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This weeks latest from the TJFA

Another hit and miss weekend albeit more fixtures were played than postponed, but we still have a pretty severe backlog of games to sort out prior to the season end. On a positive note though, there were some cracking games played last weekend though.

We start with one of the top selections from last Sunday and in the Under 12 second division, Kader FC "Rangers" welcomed TIBS across to Sandy Flatts where, in a game which certainly didn't disappoint, TIBS ran out narrow winners by three goals to two. Both of Kaders goals were scored by the impressive Spencer McDougall, but strikes by Dylan Savage, who also found the target twice and Myles Harding were enough to push TIBS to the top of the table. Kader "Rangers" hold onto second place and, although they are three points adrift, they do have an all-important game in hand. This division really is developing into an exciting stage as around six teams all still remain in with a chance of silverware at the season end.

In the Under 13 sixth division Hartlepool Warriors closed the gap on table-toppers Darlington Young Bulls, who were their hosts at the weekend, to just three points following an excellent 5-2 win. The Hartlepool side also have two matches in hand, with both sides still remaining as firm favourites to gain divisional honours at the end of the season, really just a matter of who become Champions and who become runners-up. The goals for Young Bulls were both scored by Russel Mhlanga, but Lewis Halse and Reiss Salvin both scored twice for the Warriors with Joe Taylor netting their fifth.

The points were shared in one of the top Under 14 second division matches as the game between Teesside Rangers and Thirsk Falcons "Claret" ended 1-1. Both teams remain in with a chance of League honours, although Polton Allstars look firm favourites for the actual Championship in this division. The goals on Sunday scored by Tomas-Luca Yafano for Teesside Rangers, with Sam Howes finding the target for Thirsk "Clarets".

The Bishop Auckland St. Mary's Under 16 first division side maintained their unbeaten record so far and moved to within two points of the current League leaders Stockton Town, following an excellent 4-1 home win against a useful Boro' Rangers outfit last Sunday. The Boro' Rangers goal scored by Conrad McCormick, but Ethan Dixon netted twice for the "Bishops", with both Aidan Crooks and Daniel Nelson also finding the target. Boro' Rangers now slip to third in the division and the title race does now look as though it is between Stockton Town, who are two points ahead of Bishop Auckland, and Bishop Auckland themselves, who have an all-important game in hand.

Finally from last weekend, in the Under 18 top flight, Billingham Juniors got back to winning ways as they narrowly won 1-0 across in Hartlepool when they played a more than useful Greatham "A" side. Three valuable points for top of the table Billingham in a division which remains wide open in terms of end of season silverware. The vital goal last Sunday was scored by Jack Wilkinson for Billingham Juniors. Greatham remain in third place and still have every chance of picking up some form of end of season awards.

So, while the weather again did it's best to spoil proceedings we still had some fabulous junior football to report back on from last weekend.

Another terrific week of high profile matches coming up and yet more great games scheduled which are certain to whet the appetite.

In the Under 12 fourth division, top of the table Eaglescliffe Elementis "Blue" travel across to the Acorn Centre to play fourth placed Acklam FC. Although ten points separate these two sides, Acklam have four matches in hand and this is a game both sides will be desperate not to lose. The best attack in this division of Eaglescliffe who have scored 77 goals already from the fifteen games played, against the best defence of Acklam which has only conceded 15 goals in eleven League matches. A really close end result is anticipated in a match which should kick off around 11:00am. 

Moving up one age group and into the Under 13 fifth division, another quality game as Heighington AFC play host to Newton Aycliffe Youth "Falcons". Heighington are currently top, but only by two points from their second placed rivals this Sunday, although Newton Aycliffe do have a game in hand. Not much between these two very accomplished outfits on paper and it may be that both sides have to settle for a point apiece at the final whistle. Another game which should also kick-off around 11:00am.

A cracking fixture from the Under 14 third division as first placed and currently unbeaten Stockton Rangers welcome second placed Bishop Auckland St. Mary's "Kings" to their venue. The difference between the two sides is ten points but Bishop Auckland have three games in hand and a win here will put them right in the frame for the Championship. On the other hand a win for Stockton Rangers will almost certainly put them out of sight and they themselves will become firm favourites for the title if gaining the three points. Another top quality match, which neither side will want to come away from empty-handed, is scheduled to get underway around 1:30pm.

Heighington could be the place to be at the weekend, as the top match at Under 15 level has to be the third division game between the divisions leaders, Heighington AFC, and third placed Northallerton Juniors who are themselves enjoying a tremendous season and so far boast a 100% winning record. They also have a really well disciplined defence which has conceded only five goals so far. This will be a really tough match for them at the weekend though and Heighington will certainly not want to relinquish their place at the top without a fight. Kick-off for this match will also be around 1:30pm.

Finally, for the forthcoming weekend an outstanding match in the Under 18 third division, which just has to be given the vote as the top match is taking place up at Newton Aycliffe Juniors, when their "Black" team play hosts to unbeaten and table-topping Ferryhill Town. Two teams who boast both the best attacking and defensive records in this division. Newton Aycliffe Juniors have won all ten League matches so far making this a really tricky game to guess the outcome of. I'll suggest that a draw may be the result at the final whistle but we'll just have to wait and see. This match will also kick-off around 1:30pm. 

So, yet more excellent junior matches to look forward to again this weekend.


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