earlier.

The Final was against EMS, who did Crown a favour by ousting Select, the holders by 3-1. A 2-2 draw and penalty win over SR-1 in the Semi's saw them run out of steam in the Final, as a vicious clanger from Carter, in goal, was added to by two Wardle strikes.

 

Mark%20Lyall,%20Graham%20Roper,%20Colin%20Ward,%20Chris%20Ward,%20Kevin%20Atchison,%20James%20Oates,%20Lee%20CuddihySR-1 devastate EMS.

A new competition was inauguarted and won by SR-1. Open to all the teams (mainly the managers) that hadn't won anything in the league, it was difficult to call a winner.

 SR-1 triumphed. A shoot out v EMS in the Final concluded their successful wins over SNC and Sassco.

EMS themselves defeated Posi on penalties before failing in the same method in their last game. Also in two Cup Finals, EMS went away with nothing.

9th March 2004

Select triumph.

Crown meekly give away their trophy.

Select triumphed, as expected in the Super League and took the trophy back off Crown – who triumphed last season. This time, Select sailed through the semi finals with a 4-0 walloping over a weak and insipid Crown team.

The other semi was more close. SNC and Posi played out a 1-1 draw which resulted in the dreaded penalties. Posi

The Final was a straightforward win for Select. They'd beaten Posi easily in the League and had a reasonably comfortable win in the final. The 5-2 result means that Select, once more gain the

Season 7 will probably start mid April. Can all teams contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their intentions if they want to re-enter.

24th February 2004

Ellie are out!

Crown beat Sassco in a play-off thriller.

The most accomplished team for the last few games have been eliminated by a last minute goal. After a 0-0 draw against Ryhope, Ellie knew that only a reasonably heavy defeat against Select would put them out. An early goal from Christopher Priest gave them an almost guaranteed berth. But despite the goal, it was Whittle who kept them in the game with some outstanding stops. Select, almost single handily driven by Williamson and Walker, soon grabbed an equaliser. Walker scored two goals and then at the death, Williamson scored to dump Ellie out of the competition. If they hadn't conceded the last minute goal, they would have had a play-off against SNC.

The other group saw a deciding play-off between Sassco and Crown. it seemed to go to plan though. After an early Sassco stunner off Staples, Crown grabbed an equaliser and eventually went 4-1 up in the second half. It was then that a weakened Sassco (without Mouat and Robson), came alive. Two goals from Greenwell almost pulled them back into it – but it wasn't to be. Now Crown have to face Select in the semi finals.

2nd March 2004, Fixtures
7:30pm Ellie v Sex & Chocolate (play-off)

9th March 2004, Fixtures
Semi Finals

7:30pm Crown v Select and Ellie or SNC v Posithread.co.uk
8:00pm Final

17th February 2004

Posithread.co.uk thump Crown.

Hope for Sassco in a play-off.

A weakened Crown team was still expected to turn over Posithread, but a shock of a result let Sassco have another bite at the cherry. Goals from the excellent Dave Hutton (2) and John McDuggan combined with brilliant saves from 'keeper Paul Timberlake, gave Posithread a brilliant win (they were even fully kitted as well!). The result gave Crown the same goal difference as Sassco (minus 1). This means that a play off will take

Sunderland Select also overcame an awkward and irritated Ryhope team with a 1-0 victory. The result puts Ryhope out of the competition, but Select have an interesting clash against a resurgent Ellie team which should decide which one of the three (SNC, Ellie and Select) go through.

Tyzack came off the bench to break the deadlock in a tight game for Ellie against SNC. Dixon came closest for Sex & Chocolate in the opening half, but the only goal of the game came late

24th February 2004, Fixtures
7:30pm Ellie v Ryhope and Sassco.co.uk v Crown (play off)
8:00pm Ellie v Select

Semi Finals and Final take place 2nd March.

10th February 2004

Sassco look dead and buried.

Sex & Chocolate's second positive result.

Crown comfortably defeat Sassco by two goals to nil to put themselves firmly in pole position. Jon Wardle opened the scoring late in the second half and was followed shortly by Tom Robason's goal. Sassco controlled most of the play, but single

Sex & Chocolate has a battling win against Ryhope to give themselves a brilliant chance to get into the semi finals. A 3-2 win followed their excellent 2-2 draw against Select. But with Ellie yet to play, it seems that despite the good performances, there is still a long way to go.

3rd February 2004

Sex & Chocolate gain a brilliant result.

Sassco win v Posi.

Sassco dominated but failed to score more than the one goal, put away excellently by Robson, against Posi. Shaun Snowdon's team could have snatched a point in the end, but their forwards let them down. SNC gained their most positive result in years with a 2-2 draw against Select. This is the first time that SNC haven't been heavily defeated by Select, and it puts them in a positive position with two, albeit still strong, lesser

20th January 2004

Select win the Title.

Durham finally falter

With SR-1's no show, Select wrapped the Title up. They 100% confirmed it with a 3-2 win over Crown later on. Muers bagged a goal for Crown, but Walker (2) and Cairns scored to give Select their fourth successive

Durham's dying season also ended with SNC inflicting a superb 4-1 win. Both Gourlay and Dixon shared the spoils as Durham, with the influential Harper stranded in no mans land, suffered a third heavy defeat in as many match weeks.

Ryhope came and also beat Crown with a 2-0 scoreline. They leapfrog Posi, but cannot move any further up from eighth position. The final

13th January 2004

Shouldn't be any problems for Select.

Ellie keep winning.

With three games in hand and two points behind, Select should wrap up their fourth consecutive League title. Earlier set backs had put them behind Durham, but the recent Ellie win over Durham put Select firmly back in it.

Tonight, Select scored a comfortable win over SNC. Two goals from Trevor Walker wrapped it up. The most important result, however, was the Sassco win over Durham. A 6-0 hammering with goals from Staples, Robson and Middlemiss over a decidedly weaker Durham team put pay to any hopes of

Elsewhere, Ellie Leisure cruised past a hapless Crown Electrics as they continued their unprecedented run. This run is championship form, but too little too late. But the much shorter Super League at the end of this Season could see how Ellie put up against the likes of Select as they are now clearly the strongest team in the League apart from Select.

Posithread also came out of the cold with hat-trick hero, Ward beating Ryhope 3-1. A

17th December 2003

Crown look set for third.

Ellie's third win in a row.

From 10th position, Ellie are now in 6th and have made every indication that they are set for a higher position. Slipway were the victims this time and even with the inspirational Fat Phil in goal, they conceded six off Gary Tyzack and one each from Ainsley

Crown's game against SR-1 was practically a decided for who finishes in third place. SR-1 currently hold the berth, and still do after a 2-1 defeat off Wardle's team. But with games in hand, Crown will almost certainly hold the third place spot for their own next year when the league resumes.

9th December 2003

Ellie slaughter Durham.

Select back in the driving seat.

Ellie secured another excellent win, this time a 4-1 hammering against Durham. Wilson opened the scoring for Durham, who were enjoying a good recent run, but Ellie soon equalised and went further ahead. Sammut, Gibson and Tyzack (2) grabbed the goals for Ellie. This was Durham's first defeat for a long time and also only their second of

Select made no mistakes. Four strikes from Walker and two from Cairns saw a hapless Posithread.co.uk humiliated again. Select are now in the driving seat and can win the league if they win their remaining games.

Crown and Sassco played out an enjoyable 2-2 draw. Some early pressure saw Tom Robason miss some gilt edged, one-on-one chances before Gordon Robson scored the opener for Sassco. Robason did manage to equalise after gaining too much space, but in the second half, David Staples scored a goal after winning the ball and creating space for himself. The scoring ended when Steve Stubbs, somehow squeezed his low strike into the far corner. 2-2 was a fair result.

