HALTWHISTLE Jubilee striker Greg Irwin needed just 15 seconds to put his side in the driving seat at Division Two rivals Ellington.

Making his mark almost from kick off, he found the back of the net to send the West Tynedale side on their way to extending their lead at the top of the league table to six points.

While Ellington equalised, Haltwhistle were always in control and went on to take all three points with thanks to a 4-3 winning scoreline.

While the final score suggested a close game, Halty were always in control despite conceding two second half goals.

Most of the Alliance succumbed to the wet weather but the game went ahead on the artificial pitch at Hirst Welfare, in Ashington.

After Irwin’s early opener, the hosts were back on level terms but found themselves out of reach by the break.

Kieran Robley regained the lead for Haltwhistle and Jack Barker added a third.

Defender Jack Currah then got in on the act to make it 4-1 at half time, the three points looking increasingly likely to head west.

It was a different story after the break as 10th placed Ellington mounted a comeback, assisted by a strong wind behind them.

They scored twice to give the league leaders a scare, but Halty held firm with defender Paul Wilson continuing his great form to pick up his side’s man of the match award again.

Weather permitting, Haltwhistle have the chance to open up a nine point margin over second placed AFC Newbiggin at the weekend.

They welcome fifth placed Blyth to the Burn on Saturday, but their closest rivals are due to host Seaton Burn in the Northumberland FA Minor Cup.

Meanwhile, Premier Division side Ponteland United were unable to make the semi-finals of the Northumberland FA Les Todd Senior Benevolent Bowl after being outclassed by Blyth Town.

United got off to a great start and were ahead after just five minutes.

They looked to capitalise on the early lead and looked good value for the advantage with an impressive 20-minute display. However, once they conceded an equaliser, they pressed the self destruct button and went on to lose 6-1 to a Blyth Town side currently sitting fourth in the Premier Division table. Ponteland are due to be in cup action again at the weekend when they are scheduled to travel to Development Division side Morpeth in the George Dobbins League Cup.

Morpeth have already lost twice to a Ponteland side this term, United’s Reserves side defeating them 2-1 in the league and 5-0 in the Neville Cowey Cup.