WITH the Tyneside Amateur League title in the bag, Haltwhistle Jubilee are looking forward to testing themselves at a higher level.

The confirmation of the championship was tinged with disappointment, though, as they were awarded three points because their opponents Swalwell Juniors failed to fulfil the fixture.

It is onwards and upwards for the champions, as they will be playing their football in the Northern Alliance next season.

The club has applied to enter the league’s Division Two but, if unsuccessful, will automatically qualify for the soon to be formed Alliance Development League which will cater for teams from the Tyneside Amateur when it folds at the end of this season.

Manager Cameron Bell said: “It was a disappointing way to confirm the title and a few of us went out for drinks but we felt like we couldn’t really celebrate!

“I think as champions of the Tyneside Amateur and going really far in the Northumberland FA Minor Cups for two seasons shows we are better than the standard we have been playing, without being arrogant about it.

“We beat two teams from two leagues above to reach the semi-finals of the Minor Cup this season, and to win the Clayton Cup we beat Wallington and Ponteland United who are both three leagues higher.

“We will just look to keep moving up the Alliance tables and we will find our level at some point, but we will give it our best shot. We’ve got a young squad and they seem keen to keep together.”

Haltwhistle have the opportunity to add the Tyneside Amateur Challenge Shield to their haul this season when they tackle Gosforth Bohemian Reserves in the final at Newcastle Benfield’s Sam Smith Stadium a week on Saturday.

Beforehand, they bring their successful league campaign to an end with a trip to Morpeth Town Seniors on Saturday.