HEXHAM Porto came within a whisker of winning the West Division U12 Cup for a third successive year.

They drew 2-2 after extra time against Newcastle Sports Club, before losing out on penalties.

Hexham’s youngsters gave a good account of themselves in a match which ebbed and flowed. Both sides created chances in the early stages, and it was Porto who took the lead shortly before half time.

Ryan MacNeil made a run down the left before firing a shot across the keeper. It struck the post, and Alfie McGray was on hand to score from the rebound.

Hexham took their slender advantage into the interval, but Newcastle showed their intent after the restart.

A free kick was parried away by Hexham keeper James Craig, but Newcastle equalised from the rebound.

Newcastle remained on the front foot as the game entered extra time, and they took a 2-1 lead.

But Porto remained full of running and determination, and they equalised when Taylor Minton’s superbly delivered free kick was neatly finished by Max Gradwell, after running in behind the defence to find space.

In the penalty shoot out, Craig capped a fine performance with two saves, but it wasn’t Hexham’s day, as they lost the shoot-out 3-2.