Last weekend also saw the semi-finals of The Northern Echo League Cup, with Division Three Hope Inn pulling off yet another giant-killing act.

They secured their place in the Final with a golden goal against First Division Spraire RA although Hope must have thought that lady luck wasn't on their side when they fell behind to an early own-goal.

However, they managed to get themselves back on level terms just before half time as Danny Chapman struck a headed equaliser. The second half saw both teams creating some excellent chances but unable to beat two goalkeepers in inspired form, so with the score level at 1-1 after 90 minutes the game headed into golden goal extra-time.

Despite having played in excess of 35 games this season, the Hope were the fresher of the two sides in extra time and applied pressure for the entire first period of extra time. However, they had to wait until the second period for their pressure to be rewarded as Trenton Hewitt scored a tremendous golden goal to give the underdogs a 2-1 victory that secures their second cup final of the season.

The Hope's opponents in the League Cup final will be Newton Aycliffe Sports Club, who progressed to the final thanks to a richly deserved 2-1 victory over league champions Coundon Foresters - a result made all the more impressive taking into consideration that it was the Sports Club's third game in four days.

Away from the cup, Brinkburn finished off their campaign with a 5-0 victory over The Northern Echo which confirms their status as a First Division side next season and condemns Bishop Auckland Cricket Club to relegation. Scott Bowley, Chris Clack (2) and Anth Thorns (2) got the goals that beat an Echo side that was coming off the back of their best result of the season - a 3-2 victory over Newton Aycliffe Sports Club on Friday night.

In the other midweek first division games, Shuttle & Loom completed their season with a 5-2 victory over Hurworth Albion. Meanwhile, goals from Mark Foster, John Shotton and goalkeeper Andrew Turner put Newton Aycliffe Sports Club into a 3-1 lead over Spraire RA, only for them to be pegged back to a 3-3 draw thanks to an Anthony McMaster brace after Andrew Blenkhorn had scored earlier in the game.

In Division Two, the final league game of the season saw Yates Wine Lodge miss out on the chance of finishing in the top five as they were beaten 5-3 by an already relegated Grey Horse, despite a hat-trick from the Lodgers Chris Chadwick.

In Division Three, Middleton St George Cricket Club followed up their 5-1 midweek victory over AFC Aruba with a 3-0 victory over Drinkfield United on Sunday thanks to goals from Mike Lyons and John Sunter (2). Elsewhere, Newton Cap drew 4-4 against the Cricketers on Sunday - an improvement on their 11-2 midweek defeat against Hope Inn.

* Team secretaries are reminded the league AGM takes place on Wednesday, May 21, at the RA ground. No league fees are required, but it is essential that all teams are represented.