Ryhope were awarded a 3-0 win over EMS. EMS were absent.

25th November 2003

Ellie's first win since September.

Durham and Select secure handsome wins.

Select stormed it against Posithread with nine goals scored against one. Select were simply too good and hammered a weak Posi team which didn't feature Shaun Snowdon. Goals came from

Durham weren't too concerned as they destroyed Ryhope 6-0. The lack of Stephen Jackson simply hasn't effected them at all and despite a stumble a month back, they're back on track. Goals from McNaught, Hembrough and three from Wilson gave them the points and it puts them firmly

Ellie finally gained a win, and it was a handsome one. A weakened Sassco were pummelled and eventually lost 5-1 with two goals from new boy, Mark Gibson, two from Tyzack and one from Sammut. Even Sassco's equaliser

Sex & Chocolate secured a surprise 2-2 draw with SR-1. Both SNC's

18th November 2003

Select and Durham keep going.

Crown look to third.

Both Select and Durham were in action and both gained handsome wins. Goals from Williamson, John Hunt (2) and Cairns gave Select a 4-0 win despite Ellie have several good opportunities on goal. Durham also walloped Slipway, which was a potential banana skin. A 6-0 score line gives the team a much needed boost after a disappointing, albeit winning, performance against SNC last week.

The other games featured Posithread against Crown. A 3-0 win for Crown put Posi back after their recent run of decent form. Two defeats in two games doesn't help their campaign. Ryhope also returned to action and were comfortably dismissed by SR-1. Goals from Cuddihy, Barnes (playing outfield) and

11th November 2003

Sassco 4 Select 2.

Champions suffer a major (and unexpected) setback.

JJBs

Pic 11 11 03 Contrasting fortunes this week. Posi and Select both had handsome wins over their opponents, SR-1 and Sassco last week, but this time it was completely reversed.

Posi v SR-1. Match Report by Shaun Snowdon.

"Well what a difference a week can make as we started the game with our eyes closed. SR-1 quickly got ahead then Wardy, as normal hit one back, but then something strange happened. I think someone must have swapped Wards and Scott's boots with Ronny Rosenthal because from then on they either hit the post, or wide and high. SR-1 put every chance they had away in the 1st and it was 4-1 at the break. Posi "

Sassco.co.uk turned up against Select fearing another battering. It started the same as well. Paul Mouat lost the ball and Walker scored. But then, slow progress was made. Middlemiss scored the equaliser and then Select collapsed after Jona deflected a Mouat strike into his own net. "That killed us…" said Williamson after the game. Davinder Sangha (aka Clanger) learning from his last diabolical performance, pulled of some truly remarkable saves and double saves to earn himself the man-of-the-match award. In the second half, Sassco.co.uk hurtled into a 4-1 lead with all Downhill awake with the car horns blaring. Mouat and Flash Gordon scored. Trevor pulled one back with 30 seconds

A narrow win for Durham over SNC followed. It was crucial. Durham had plenty of chances, but with Watson in goal, SNC had a glimmer of hope. The three points put them firmly ahead, but with JJBs being deleted, the table has given Select two extra games

Slipway v Ellie Leisure looked like a stalemate, but the new improved Slipway – with Kelsey and Ames in the line up eventually shone through. Kelsey scored along with one of the twins and Ames scored after coming off the bench. Ellie's goal came from Priest, but it might take a little bit more than pine intervention to scrape them off the bottom of the table now that JJBs

28th October and 4th November 2003

A stop-start league.

Rearranged games stutter to a halt.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FIXTURE LIST IS NO LONGER VALID. GAMES ARE BEING ARRANGED ON A WEEK BY WEEK BASIS.

With so many games being cancelled and re-arranged due to SAFC games it's difficult to keep a proper track of the league progress.

Durham are being constantly chased by Select. An easy 7-1 win for Durham over EMS was followed by Sassco.co.uk's 4-0 defeat at the hands of Select. Sassco were dominant in the opening stages with the entire team forcing Davison to pull off some outstanding one on one saves. Walker, though, opened the scoring and with some haphazard goalkeeping were soon 4-0 up.

Posi thumped JJB Sports. A 9-0 scoreline upped Dave Wards goal tally to put him into fourth position. Remarkable as well considering that he's only played half the amount of games as the players above him.

SNC, with a superb hat-trick (TBC) from Dixon kept up their strong form, in the game against Ryhope. They are now unbeaten since early September.

Crown also gained revenge for their surprise defeat against Slipway with both goals coming from Jon Wardle. The win puts them into 4th place.

SR-1's climb up the table continued with goals from Cuddihy and Hutchinson. Ellie were the victims which wasn't a surprise considering their stop-start season.

There was only one game played on the 4th November due to a disaster in team organisation. Slipway, JJB Sports and EMS all cancelled on the day which means that they will be deducted points at the end of the season.

The only game left was SR-1 v Posi. posi controlled the game from the off with Snowdon only really tested once. But at an important stage, Dorwood hit early doors for Posi and Dave Ward finished it off with another trademark 25 yarder.

30th September and 7th October 2003

Durham and Select – neck and neck.

13 goals, a new record for the League.

Pic 30 09 03 30th September saw two games played due to the SAFC game. Crown played EMS and SR-1 played Sassco.co.uk

Crown raced into a two goal lead from Wardle and Tom Robason. Muers replied with a goal and then Galey equalised. EMS then went ahead with Greenwell. But lax defending allowed Stubbs to score and Wardle to finish them off.

SR-1 opened the scoring from Chris Ward, but Middlemiss equalised. SR-1 were without a recognised goalkeeper, but Sassco failed to take advantage. SR-1 had the majority of the chances but were thwarted by Sassco keeper, Sangha. The final moments saw SR-1 score twice to take the points.

The 7th October saw Crown secure another victory. They sit in 6th place with games in hand. If they win these games, they could jump into 3rd place. Ellie were the opponents tonight. Norris scored for them, but Crown, with goals from Wardle, Tom Robason and Jeff Clark gained the three points.

Posi and SNC was a difficult one to call. One would expect Posi to edge with their recent run of impressive form, but SNC had other ideas. Goals from Chris Scott and Chris Dixon put them 2-0 ahead. But Posi weren't finished as Dave Ward scored both their goals to level and conclude the game. Ward was nominated man of the match for this late rescue.

Slipway turned up with a much weakened squad, while Sassco were more than full strength. An opener from Keith Mouat was soon cancelled out by Michael Ames, who was making his Slipway debut. David Staples then scored a truly wonder goal – a volley from a cross ball to almost secure the win. But lax defending, namely from "Flash" Gordon Robson saw Ames steal the ball and snatch an equaliser.

Durham City returned to form with 13 goals (a new record) past the hapless JJB Sports. Six goals came from new debutante, Michael Conlin, while Neil Middlemiss scored a hat-trick. Wilson and Hembrough shared four goals.

Select beat EMS 6-3, and while the scoreline seemed that it was a tough challenge, it was far from it. Select were 5-0 up at one stage, and only let EMS back into it when David Leithes replaced Gary Davison in goal. Williamson grabbed a hat-trick and another man of the match award, while his opposite, Wayne Greenwell, spent the 30 minutes abusing his own team.

16th September 2003

Durham scrape past Posithread.

Wardle strikes three for Crown.

Pic 17 09 03 A more stronger looking Posithread team were unfortunate to be clinically despatched by three strikes from Durham. Posithread were excellent and deserved at least a point. Scott and Ward both hit the post, but credit has to go out to Danny Coulson for some fine saves after his below par performance the week before. Due to recent injuries and players being unavailable, Cousins and Thompson were brought in and from their performance tonight, Posi will have a very strong team.

