A seemingly long season in the Bay Plastics Northern Football Alliance is slowly petering its way into the business end of the season with, Minor Cup final dates withstanding, its numerous cup finals now locked in.

Heaton Stannington’s Grounsell Park will host two of the finals with both the Reeves Independent George Dobbins League Cup, and the Team Valley Carpets Bill Gardner Cup, heading to the Northern league ground within a week of each other.

On April 23 Premier Division Cullercoats will face surprise finalists, Second Division Willington Quay Saints, the latter having already seen off Newcastle Blue Star (3-1), Cramlington United (2-1), West Jesmond (3-0), Prudhoe Youth Club Seniors (2-1) and AFC New Fordley (2-0).

The following week it’s the turn of the Bill Gardner Cup as Winlaton Vulcans face Newcastle Chemfica; prior to those two matches there’s the small matter of the respective, divisional cup finals.

Ashington will play host to the first final of the season as they welcome Alnwick Town and AFC New Fordley in the Challenge Cup on April 2, the following week sees the Neville Cowey Cup with Heaton Stannington A facing West Jesmond at North Shields. Seaton Delaval plays host to Cramlington United and Bedlington in the Combination Cup on April 13 and, three days later, it’s off Blyth Town and the Amateur Cup final between Newcastle East End and AFC Newbiggin.

The Northumberland FA Benevolent Bowl will be played at Blue Flames on May 7 between Premier Division title rivals Blyth Town and AFC Killingworth, the former reaching the final with victories over Alnwick Town (5-1), Ponteland United (6-1) and Newcastle Chemfica (5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw) whilst the latter have seen off Wallington (2-1), North Shields Athletic (3-1) and AFC New Fordley (6-1).

Awaiting dates are that of the Northumberland FA Minor Cup, which is at the semi-final stage and sees Hexham host Cramlington United in one, and Jesmond face Haltwhistle Jubilee in the other; the Durham FA Minor Cup meanwhile will see Reeves Independent First Division high-fliers Hebburn Town U23s face Crook & District League outfit Middlestone Moor Masons Arms (date and venue tbc).

In their run to the final Hebburn have seen off Jarrow Reserves (16-0), Whitburn & Cleadon (6-3), Willington WMC (1-0) and Norton & Stockton Ancients (2-0) whilst their opponents have already dismissed two Alliance sides en-route to the final in Felling Magpies (4-3 in Round Two) and Swalwell (5-0 in Round Four), reaching the final with a 3-1 semi-final success against Bowes FC.

CUP FINAL DATES (details correct as of 26/02/20)

APRIL 2 TEAM VALLEY CARPETS CHALLENGE CUP @ Ashington – Alnwick Town vs AFC New Fordley; APRIL 9 TEAM VALLEY CARPETS NEVILLE COWEY CUP @ North Shields – Heaton Stannington A vs West Jesmond; APRIL 13 TEAM VALLEY CARPETS COMBINATION CUP @ Seaton Delaval – Cramlington United vs Bedlington; APRIL 16 TEAM VALLEY CARPETS AMATEUR CUP @ Blyth Town – AFC Newbiggin vs Newcastle East End; APRIL 23 REEVES INDEPENDENT GEORGE DOBBINS LEAGUE CUP @ Heaton Stannington – Cullercoats vs Willington Quay Saints; APRIL 30 TEAM VALLEY CARPETS BILL GARDNER CUP @ Heaton Stannington – Winlaton Vulcans vs Newcastle Chemfica; MAY 7 NORTHUMBERLAND FA LES TODD BENEVOLENT BOWL @ Blue Flames – Blyth Town vs AFC Killingworth

TBC – NORTHUMBERLAND FA MINOR CUP, DURHAM FA MINOR CUP

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