IT was top versus bottom as Haltwhistle Jubilee finally reached the halfway point in their league season.

The Northern Alliance Division Two leaders ran out comfortable winners away to Newcastle Blue Star Reserves.

But the 3-0 victory came at a cost for the Jubes, as Liam Crowe’s return to the side from injury lasted only four minutes. Crowe scored the opener before being forced off.

Callum James, who scored Haltwhistle’s equaliser in the previous week’s Northumberland FA Minor Cup semi-final defeat to Jesmond, found the target again.

His tidy finish put the Blues 2-0 after just 21 minutes, but the scoreline did not flatter Cameron Bell’s side, who were creating no shortage of goalscoring opportunities.

They were struggling to convert, but Scott Jacobsen scored a crucial header to make it 3-0 and put the game firmly beyond the hosts.

Shaun Heppell deputised in goal for Haltwhistle, and made some good saves when called upon.

The ever-reliable Thomas Wilkie was named man of the match after another influential performance.

Haltwhistle gave run-outs to youngsters Harry Crowe and Aaron Hardy, who came on as substitutes to make their respective debuts.

The South Tynedale side are now two points ahead of second placed Newcastle East End in the league table.

However, Haltwhistle have only played half of their league matches due to postponements, and have four games in hand over East End, and third placed Willington Quay Saints.