SR-1 turned into SR-6 with goals from Cuddihy (2), Ward (2) and McClements and Hutchinson. JJB Sports (sponsored by Northern Electric), struggled to get in the game and received the expected battering.

Crown Electrics faced a vastly weakened Sassco team. Keith Mouat was unavailable and replaced by Steve Logan, but a last minute drop out by Mickey Pearson didn't help at all. Sassco's strongest point – the defence – was new. Sangha and Ames couldn't get into the game, despite a good start. Wardle eventually scored a hat-trick. Although Sassco did claw one back at 2-1 and nearly scored an unlikely equaliser. Crown now move in 7th place and have several games in hand to make a late push.

Sex & Chocolate faced off against Ryhope in a difficult game to call. Dixon grabbed a hat-trick and Pentiland scored two as SNC secured an important and reasonably unexpected win.

Select also gave the new and improved Slipway a battering. Their last game against Select was a 6-1 mauling, but this time they had Kelsey and Coulson. But no joy as Select keep up with Durham.

9th September 2003

Game of the night ends 2-2

Sassco give away two late goals. Kelsey grabs a winner over Crown.

Pic 09 09 03 Cruising at 2-0 and performing strongly, Sassco allowed Durham to grab two late goals, courtesy of Stephen Jackson, to lose two points in a 2-2 draw. Middlemiss and Robson returned for Sassco as they put out their strongest team, and it was Middlemiss who opened the scoring and then doubled it with a superb free-kick. The leaders were shaking, but with Jackson in the team, they only needed a half chance. And he got two with two minutes remaining. The game was excellent to watch, with chances at a premium. Sassco were clinical with theirs and Durham forced a few good saves from Davinder Sangha. A 2-2 draw was quite balanced. Sassco would take that before the game, but Durham, with Select winning 4-2 against Ellie, could consider it two points lost. Sassco revealed serious weaknesses in the Durham team as Durham's confidence is at an all time low, despite a late grab of the points.

Select now have it in their hands as they brushed aside Ellie Leisure 4-2. Ellie held them for a considerable amount of time with the score tied at 1-1 but gave way in the end. Morris and Tyzack scored for Ellie whilst Walker and Cairns scored two each.

JJB Sports (co sponsored by Northern Electric from now on) suffered another defeat. This time it was EMS, with Dickinson transferred from Sassco.co.uk. He scored a goal alongside Scott, Greenwell and Galey (who scored two). EMS are now in third place having leapfrogged Sassco.

Snowdon's Posithread turned up wearing FC Fulwell's kit and performed in a similar manner in a 2-2 draw with Ryhope. Mark Peel and Danny Pentiland scored for Ryhope while Hutton and Davison grabbed the goals from Posi, who were coming of a two game losing streak. Ryhope themselves also lost last week so a draw was a fair result. Posi had about five injuries and people playing 11 a side. The new boys did a good job. Mark Richardson was tireless and his passing was 100% Hayes stopped Pentiland from notching more than his solitary. Davison scored in the first half only for Ryhope too make it 2-1 in the second. But after a lengthy lay off Davey "Daniel Beddingfield" Hutton popped up with his first goal of the season.2-2 final score, despite scoring for fun in the Thursday league.

And finally, having spent so long without winning a game, Slipway had two in two weeks. This one was special though. Crown Electrics raced into a 1-0 lead courtesy of Tom Robason but Slipway soon hit back, and it was their superstar signing who grabbed the winner. Mark Kelsey made no mistake in scoring to give his side a consecutive win with a 2-1 scoreline – what a hero!

2nd September 2003

Slipway turn the corner.

3-0 win over Posithread.co.uk. Ellie Leisure, unbeaten in 5.

Pic 02 09 03 After nearly 12 games without a win (and their only win being over JJB Sports), Slipway finally delivered the goods in a comprehensive 3-0 win over Posithread.co.uk. The Halliwell twins got on the scoresheet and Mark Kelsey scored his first goal for the team. Posithread.co.uk were playing back to back games to complete some of their back logged games, but the two games couldn't come at a worse time. They were missing three key players and it showed when the team was pushing forward and not tracking back. Nigel Shefford was left to deal with the brunt of all the attacks on his own. Steve Willie was missing and the likes of Hutton and Scott were sorely missed.

Their earlier defeat was against a resurgent Ellie Leisure, who themselves have now won five off the belt. The 2-1 scoreline was well worth it, as Sammut and Priest got on the scoresheet. Ellie are now slowly climbing the table and look impressive. A huge test next week, though: Sunderland Select.

Select comfortably won over a weakened Sex & Chocolate. Anth Mouat provided the heroics for SNC in goal, but his outfield players couldn't finish their chances. Select, as expected, comfortably finished theirs. Walker scored a hat-trick and Hunt grabbed a solo goal to finish t he game 4-0 to Select.

EMS sprung a surprise after losing their last two games. It was expected that Ryhope would take EMS to the cleaners, but Baker and Elliott scored to give them a good 2-0 win to put them into fourth place.

Above them were Sassco. A completely transformed team with two debutantes, the ageing Steve Lawson (ex Royal Mail team) and James Dickinson. A weak early goal scored by Dennis looked to cause an avalanche as SR-1's strong line up passed their way around the incoherent Sassco team. Eventually though, Dickinson equalised and Sassco had the bulk of the second half chances. It ended 1-1 and both teams were reasonably satisfied.

Crown easily beat JJB Sports, but JJBs did manage to get on the scoresheet. Cook scored their first goal since the 1-1 draw with SNC. And this being their only second goal all season shows clearly why they are bottom. Stubbs scored two for Crown and Tom Robason scored a hat-trick. Jon Wardle set most of the opportunities up and eventually got on the scoresheet in a man-of-the-match performance.

26th August 2003

Durham gain some much needed poise.

Slipway – only one win in 12

Pic 26 08 03 After the previous weeks humiliating climb down against the Champions, Durham answered their critics back in perfect style. Crown were the opponents and for most of the game it was a negative event. It was only late in the second half when inexplicably, Crown failed to man mark Stephen Jackson. He wasted no time in firing in the opener after gaining so much space. Further goals by Hembrough and Jackson (again), gave Durham a much needed 3-0 win over a contender. Ironically, Crown are third from bottom, but their three defeats have been against Durham and Select and they do have a significant number of games in hand.

Sassco began a new era with two new permanent players. Booth and Kelsey were gone, and in came Gordon Robson and Pearson for their second appearances. Against JJB Sports it was a one sided game. Stand in keeper, Logan, made one excellent save, but it was all Sassco. Robson hit his first goals with a superb hat-trick and Pearson and Mouat shared the others. More should have been scored, but the game was played at a much too relaxed pace. Nevertheless, Sassco remain in third, especially after EMS lost out against SR-1.

This time it was Hutchinson with the goals in a game where Cuddihy was firing blanks. EMS were without keeper Dave Carter, and Muers failed to do an adequate job in his stead. Greenwell and Baker scored for EMS, but an additional goal from Ward gave SR-1 an impressive win.

Dave Watson was awarded man of the match for Sex & Chocolate against Ellie Leisure as he took a bit of a battering. SNC were still without Gourlay, but Cassidy came in as a more than useful replacement. An opener for Dixon, combined with SNC's lock tight defence meant goals were at a premium. But Watson was unable to prevent Priest's equaliser in the second half. There were chances later on but the game was tied at 1-1. Amazingly both these teams had butchered each other in a matter of two weeks, but this time they were balanced.

