Durham Challenge Cup final

South Shields 2 Billingham Synthonia 0

South Shields continued their quest for a Trophy quadruple when they comfortably beat Billingham Synthonia 2-0 in the final of the Durham Challenge Cup at Hartlepool last night.

Synners, a division below Shields in the Northern League, had little answer to Shields’ power and strength, and very few will bet against Shields winning another two trophies on top of this and the Northern League title.

Shields had most of the pressure in the first half, and Synners were restricted to the occasional breakaway, with Macauley Langstaff prominent, but they never forced Shields keeper Liam Connell into any serious action throughout the game.

Robbie Briggs curled a right foot shot from the edge of the box a couple of yards off target, and Andrew Stephenson chipped just wide with Gavin Cogdon unable to get a touch.

Synners keeper Jack McLaren then did well to push a deflected Briggs effort over the bar, then Wayne Phillips found Cogdon with an excellent through ball, but Cogdon carelessly fired over.

McLaren palmed another effort from Cogdon over the bar, but he had no chance on 41 minutes when Phillips got to the bye line on the left, and even though his low cross was cleared at the near post, the ball went straight to Stephenson who slotted home.

Shields took a stranglehold on the game on 47 minutes when Alex Nicholson pulled the ball back from the right for Michael Richardson to mishit perfectly for former Hartlepool player David Foley to slot in.

Richardson struck two further efforts a little cleaner, but one was saved and the other went just past the post.

The dangerous Foley then weaved his way through and had two shots blocked, while Richardson saw another chance deflected over.

The next leg in Shields’ quest is the Northern League Cup final against North Shields at Whitley Bay on Saturday, and then a fortnight on Sunday it’s the FA Vase final against Cleethorpes at Wembley.