HEXHAM Hawks clinched the NEYDL U13 championship title after a dramatic win over rivals Tynemouth.

The two teams were separated by just one point before they met in the final league game of the season, at Hexham’s Dukeshouse Wood on Thursday, May 31.

A draw would have been enough for the hosts to win the league, but they were up against a Tynemouth side which had already beaten them 5-4 and 5-3 earlier in the season. Hexham changed from their usual 3-5-2 formation to a 4-4-2, to counteract the long-ball threat of the North Tynesiders.

And in front of a sizeable crowd of supporters, they got off to a flying start.

Will Marrow found himself through on goal, and beat the goalkeeper with a stylish chip to make it 1-0.

The striker netted both his and Hexham’s second shortly afterwards, finishing neatly after Jake Robson made a commanding run down the right and crossed into his path.

Next on the scoresheet was skipper Ollie Cave, a player who had been named man of the match more than any other Hawks player over the course of the season.

Cave received a through ball from Harry Davis, and comfortably slotted the ball into the bottom right corner for 3-0.

It soon became 4-0 when Robson cut inside from the right, and taking on two defenders, before shooting hard into the net.

Towards the end of the first half, right back Zach Willis pushed forward and supplied Cave, who volleyed into the roof of the net for 5-0.

Despite the scoreline, Hexham refused to rest on their laurels, and prepared for a Tynemouth backlash.

As expected, the visitors used long balls to pile on the pressure, but centre backs James Little and Charlie Robinson proved to be too strong, while goalkeeper Ben Archer kept a faultless pair of hands all game.

Late in the second half, Hexham were awarded a free kick five yards outside of the Tynemouth penalty area.

Set piece specialist Cave stepped up to fire past the keeper for 6-0.

Then with just 10 minutes to go, Robson whipped in a superb cross for Marrow to head in at the far post, to make it 7-0.

All three Hexham goalscorers have been prolific all season, with Marrow on 21, Cave on 25 and Robson on 27.

Coach Andy Marrow said: “All players put a massive effort into this game, by far our strongest ever performance. The season has been exceptional. In the league, we played 24, won 19, drew one, lost four, and we played 13 of our 24 games in April and May due to bad weather during the season.

“All of the squad have made a massive contribution to the season’s success.”

The evening finished with a presentation of trophies to both teams.