Finally, Slipway kept their terrible run going. They succumbed to a fifth straight defeat, this time against Ryhope. Slipway have lost 9 league games and drawn only 2. Their only win was against JJB Sports. Goals from Danny Pentiland and Scott Gilby secured a good win for Ryhope, who picked up their first win since July. After a promising start, Ryhope have definitely lost their way. But the squad is certainly good enough to pick up more points in the forthcoming games.

19th August 2003

Durham Collapse!

A 3-1 win puts Select back on track.

Pic 19 08 03 A welcome return for referee Terry Ward, after nearly two years since he last refereed in the league.

A quiet evening saw one major game where Select gained revenge over Durham. The previous encounter was a 1-0 win for Durham, but this one was completely different. Durham seemed out of sync and struggled to control a Select onslaught. Lawton soon put Select ahead, and to be honest, the result was never in doubt. Huge gaps in Durham's defence saw Walker hit Select's second goal. A consolation was fired in by Hembrough and at one stage it seemed that Select's normally lax defence would falter. But it didn't and Walker scored a breakaway goal to secure the three points. Select are now only four points behind Durham and also have a game in hand. It looks extremely tight and now depends on both these teams results against the rest of the teams in the league.

The main talking point of the Slipway SR-1 game, beforehand, was Mark Kelsey's debut. The talking afterwards was of Hutchinson's fantastic opener which was added to moments later by Lee Cuddihy. Without Melvin Keith, Slipway lacked any ideas up front. They had a team full of battlers and it showed in a scrappy game. Cuddihy added another to make it a 3-0 scoreline which reflected badly on Slipway, who are now second bottom.

Bottom placed are JJB Sports, who more worryingly than anything else, have failed to score since their miraculous draw with Sex & Chocolate. It was different this time. SNC scored three goals in their opening attacks and never looked back. Chris Scott got man-of-the-match with his hat-trick, while Dixon and Tim Gillespie scored the other four. Gourlay was left languishing on the sidelines, torn in his heart with the fact that the team simply look exceptional without him. Daykin will have to disrupt a happy squad when Gourlay bludgeons his way back in.

EMS had the opposite effect without their star player, as a weakened Ellie Leisure trounced them 3-0. Sammut scored two while man-of-the-match, Harrison opened the scoring. Butler was playing outfield for Ellie which always signals a crisis, but this time it was positive. Despite hobbling off at half time with exhaustion, Butler's replacement, Ben Tye, didn't have anything to worry about. For EMS, without Greenwell, they lacked any punch. Muers was left flailing about on the pitch with his new streamlined haircut, and apart from a few decent stops from Carter, there wasn't really anything to say.

12th August 2003

Are Durham wobbling?

A 1-1 draw is a set back. Noble misses a sitter as Ellie draw with Ryhope.

Pic 12 08 03 The overconfidence which oozed from Durham after their 1-0 win, last week against Ryhope, came crashing down as Hutchinson opened the scoring for SR-1. Lee Cuddihy's team are obviously far less comfortable in the Tuesday League as opposed to their more positive Thursday campaign. Coulson was clearly at fault for the goal and it's hard to see how he will live with himself. But the class of his team still shone through. Both teams had an equal amount of chances in the game, but it seemed that Durham's luck would soon appear after Wilson equalised. Both Wilson and Jackson were off key for most of the game as it concluded in a satisfactory manor for SR-1, but a more devastating blow for Durham, who had beaten SR-1 4-2 in their earlier encounter.

Select took obvious advantage of this. A 10-0 scoreline was achieved. This was despite only leading by 2-0 at half time. Walker and Hunt scored hat-tricks (Walker got 4 goals). The others were shared by Cairns, Dean Wardle and Simon Williamson. An expected defeat for JJBs, but they still soldier on. The win moves Select into second place with games in hand.

Crown and Sex & Chocolate played out a 1-1 draw. Dixon opened the scoring but Stubbs equalised. Both teams had a fair amount of chances, but Watson kept Sex & Chocolate in it with several excellent saves. SNC have had a few excellent results starting with a 2-0 over Sassco and now consecutive draws against SR-1 and Crown. Wardle's team are also sitting comfortably. They have only had two defeats in seven games. Unfortunately, they were against Durham and Select, their nearest rivals.

Paul Noble will definitely wake up with a hangover. Inexplicably he missed a glorious chance to take Ellie to a 2-1 win, after leading for most of the game with a 1-0 scoreline. Sammut scored the opener and it was only late on when Craig Johnson equalised. It was Ryhope who had some excellent chances in the second, but none were even remotely clear as Noble's chance. With no goals to his name this season, it was hardly surprising*

* match report authorised by S. Harrison

EMSeurope.co.uk put some bad form behind them as they beat Slipway 2-0. Terry Halliwell was awarded man-of-the-match for the Slipway and the game did actually flare up on one occasion for the Slipway. But goals from Galey and Baker ended EMSeurope's bad run. In the last seven games, they only won two. But them two games were both against Select.

5th August 2003

Durham scrape past Ryhope.

Posithread's Dave Ward puts FIVE past the Slipway.

Pic 05 08 03 A welcome return for Mickey Frater, who was the first referee in the League back in 1999 and was consistent in refereeing until Season 3.

The main game of the night was Durham versus Ryhope. A single goal from Gareth Greener settled the game, but Ryhope had so many chances, it seemed that it was them that should have been leading in the table. A disallowed goal didn't help neither, but Durham seem to have the ability to grab wins with a little bit of luck. Already they have seen off their nearest rivals. The only threat seems to be from Select.

Select gained a much needed win against Crown Electrics. Disorganisation from Crown and knowing that they had to pay a kit fine, didn't seem to put them off. Stubbs scored a dubious opening goal, but Select eventually hit back. Goals from Cairns, Williamson and Walker put them 3-1 up, before Jon Wardle hit a consolation. A great result from Select, but a disappointing one from Crown who were on a good run.

EMS and Sassco concluded the games on Pitch B, and for once, this one was over before it started. A soft goal conceded by Dave Carter from Staples killed the EMS confidence. The previously infallible Carter seems to still be suffering from his nightmare in the 5th SFL Cup Final. A second from Middlemiss in the second half ended the game as a contest. For Sassco, Gordon Robson was making a long awaited return and certainly inspired the side. A late stunner from Staples gave EMS a trouncing and kept Sassco ahead in the table, despite having far more games played than any other team.

Ellie Leisure lashed five past JJB Sports, as expected. Chris Priest scored a hat-trick and Burnside scored two. Craig Henderson's team simply can't get into the swing of things and still remain rooted at the foot of the table.

JJBs only points came from Sex & Chocolate, who themselves grabbed a share of the points from SR-1. Dave Watson was man-of-the-match as he kept his team in it. Gourlay scored for SNC, while Hutchinson scored for SR-1.

The most remarkable result of the night was Posithread's 6-1 hammering over the Slipway. Dave Ward put three past EMS last week and now FIVE past Slipway. Col Robson scored the other one and Melvin Keith scored for the Slipway. A complete transformation considering that key players such as Dave Hutton were still missing. A brilliant result, which puts them into fifth, with games in hand.

29th July 2003

Snowdon returns to inspire Posithread.co.uk.

Crown dismiss SR-1 with two goals from Wardle. Durham still lead.

Pic 29 07 03 A quiet night, in terms of the football games, saw no major clashes.

A major surprise, however, complemented the opening game. Shaun Snowdon, fresh from his sojourn in Communist Cuba, returned to inspire a team lacking the talents of Dave Hutton, to a 4-1 win against EMSeurope.co.uk. Mark Muers opened the scoring for EMS, but after that he and his team faded away. A hat-trick from Dave Ward and another from his substitute, Col Robson, saw Posithread climb the table into seventh. Games in hand could mean a late surge from this new improved team.

