IT’S EA CUP TIME

Tonight sees our last game of the season – the final of the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup – the cup competition for our Division Two teams.

The match is being held at Birtley’s ground.  Kick off is at 7.30pm, with Newcastle University and Ryton & Crawcrook Albion locking horns.

It’s been a win apiece in the league, with the teams winning the away fixture.  In August Ryton beat Uni 4-1, while in February Newcastle University beat Ryton 4-2.  Both teams have been getting some last minute training in over the last two nights.

Ryton manager Daniel Iredale said:  “The team is shaping up very well for the match.  We have had a major re-build at the club, with a big revolving door of players and we have done ourselves proud, but it was very frustrating to miss out on the last day of the season after being in the play-off places during the season.

“But to finish with a cup will be a fantastic achievement.  Missing out on the playoffs has made us more eager to do well and win the final.”  And he’s already looking forward to next season.

“We have a very solid foundation to build on and our aim is automatic promotion.  We have most of the squad we need and want committed to us for next season.”

Daniel said:  “The two league games were totally opposite.  We won at their place but it was a different story when they came to us and beat us.”

His counterpart Neil Baistow said they had an unusually long time to prepare for the match.  The University also plays in the BUCS league, meaning they’re regularly playing several times a week.

“It’s been nice to have a bit more time to prepare for the game.  We’ve had a few weeks to build up for the match, which doesn’t normally happen for us.  Apart from a couple of players missing with long-term injuries, we’ve got a clean bill of health.

“There’s not much difference between the two teams.  The first league match was early in the season and the second was affected by strong winds and we managed the conditions better than they did.

“We slipped away in the league in the last couple of weeks and finished lower than what we should have done but winning a cup will be a great way to end the season.”

Important note about parking – see map below:

Due to limited parking, volunteers will act as parking attendants and will advise people where to park when they arrive.
An additional car park opposite the ground will be available along with another car park further along the main road.
No parking will be allowed by the ground entrance as entrances to two nearby businesses must be kept clear and we would appreciate everyone’s cooperation and patience.