HORNDALE and Brawns Den progressed to the final of the Second Division Cup last week.

Horndale were made to work for their prized final as a stubborn Victoria side wouldn't give up the tie. Goals by Michael Connolly, Scott Mason and Wayne Pratt gave the Division Two leaders a three goal advantage at half-time.

But Vic came out battling after the break and goals by Mark Nelson and Jason Greenland reduced the deficit, although they couldn't find the elusive equaliser despite pressuring Horndale.

"We were pleased to hear the final whistle," admitted Horndale manager Mickey Grimes. "We were well ahead by half-time and playing very well, but they came back at us in the second half and really pressured us. But I was delighted that we held out and the lads are really excited about the final."

Vic manager Kyley Wright said: "To coin a phrase, it was a game of two halves! They over-run us in the first half, but then I think we were the better side in the second half and, with the chances we had, I feel slightly aggrieved we didn't get at least extra-time."

Brawns Den beat Postchaise 2-0 in the other semi-final, with Kevin Kitchen and Steven Wallace scoring the goals. The final will be played at Spennymoor United's Brewery Field on Sunday March 30.

In Division One last week, Newton Aycliffe striker Dave Muir grabbed an amazing nine goals as his side walloped Brandon 12-0. Muir's goal feast puts the veteran front man on a mammoth 37 goals for the season so far, clearly ahead in the top scorer charts. Mark Armstrong, Mark Addy and Russell Mercer were the other Aycliffe scorers.

Meanwhile, Eldon Lane moved up to fifth in the table with an impressive 5-2 win over Loves.

Colin Paterson (2), Scott Wright, Ian McGowan and Sean McGowan were on the scoresheet for Eldon.

"A great result for us," said manager Sean Maguire. "We had two players sent off and there was two penalties in the game. It might sound like a controversial game, but both sides played well. We were only 3-2 up at the point of having two men sent off, so we looked unlikely to get anything out of the game. But we battled away and probably deserved it in the end." Brent Naylor and Craig Flowers scored for Loves.

Salvins and Beehive drew 1-1, with Mark Kelly scoring for Salvins and Jeff Dunn for Beehive, while Old Shildon continued their title challenge with a 3-0 win over Binchester Social Club, Phillip Appleby, Thomas Lauden and Paul Shaw grabbing the goals.

Tudhoe United beat Grand 5-3 with goals by Christian Schoefield (3), Malcolm Thexton and Billy McClacklan. Paul Thompson (2) and Dean Cummins scored for Grand.

Thorns progressed to the semi-finals of the League Cup with a 4-1 win over Lakeside. Andrew Richardson (2), Mark Russell and Steven Richardson scored Thorns' goals, with Martin Walker netting Lakeside's.

The four semi-finalists are: Newton Aycliffe, Old Shildon, Victoria and Thorns.

In Division Two, North Briton grabbed their fourth and a much-needed win when they beat Eldon Arms 2-1 with goals by Phil Judge and Kevin O'Neill.

"Relieved!" admitted Brit boss Barry Atkinson. "It's been a terrible season for us, but we have started to play quite well recently and the we have shown signs of putting a decent run together.

"We have a good chore of players at the club now and team spirit has been very high, so hopefully we can take this result forward." Andrew Sams scored Eldon's goal.

Elsewhere in Division Two, Cumby Arms also recorded a much-needed win over Boot & Shoe. Goals by Steven Fawcett (2), Andrew Metcalfe, Michael Hammond, Steven Bell and Russell Cant gave them their 6-2 win.

Elsewhere, Chris Young, Lee Nixon and Adrian Brown were on the scoresheet for Two Blues as they drew 3-3 with Masons United, with Paul Gibson, Wayne Mundy and David Maughan netting United's goals.