Sassco's winning streak came to halt. It wasn't surprising that it was against Sex & Chocolate, and it wasn't surprising considering that both Mark Kelsey and Michael Booth were absent. Dixon turned two players inside out to score the opener after a promising start for Sassco. However, the later it went on, the more desperate became Sassco in a typical nasty game. A late second from Dixon secured the points for Sex & Chocolate. Sassco are still in second place but look likely to be overtaken by teams with games in hand.

Jon Wardle came off the bench after his disappointing performance in the CNSC League, last Thursday, to strike two stunning goals in a 2-0 win over SR-1. Ironically, SR-1 are doing very well in the Thursday competition. But tonight they were struggling with a team, as no one with any common or tactical sense would put Graham Roper in defence. The result wasn't too unexpected. SR-1 now haven't won in their last three league games (which is unexpected) and it doesn't bode well at all. Crown, on the other hand, have plenty of games available, and with Sean Forrest returning to a full strength team, it can only get better.

Finally, Durham consolidated their healthy position at the head of the table with a 2-0 win over Ellie Leisure. Mark Sammut had a golden opportunity to equalise against Durham, but failed. His opposite number, Stephen Wilson, grabbed both goals in what appears to be his final game for Durham, due to a recent criminal conviction.

22nd July 2003

Sassco in second place as Keith Mouat scores!

Muers and Greenwell restore some pride in a win over Select.

Pic 22 07 03 What with Dave Watson making a rare mistake, Keith Mouat scoring a goal to put Sassco into second. And Mark Muers remaining on the pitch, without being substituted, in a win against Select – strange occurrences were afoot.

Firstly, Dave Scott broke clear and scored against Sex & Chocolate. The chance was one which SNC 'keeper, Dave Watson, should have saved – but he didn't and despite making some good stops during the game, it was the turning point. Posithread, under temporary (or is it?) control of Dave Hutton have made a marginal improvement and now move away from the foot of the table. The win puts them two points clear of Sex & Chocolate.

A solid looking Ryhope team meant business against SR-1, who were also full strength. An early goal, from Lee Cuddihy, was cancelled out by a Danny Pentiland strike late in the second half. The draw against a strong SR-1 team put a huge amount of confidence back into Ryhope, who, over the last few weeks, had seemed to be drifting. The draw put them firmly back into fourth place – in with a shout. SR-1, fresh from winning in a rival League in Biddick, are still languishing in mid table. They do have games in hand, which should bode well if they are to put up a challenge.

Sassco.co.uk have found themselves surprisingly in second place after other results went their way. Slipway were the opponents, who opened the scoring from the creaking, Melvin Keith. He latched on to a loose ball and fired home with his second shot of the evening. It seemed as if Sassco would struggle, but a superb goal from Keith Mouat, his first, saw them equalise. He took advantage of space and beat a man before poking the ball into the bottom right hand corner, inches away from Stephen Keith's pe. The second half saw a mixed game. Slipway had far more chances on the Sassco goal then, arguably, more stronger opposition in recent weeks. This was soon overturned after David Staples scored another wonder strike, only his third goal this season, to seal the game. The game was soured as Mark Kelsey was banned for Sassco's next encounter, after complaining about an innocuous incident.

The final surprise was EMSeurope.co.uk's win over Select, again. This was headlined as a revenge match for Select, but EMS had other ideas. With Greenwell on the bench, they raced into a two goal lead with Galey and Baker scoring. Select soon hit back. John Hunt scoring a very important goal. Pressure was piled on in equal ways, but EMS grabbed a last minute clincher, from Dave Taylor, to give them the points. The whole team played well, including Mark Muers, who was slated in the press for his insipid performances over the last few weeks.

15th July 2003

The Muers and Greenwell show slides to a halt.

A 3-0 trouncing off Durham rounds up a bad two weeks.

Pic 15 07 03 One couldn't miss the disappointment on the faces of Muers and Greenwell, as they were presented with their runners up awards for last weeks 3-0 debacle at the hands of Crown. More disillusionment this week as well with a 3-0 pummelling at the hands of Durham City – goals from Jackson (2) and Wilson. It seems that the once feared Muers, has now turned into a damp squid in front of goal. Question is – when will the goal scoring touch return? Watch this space.

Sassco opened the night's proceedings with a 1-0 win over a weakened Ellie Leisure team. A first half, unstoppable strike from Middlemiss essentially settled the issue. Middlemiss was awarded man-of-the-match for his winning performance. Ellie had only two significant strikes on Sassco's goal, in comparison to Sassco numerous squandered opportunities. But this was expected, the unexpected experience is that Sassco are now in third place, the highest they've been since Season 2!

Select, with Simon Williamson back on board, hammered SR-1 by a 5-1 scoreline. Steve Ridley making his Season 6 debut was awarded man-of-the-match, as Select seemed less gung-ho and more clinical against a full strength SR-1 team. Cuddihy, for once, fired blanks, but Lyall scored their consolation. For Select, Walker scored two and the three others were shared by Williamson, Hunt and Cairns.

Sex & Chocolate and Slipway paired off for a tight game which turned untidy midway during it. Ray Ferguson, for Slipway, opened the scoring which was responded to with a stunning free-kick from Dixon. Sex & Chocolate were without Gourlay, but put up a much more solid performance. The Slipway also presented Paul Mooney for his first start in quite a while. Unfortunately for them, Melvin Keith was injured so no further goals occurred.

Durham's second encounter was against a disorganised Posithread.co.uk team. A hat-trick from Stephen Jackson was replied to by a single goal from Phil Young. But that was it, as Durham head the table comfortably.

Crown also rammed a further few nails into the previously bright Ryhope team. Alan Slack's debutantes have now lost three games and look unlikely to pose a challenge for the Title. Jon Wardle scored two goals for Crown, and Shaun Forrest, returning after so long, scored with almost his first touch. Jeff Clark added the other as Crown are enjoying a fine run of form and something of a renaissance, considering that some still regard them as also-rans (in terms of the League, that is).

8th July 2003

Crown triumph again.

A 3-0 trouncing over EMS concludes a perfect night.
SR-1 and Durham City, both surprisingly falter in the shoot outs.

Pic 08 07 03 1 The 6th SFL Cup Semi Finals kicked up two surprises. Firstly in tactics and team selection. The ties between Durham City and Crown Electrics, and SR-1 against EMSeurope.co.uk, were both favoured heavily towards the latter teams.

In the Crown game, two giants of six-a-side management, Tarnjit Sangha and Jon Wardle clashed. Wardle was surprisingly substitute (until the final minutes), and his counterpart was also a sub, despite being listed in the pre-match line up as player. Goals were expected. Jackson and Wilson had tortured the Crown backline in a League game and were expected to do the same. But this time, with Steve Stubbs in the team, Crown were more resilient, and despite a few shaves off each post, it was Crown who missed the better opportunities, with Coulson in fine form. The shoot-out ensued and Coulson, just saving off Jeff Clark to keep Durham in the game, hit his penalty straight at his opposite, Paul Martin. In the reverse, Paul Martin slotted his penalty home to send Crown through to their second final in two months.

SR-1 were heavily favoured against EMS and brought an entourage of a full eight players to save them for the Final. Lee Cuddihy just about settled the game with two first half strikes. Wayne Greenwell, inspired player/manager for EMS, substituted the hapless and hopeless Mark Muers for himself and turned the game around. A goal from Greenwell in the final minutes complemented an earlier Mark Baker strike – which appeared, at that time, only to be a consolation. The equaliser took the game to penalties where EMS triumphed against all the odds (but with Roper in the SR-1 goal, was there ever going to be any other result?). SR-1 rued their missed opportunity to add to their previous cup, The COS Cup. For EMS, however, it was sweet revenge, having lost to SR-1 in that final.

