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MINERS DIG IN FOR WIN; st cuthbert next up in president's cup SPORTSWORLD NORTH NORTHUMBERLAND LEAGUE.

ASHINGTON Town Miners take on Amble St Cuthbert this Saturday in the inaugural final of the President's Cup after both sides secured silverware at the weekend.

Two cup finals were played at Alnwick's St James Park, with Ashington defeating Highfields United in the Robson Cup Final and Amble beating Tweedmouth in a penalty shootout to lift the Bilclough Cup.

"The Miners" ran out comfortable 6-0 winners to seal their first trophy of the season.

Highfields just could not cope with the pace of the Ashington forwards, with Scott Neal in particular causing all sorts of problems on his way to a man-of-the-match performance and a hat-trick.

The second final of the weekend, the Bilclough Cup final, played on Saturday night, was a much closer game, as was to be expected between Tweedmouth Harrow and Amble St Cuthbert.

The teams had already finished champions and runners-up in Division One, with Tweedmouth Harrow only winning the league on goal difference.

So it was no surprise the final was decided on penalties when the teams were tied at 3-3 after 120 minutes of end-to-end football. Early in the game it was Amble who had the majority of possession without carving out any clear-cut goalscoring opportunities, but it was the Harrow who took the lead, slightly against the run of play, after 30 minutes.

A good move down the left involving Kris Neil and Martyn Tait saw the latter win a corner.

From the flag-kick, taken by Moor, it was Dale Reap who flicked the ball home at the near post to give Tweedmouth the first goal of the night. Amble St Cuthbert continued to cause problems to the Harrow defence, with Henderson in particular being effective down the left and Taylor and Reece Ramsay industrious in midfield.

It was no surprise when Amble got an equaliser on 40 minutes when Liam Ramsay was pulled back in the area and the referee was on hand to award the penalty.

Reece Ramsay coolly stepped up to equalise and take the teams in level 1-1 at half-time.

The second half was just as tight and, despite both teams going close on a number of occasions, it was not until the 75th minute that the third goal of the game was scored.

From a Reece Ramsay free-kick the ball ricocheted in the Tweedmouth six-yard box and eventually fell to Connor Stroughton, who made no mistake from four yards to give "The Cuddies" a 2-1 lead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as on 80 minutes a Moor free-kick was headed into the net over Scott in the Amble goal by Richardson to bring Tweedmouth level.

The final minutes of the 90 were hectic with both teams pushing for the winner, and Tweedmouth took the lead when Anderson scored after 84 minutes.

Amble St Cuthbert were not to be outdone, though, and a tremendous set-piece shot from Moyle struck the crossbar, with the referee's assistant in a perfect position to see the ball had crossed the line to make the score 3-3 at the end of 90 minutes. Extra time could not produce any more goals as the two teams who had been so close all season went into a penalty shootout.

Tweedmouth Harrow missed their first penalty, and from there both teams scored until penalty number nine was saved by the Harrow keeper to bring the teams level again.

The shootout then went into sudden death, and penalty number 12 from Harrow struck the corner of the post and crossbar to see Amble St Cuthbert victorious.

The game was a credit to the North Northumberland League but on this occasion it was Amble St Cuthbert who were victorious.

On another night it could so easily have been Tweedmouth Harrow returning north to Berwick with another trophy for the cabinet.

Tweedmouth Harrow have a chance to return to winning ways on Saturday night when they play North Sunderland at St James Park, Alnwick in the last final of the season, the Sanderson Cup.

CAPTION(S):

Amble St Cuthberts up against Tweedmouth Harrow (darker blue) in the BILCLOUGH Cup final at St James Park, Alnwick PICTURE: STEVE MILLER

Ashington Miners take on Highfields United (in blue) in the Robson Cup final at St James Park, Alnwick PICTURE: STEVE MILLER
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 16, 2017
Words:709
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