Marske United became the EBAC Northern League champions for the second time in four years when they drew 0-0 with Newcastle Benfield on Saturday – and manager Carl Jarrett said that his players had won the title the hard way.

Marske had a huge backlog of fixtures after they lost their FA Vase semi final against Stockton Town, and somehow they managed to overhaul a 28 point gap on previous leaders Morpeth, who will join them in the Evostik League next season.

“It would have been so easy for the players to have given up the season after we lost to Stockton in the Vase,” said Jarrett.

“We were so far behind at one point, and then to win the title we have had to play eleven games in 18 days. On two occasions in those 18 days, we have played four games a week. We have played 16 games since the end of March, and lost only one and drawn four.

“I must hand it to the players, they have been magnificent. I really couldn’t have asked for more, and they really do deserve their medals.

“Mind you, there were some tired legs on the field on Saturday, which isn’t surprising at all considering what they’ve done.”

Marske have another game this morning, a local derby at Guisborough, and then they’ll be presented with the championship trophy after Wednesday’s home game with Stockton.

Vase finalists Stockton Town, meanwhile, won 3-1 at relegated Jarrow Roofing to go sixth, Chris Stockton and Sonni Coleman (2) getting their goals.

Shildon are guaranteed third spot and maybe a promotion place depending on the whims of the FA after they beat Ryhope Cw 3-2 at Dean Street.

Carl Jones put Shildon ahead on 8 minutes, but Ryhope’s Stephen Ramsey levelled from a loose ball.

Billy Greulich-Smith was first to a rebound and put Shildon back in front on 47 minutes, and on 65 minutes Matty Robson ran half the pitch to make it 3-1. Nathan Skidmore pulled a goal back for Ryhope.

Shildon manager Danny Moore said; “I was very proud od the team on finishing third and I think that’s where we deserve to finish.”

Billingham Synthonia who lost at home to Penrith on Saturday, have announced that former Boro player Jamie Pollock is taking over as chairman next month.

In the second division, Northallerton now need to beat Thornaby on Monday morning to win promotion after they beat Willington 4-1 at Ainderby Road.

Nicky Martin finished off a good move to put them into the lead, then a Willington defender knocked the ball past his own keeper for the second.

Nathan Plews pulled a goal back for Willington before half time, but Martin made it 3-1 from close range on 71 minutes, and Chris Dickinson finished the visitors off with a great goal.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “It was a good team effort under pressure. The lads responded well, leaving it in our hands for Monday. We can’t ask for any more.”

Brandon are hoping that their 4-0 home win over Bedlington to put them third bottom is enough to keep them in the Northern League. Warren Byrne (2), Craig Ruddy and Chris Spence scored their goals.

Brandon manager Steve Skinner said; “It was an outstanding performance from every player. It was a pleasure to manage a group of players who have given everything over the last nine games. Hopefully with the FA’s league restructure we stay up.”

Darlington RA, meanwhile, lost 4-0 at home to second placed Hebburn to drop back to second bottom and possible relegation.

Darlington RA manager Mike Colman said; “Hebburn preyed on our mistakes and an early goal settled them down. We came back and were the better team for the rest of the first half. With us knowing the Brandon score, luck and football went against us in the second half and Hebburn ran out deserved winners. We go into an uncertain summer and waiting on the FA with their decision.”

Crook finished their games with a 1-1 draw at Esh Winning, Christian Holliday’s first half goal cancelled out by Mattie Soulsby five minutes from the end.

Crook manager Chris Lax said; “The players worked really hard in extreme conditions.”

Durham City lost 1-0 at home to Easington, for whom Jack Pounder scored, leaving Durham in 11th place.

Durham manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “I was disappointed with the result but the game had that end of season feel too it. Not much to play for and the pitch was very dry. We worked hard but just wasn't enough today. “ Chester-le-Street were beaten 2-1 at home by Heaton Stannington, after Daniel McGuire had given them the lead. Manager Colin Wake said; “We played extremely well, having only 11 fit players, and when we lost one of those to injury, we had to use a 17-year-old as a sub for 45 minutes. We dominated the game but conceded two late goals, the last in injury time which was a hard pill to swallow after playing so well.”

Tow Law lost 4-0 at home to Blyth, who are now champions. “WE had a bare squad and couldn’t compete,” said manager Steve Murray.

The top scorers of the day were Billingham Town, who hammered bottom club Alnwick 9-1 at Bedford Terrace.