Crownsflwinners The Final was going to be tough to call. But the inspired Wardle was on from the start and made sure of another trophy for Crown. His two goals were probably enough – but a late clanger from previously inspired goalkeeper, Dave Carter, led to the third and decisive goal. And probably the most impressive piece of a abuse ever heard on the pitch, directed towards his own players: "Watching you lot has made me fall asleep" – Brilliant.

Wardle has taken two trophies now, and earned the respect of his peers. In both competitions, his nemesis, John Hunt, of Select, had his team eliminated by other opposition (Sassco and Durham). Question is: when will Crown do their own dirty work and eliminate Select themselves? Despite this, Crown have repaid all the investment made in the last few years to put their name on the map.

In the League, there were three ties. Sassco.co.uk beat a five man Posithread.co.uk, with two late goals from Staples and Kelsey. Posithread.co.uk played exceptionally well and probably had the better, earlier chances. Select polished off Slipway with a 6-1 result. Normally these teams had previously strong encounters which were close. But this time, Slipway were given a harsh lesson. Cairns, Russell Coulson and Hunt grabbed three while Trevor Walker scored a hat-trick. JJB Sports are clearly improving. A narrow 3-2 defeat against Ryhope was nothing to be ashamed of. Craig Henderson dropped himself and based on this performance, will struggle to get back into the team.

1st July 2003

Select eliminated!

A 3-1 defeat against EMS sees them out of the Cup. Durham, SR-1 and Crown also through.
In the League. . .Sassco.co.uk defeat Ryhope 2-1 in a surprise result.

Pic 01 07 03 The holders, Select, faced off against a full strength EMSeurope team, and despite fielding two debutantes in Russell Coulson and Sean Hounslow, it was Hounslow who opened the scoring for Select. Trevor Walker was in rampant form and was firing shot after shot into the EMS goal. Unfortunately for him, Dave Carter, goalkeeper for EMS responded in kind and thwarted everything after conceding the opener. Mark Muers equalised before the break and in the second, Baker grabbed one and Muers grabbed his second to send Sunderland Select out of the competition. For once it seemed that Select's small squad worked against them. Lawton and Cairns were missing, and had they been there, the result would have been much different.

Durham City set a new record in their encounter against JJB Sports. They beat Crown Electrics' high score of 11-0 against Redhouse WMC in Season 4 and, ironically, JJBs same score against Ferguson's in Season 2 with a 12-0 scoreline. An embarrassing breakdown of play allowed Durham to lash in the goals every two minutes. Stephen "Pud" Jackson scored seven to match Trevor Walkers seven against Kail & Co. (twice) in Season 3 pision 2. Gareth Greener helped himself to a hat-trick and Wilson scored two.

Crown scored late in the game to put themselves into the Semi Finals with a 1-0 win over Sex & Chocolate. Both were last season's semi finalists and the scoreline reflected the tightness of the game. Sex & Chocolate were slightly below strength but the game was balanced until the last minute, when Wardle stole through to grab the undeniable winner.

SR-1 also gained a Semi Final berth with a 4-2 win over a stubborn Slipway team. Slipway were twice in the lead but were eventually pegged back. Inevitably, Lee Cuddihy scored two alongside goals from Hutchinson and Dennis to send them through. Slipway, once again, failed at their opening hurdle.

The only League game of the night threw up a minor surprise. Ryhope were looking for joint top against Sassco, who themselves had only won one League game (and that was against JJB Sports). The opening goal from Phil Amer appeared to give Ryhope a guaranteed win considering Sassco's notorious lack of goals. But Mark Kelsey scored an all important equaliser, which saw the team visibly lift and begin to battle for every ball. The second half saw Middlemiss strike in a brilliant goal to make it 2-1. It was late in the game when Sangha made a superb one-on-one save to keep the three points safe. A genuinely brilliant result for Sassco but a terrible one for Ryhope who remain rooted in third, with no games in hand.

24th June 2003

Sex & Chocolate throw up a surprise.

SNC, Select, SR-1 and Crown into the Quarters. Durham remain at the top of the League.

Pic 24 06 03 The shock of the Preliminary round was unquestionably Sex & Chocolates hammering of Ellie Leisure. More shocking considering that Ellie had butchered the same side 4-1 in the last League game. But this being the Cup meant Sex & Chocolate had some pedigree in it. Anth Mouat and Ed Cook were both making debuts which seemed to make the difference. Gillespie weighed in with one goal, while Dixon and Gourlay shared four. Ellie had a change around in team which completely backfired. A couple of injuries in the second didn't help neither.

Sassco suffered from a late strike off Lee Cuddihy which gave SR-1 a berth in the Quarters. As usual, Sassco played good football but simply lacked the killer touch. Defensively they were strong but it's rapidly becoming frustrating for the back line as no one seems able to score.

Ryhope were pummelled by Select who raced into a four goal lead with a hat-trick from Cairns and a single strike from Walker. Ryhope managed to pull two back with Neil Slack and Phillip Amer both scoring, but the damage had been done, and the holders had eliminated one of the favoured teams.

Crown also reversed their recent run of bad form with a fine 4-2 win over Posithread.co.uk. It was all square on several occasions in the game, but two late goals (including one from man-of-the-match, Dave Robason), scuppered Posithread's hopes in this competition. Jon Wardle hit a hat-trick for Crown while Rumney and Shefford were on the board for Posi.

Both Durham and EMSeurope took advantage of their byes in the Cup to deposit some points away in the League. EMS comfortably overcame JJB Sports with a 4-0 scoreline. Wayne Greenwell was honoured as man-of-the-match with his hat-trick while Mark Baker scored the other.

Durham, playing at the same time, demolished the Slipway with five strikes against none. Wilson and Jackson were rampant in attack as both ran circles around the Slipway back line. Jackson grabbed four goals and Gavin Greener, who was badly gashed above the eye, scored the other goal.

Durham sit comfortably at the top with a game in hand over EMS, who are in second place. Ryhope have the opportunity to join them on 12 points when they play in the League next week as both EMS and Durham will be occupied with the Cup.

10th June 2003

Durham City in pole position.

EMSeurope.co.uk and Crown both suffer heavy defeats.

Pic 10 06 03 Despite intense domination, Sassco.co.uk were only leading by one goal in the tie against JJB Sports, for whom Craig Henderson was thwarting everything thrown at him. With Mark Kelsey in attack, there was a marginal improvement in the Sassco's fortunes as he scored two goals in the second half to give Sassco a comfortable win.

SR-1 played a crucial tie against EMSeurope.co.uk after last weeks dismal 0-0 draw with the Slipway. Lee Cuddihy was man of the match in a 4-1 rout. Cuddihy grabbed two goals and Blackett and Ward scored the others. EMS drop off the top of the table and move into third (on goal difference).

The top spot was taken by Durham, who literally hammered a very sluggish Crown team. A 5-1 hammering was a perfect follow on from last weeks 1-0 win over the Champs. Durham have now beaten all three major contenders for the Title and look set to mount an unstoppable challenge. It is early days, but it looks like Select might genuinely struggle to retain their crown. Stephen Jackson grabbed a hat-trick and the other goals were from Wilson and Greener, who helped himself to a second consecutive, man of the match award. Durham play against EMS next week in their extra game and could open a significant gap in terms of the teams that they have faced off against. EMS, formerly in pole position, could be out of it by 9:00pm next week.

