A HAT-TRICK from Norman Calvert was in vain for Haltwhistle Crown Paints A in 1995 as they suffered penalty heartache to west Northumberland neighbours Haydon Bridge.

Calvert, who still makes the odd appearance for Haltwhistle Jubilee to this day, was prolific 25 years ago, but it was not enough to secure his side victory in the final of the Hexham and North Tyne League Knockout Cup.

His treble looked like it was going to be enough to secure Crown the trophy, however, a late error allowed Bridge in, and they took advantage by winning the shoot-out 5-4.

Calvert and teammate Scott Makepeace had early opportunities for Haltwhistle, but they found Haydonian goalkeeper Richard Hines in man of the match form.

This allowed Bridge to gain the upper hand on 20 minutes, a long through ball from Ken Eales sending Keith Carruthers through on goal, and he sent the net rippling.

Described as a tower of strength, Bridge’s Graeme Pigg helped repel the threat from Haltwhistle, but Calvert jinked his through the opposing defence on 28 minutes to finally beat Hines.

Yet Bridge went into the break ahead when Phil Dover beat his marker to the ball on 40 minutes to shoot past Steve Gray.

They remained in front until just before the hour when that man Calvert again popped up to level the tie, slotting home the rebound after Hines could only parry a rocket of a shot from Alan Batey.

Hines was in inspirational form and kept out Hines and Batey in spectacular fashion but Calvert was to complete his treble in the 77th minute.

A lobbed effort from Dean Hall was headed off the line, but Calvert was again on hand to prod home and put his side ahead.

Yet an error from Shaun Graham proved costly for Haltwhistle as Carruthers picked up a loose ball and coolly lobbed the ball home from a distance of 30 yards.

Sammy Smith hit the crossbar for Bridge after being picked out by Pigg, who himself saw an effort come back off the woodwork when a free kick took a wicked deflection.

Haltwhistle had the best chances to win the game in extra time as Calvert and Makepeace got themselves in front of goal, however, Hines was in no mood to be beaten again and he kept both out.

He ensured the game went to penalties, and his outfield teammates stuck to the script to earn Bridge the trophy.