Durham City 5 v 1 Crown Electrics

Following their superb 1-0 victory over reigning Champions, Sunderland Select last week, it was time for 'City' to take on last season's Runners-up and current Super League Holders, Crown Electrics. What was supposed to be a tight and rather tawdry affair turned into a rout for the early season pace setters. Initially, Crown started well. But following an early shot across the bow from Durham's 'Pud' Jackson, it seemed Crown just lost all confidence. With the pairing of Gary Jackson and Ryan McNaught at the heart of the City defence, it seemed virtually impossible for the Crown team to make any type of significant inroad into their opponents half. With Gareth Greener picking up his second MoM in consecutive games orchestrating affairs, it was left to the 'electric' double act of Stephen Wilson and Stephen 'Pud' Jackson to 'scare the hell' out of the Crown rearguard. A 3-0 halftime lead should have been more than matched in the second had it not been for some superb last ditch saves by the irrepressible, Paul Martin in the Crown goal. A Hat trick for 'Pud' Jackson, a solitary strike a piece for Wilson and Greener left Durham with a more than adequate 5-0 score line. It was left for Crown to get what was just a consolation goal in the dying moments of the match. And what about the General himself, Danny Coulson. As ever a cool and calm almost serene display between the sticks. The now 'legendary throw is starting to wield it's magic. It led to two of City's goals on the night. It only remains to be seen how many more it may lead too.

Match Report by T. Sangha.

Ellie also bounced back from a bad start with an impressive win over a rapidly fading Sex & Chocolate. This week there was no Dixon for SNC against a rampant Ellie Leisure. Dave Watson, in goal for SNC, failed to keep out a double from Tyzack as well as three from Ainsley (man of the match), Burnside and Sammut. A good, solid performance for Ellie who can only improve and also face the same team in the Cup next week.

The final game of the night was a true battle in every sense of the word. Neil Slack lashed in an unstoppable goal at the start of the second half which essentially settled this unyielding game. It was a physical battle which was littered with petty fouls. Ryhope successfully thwarted the Slipway attempts at an equaliser and also successfully kept out of the referee's book as they fouled the Slipway team in key areas. Ironically it was the Slipway (one of the twins) who were cautioned by the referee. Ryhope now move into second place on goal difference.

3 June 2003

Durham City 1 Sunderland Select 0.

EMSeurope.co.uk take the top spot with their third straight win.

Pic 03 10 03 Durham City defeated Select by a single Stephen Jackson strike in the first half. The defeat for Select was major setback but wasn't a surprise. Durham are one team genuinely capable of finishing higher than Select in the League, but it did actually seem as if Select would snatch an equaliser near the end, despite Durham dominating the game, and Stephen Jackson squandering several clear opportunities.

Match Report Durham City v Select

Durham City well and truly laid down their intentions for this season with a superb 1-0 victory over reigning Champions, Sunderland Select. However, what was more amazing was the manner in which it was achieved. Barring an opening minute salvo by the Title favourites and a last five-minute push, it was the 'new boys', City that dominated the evening's proceedings. Daniel Coulson a model of 'ice cool' resonance in goal, Gary Jackson and Ryan McNaught irrepressible in defence, Stephen 'Pud' Jackson and Stephen Wilson electric in attack, it was left to MoM Gareth Greener to hold it all together with the most complete all round performance. A 1-0 halftime score line courtesy of 'Pud' Jackson did all but tell the sheer dominance of 'City'.

Second half continued much the way of the first, Select trailing a poor second to their quarries. There was nothing in the Champions armoury that could deflect from what the pressure they were coming under. For the first time in a long time, the Champions looked totally devoid of any ideas. The self assured and stoic stance that envelops their games was just plain non-existent. The final five minutes when they did finally manage to put 'City' under some pressure would have been a travesty of magnanimous proportions had they dug out an equaliser. Even the most ardent admirer of Sunderland Select would have to agree that the Champions should have well and truly laid to rest after even the first half. Had it not been for some heroic goal keeping from the superb Gary Davison and some equally woeful finishing by Wilson and 'Pud' Jackson, this could and probably should have been annihilation. Not to be, 1-0 it remained. The marker has been set. A more competitive League was what the organisers wanted. I fully believe a competitive league is what this season shall bring.

By Tarnjit Sangha

The win for Durham put EMSeurope.co.uk at the head of the table. They had a hard fought game against Ellie Leisure was separated by a Mark Baker goal. Both teams had good chances and the narrow scoreline reflected this. EMSeurope.co.uk have now won three off the belt and face SR-1 next week.

SR-1, themselves, had a setback against a Slipway team which was coming in to form. A tight 0-0 scoreline reflects the pre-season prediction that most of the teams in the League are evenly balanced. This was shown in full effect with Barry Arnott heading in an all too important goal in a 1-1 draw with Crown. Jon Wardle scored for Crown as both teams cancelled each other out. The result leaves a spate of teams on 4 points. SR-1, Crown, Slipway, Posithread and Sex & Chocolate

One of the teams well out of the reckoning was Sassco.co.uk - Two clangers by Davinder Sangha gave Ryhope an easy first half and also a 2-0 lead. Despite the major setback, Sassco piled on the pressure and had nearly ten strikes on the opposition goal against hardly none on target for Ryhope in the second. The majority of the shots for Sassco.co.uk were well below par and analysts would obviously say that Sassco's main problem is lack of goals. The win put Ryhope into third place just behind Select on goal difference and joint with Durham (despite Durham's lesser amount of games). The defeat, however, placed Sassco second bottom with, amazingly, JJB Sports above them. Craig Henderson's team pulled off a major shock by holding Sex & Chocolate to a 1-1 draw. Last season's Team of the Season and double Cup Semi Finalists dominated but seemed lacklustre. The highly rated Dave Watson was making his debut for Sex & Chocolate, in goal, but couldn't do much about Lee Richardson's equaliser which cancelled Chris Scott's opener. Dixon had a late chance but inspired 'keeper, Craig "Hendo" Henderson put Daykin's troops firmly back in their miserable bunker.

27 May 2003

Select rise to the top.

SR-1 suffer, while Posi, Durham and Crown register their first wins.

Crown4snc2 Select used their encounter against JJBs as a training session once they were comfortably 3-0 ahead. Walker scored four and Cairns scored a hat-trick. John Hunt scored two and Simon Williamson scored one. A very comfortable performance. JJBs will clearly struggle in this League, but can at least be happy that they won't be facing a strong team such as Select for a long while.

A single goal from Mark Muers was enough to see off the Slipway as EMSeurope.co.uk move into joint second place on goal difference. They play Ellie Leisure next week, who themselves suffered a second consecutive defeat against an impressive Ryhope team. The final score was 3-1.

"Ryhope have finally got their season started with a deserved 3-1 win over Ellie Leisure. Unlucky in last weeks game against the Champions, Ryhope made sure there were no mistakes this week. Two excellent goals from Johnson and perfect linking by the two subs Gilby and Amer gave Amer a superb third goal. Special mentions must also go to Neil Slack (man of the match) and once again, Ryhope keeper Welsh."

Match Report by Alan Slack

Sassco.co.uk also lost their second game, this time against Posithread.co.uk. Chris Middlemiss had a howler as it was his two obvious mistakes which led to Posi's goals. He did manage to equalise though from a brilliant pass from David Staples, but bad finishing let Sassco.co.uk down again.

"Posi got their first points with a good win, but probably deserved the points last week more than this. Sassco have much improved this season in my opinion and will make it tough for the bigger team as will ourselves .posi went 1 up thanks to a Shefford net buster only for Sassco to level it before the break. Second half was very tough and super sub Rumley scored yet again off the bench to win it. Also Andy Dunn played his testimonial for Posi but didn't manage to get his 10,000th career goal unlucky Andy but you did finish on a win. Final score 2-1"

Match Report by Shaun Snowdon

Durham City secured an important win in the first major encounter of the Season, which was also their first game. A 4-2 scoreline against the on-form, SR-1, was an excellent result. Stephen Jackson scored two while Wilson and Gary Jackson grabbed the others. For SR-1 it was Hutchinson and Blackett who scored. For once, SR-1 did all the attacking while Durham played on the counter attack.

Crown Electrics also opened with a good win against their old rivals, Sex & Chocolate. A 4-2 reverse for Daykin's troops was a disappointment as the game looked balanced at 2-2. Two interesting penalty decisions occurred in the game and both were put away (Crown and Wardle also missed one). Tom Robason waded in with 2 (1 pen) and Wardle got the others. Gourlay scored both SNC's goals.

20 May 2003

SR-1 blitz!

Ellie destroyed as SR-1 take top spot followed by the Slipway.

Pic 20 05 03 Slipway opened their campaign with an expected win against JJB Sports. Alan Burn was making his return to JJBs and even celebrated with a goal. It was, however, Melvin Keith who grabbed the headlines with a hat-trick in a 4-1 win. A brilliant start for Slipway as they briefly headed the table which was a huge boost in morale. An interesting tie against EMS, next week, could see how good they really are.

EMSeurope.co.uk played out a second game against Posithread.co.uk after their victory in the COS Semi Final, last week. This time they finished Posithread.co.uk off in normal time with Wayne Greenwell and Mark Baker scoring two crucial goals to give them the points. Posithread.co.uk did have a reasonably full strength side, but lack of finishing combined with good goalkeeping kept them out.

Brilliant goalkeeping almost gave Ryhope a 0-0 against the Champions, until Simon Williamson grabbed a goal from a long throw-out from last season's Player of the Season, Gary Davison. Select were unlucky not to finish with a higher scoreline. They hit the post on several occasions and had a perfectly good, John Cairns goal, ruled out. Also, a fantastic performance from the Ryhope goalkeeper, Stephen Welsh kept the awesome power of the Champions at bay.

Sassco.co.uk followed their 3-1 defeat against SR-1 in the COS Semi Finals last week with a similar performance against Sex & Chocolate. Dave Gourlay broke free and put Sex & Chocolate 1-0 up in the first half and then his team held Sassco.co.uk at bay. The lions share of possession was in Sassco's hands, as they peppered Keith Watson's goal with several shots, but time was running out and Sex & Chocolate left Sassco.co.uk chasing shadows. The second half came to a close and SNC used their time wisely as the game was broken up to give them three important points.

A late night blitz from SR-1 saw them continue their triumphant start to Season 6 by destroying Ellie Leisure by a 5-1 scoreline. Lee Cuddihy scored two goals while the others were added to by Mark Lyall, Stephen Hutchinson and Chris Ward. Ellie's consolation came from Gary Tyzack, but ironically, it was Ellie who opened the scoring in a positive start. SR-1 are on to a brilliant opening and face the dark horses, Durham City, next week in what looks like an excellent prospect of a game.

13 May 2003

SR-1 triumph in the shoot-out.

Lee Cuddihy celebrates his first Trophy.

Sassco.co.uk who promised so much, eventually delivered against a weak Slipway team, who suffered a heavy defeat as they came in out of the cold. Slipway were presenting a few new faces who clearly struggled against the likes of Chris Middlemiss and David Staples. Middlemiss opened the scoring and despite an early second half scare, added to his tally. Staples finished two goals off as the pressure was on him to score more goals this season, to give Sassco.co.uk a strong and notable 4-0 win.

Their second game was a completely different affair. SR-1 were genuine contenders and showed this with an opener from Chris Ward. A second from Kevin Atchison meant it looked like curtains from a depressed Sassco team. Yet there was some hope. Graham Roper inexplicably pushed the ball out from a long distance shot and followed this up by palming outside his area. Middlemiss had no problems with his penalty to set the game off to a flyer in the second half. Pressure was applied, but massed and brilliant defending from SR-1 didn't give way. A looping header from Middlemiss hit the inside of the post and that was it as far as Sassco.co.uk were concerned. A breakaway curling shot from Cuddihy left Sangha stranded as Sassco.co.uk crashed out at 3-1.

Pic 13 05 03 Posithead.co.uk were the underdogs from the start and wanted to prove themselves. The game was finally balanced as Greenwell and Muers were pushing forward but Shefford and Arnott were tight at the back. Rumley carved out some chances for Hutton but hit a golden chance over. Snowdon made a great save from Muers to finish the half. Posithead.co.uk made three changes at half time and they seemed to work. Posithread.co.uk had most of the ball as the EMS keeper made great saves from Scott. Gawthaw hit the wood work as well. EMS also had a chance late on, but Snowdon made another great save from Greenwell. It ended 0-0 and was an excellent game for the spectators. A penalty shoot out was the result which saw EMS through by 7 to 6. Phil Young for Posithread.co.uk missed the final penalty.

Match Report by Shaun Snowdon (Posithread.co.uk)

So it was, as expected, EMSeurope.co.uk v SR-1 in the Final. In a tense first half, Mark Baker, from EMS, equalised Kevin Atchinsons strike to send both finalists out in the second half tied at 1-1. The second half was similar with both missing good opportunities, mainly to SR-1's breakaways. It all came down to penalties again which demonstrated how difficult it was to separate both these impressive sides. Wayne Greenwell's EMS missed out though. A penalty miss in sudden death cost them as Lee Cuddihy's SR-1 finished off with a 4-3 penalty win. This was Cuddihy's first trophy – and fully deserved having finished third last season in the League. The League starts proper next season and it seems that most of the teams are now well balanced with Select way ahead of the pack.

06 May 2003

EMSeurope.co.uk storm through.

Cuddihy grabs a late winner for SR-1 over SNC.

Pic 06 05 03 EMSeurope.co.uk and SR-1 gained a Semi Final place with victories over JJB Sports and Sex & Chocolate respectively.

Lee Cuddihy grabbed a late one which settled the game for SR-1 in a very tight game against a Sex & Chocolate team which was missing Daykin, Dixon and Cassidy. Martyn McFadden and Ed Cook were making their first starts, but Ed limped off late on leaving Sex & Chocolate open. Cuddihy, widely regarded as an excellent predator in front of goal grabbed the winner. SR-1 presented a practically unchanged team with only the highly regarded Lee Brackett making his debut.

EMSeurope.co.uk, under the astute control of Wayne Greenwell, thundered past Craig Henderson's JJB Sports team. Steve Davison did manage to seize one goal for JJBs to make it 2-1 but EMS were far superior. Goals from Greenwell (2), Muers and Baker (1) and a hat-trick from Wayne Galie gave EMSeurope.co.uk (formerly Lance Roberts) an easy passage into the Semi Finals . . .

. . . where they will face Posithread.co.uk, who received a bye after Ryhope, inexplicably, failed to show. Slipway and Sassco.co.uk battle it out next week and the winner will face SR-1, who along with EMSeurope.co.uk look likely finalists.

 

 

League Standings

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

1

Sunderland Select

20

17

0

3

72

21

51

51

2

Durham City

20

14

2

4

56

27

29

44

3

Crown Electrics

20

10

3

7

40

34

6

33

4

SR-1

20

8

6

6

39

31

8

30

5

Sex & Chocolate

20

8

6

6

33

28

5

30

6

Sassco.co.uk

20

8

4

8

34

33

1

28

7

Ellie Leisure

20

8

2

10

41

37

4

26

8

Ryhope

20

6

3

11

22

34

-12

21

9

Posithread.co.uk

20

6

3

11

30

49

-19

21

10

EMSeurope.co.uk

20

6

0

14

22

55

-33

18

11

Slipway

20

3

3

14

17

57

-40

12

Back to top

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