On this day in our history: 21 April 1998 – Consett turn back time by lifting the Sunderland Shipowners Cup

Consett won an unusual piece of silverware on this day in 1998, beating Jarrow Roofing 3-0 at Belle Vue Park to lift the Sunderland Shipowners Cup for the first time in 30 years.

Normally the competition is only open to Wearside League clubs, and Consett’s previous win was all the way back in 1968, during our six-year stay in the league.

With this being the competition’s centeneary season, the Wearside League decided to invite clubs from other leagues who had previously been members to participate.

As it turned out, two clubs who had graduated to the Northern League contested the centenary final. Consett had a relatively easy path to the final, beating Horden Athletic 11-0, South Tyneside United 3-1, Marske United 1-0 (all at home) and then Kennek Roker 1-0 away in the semi-final.

A poster advertising the Sunderland Shipowners Cup final v Jarrow Roofing.

Jarrow Roofing, who had never won the cup, but been runners-up in twice, in 1994 and 1995, had accounted for Ryhope CW, Wolviston, Annfield Plain and Chester-le-Street Town.

Consett were 12th in the Northern League’s 1st Division, while Roofing, who were in their first season in the top flight, were 13th, with a point between the sides.

After a great start to the season, which saw them at the top of the league at one point, Consett’s form had fallen away, and they looked likely to finish in the bottom half of the table.

But at least this Tuesday night game gave Consett some silverware to show for their efforts, despite having to field a depleted team agains the Roofers.
They were without regulars Jeff Sugden, Gary Cowley, Mark Outterside, David Gray, Alan Colledge and Colin Woodward, but thoroughly deserved their comprehensive victory.

The match programme for the game.

The first half started evenly but Consett had a good chance after 23 minutes when Steven Robson shot over from a good position after Mark Simms’ cross had been flicked on by Colin McLeod.

After 32 minutes Lee Suddes shot over from seven yards from Darren Grimes’ cross, but a goal wasn’t long in coming, as Consett took the lead after 34 minutes.

Stuart Kelly broke clear and honed in on goal, where keeper Caffry did well to block the shot with his legs. But when Robson returned the ball into the box, McLeod was there to head home under challenge from Caffry. Unfortunately Macca was injured in scoring the goal and took no further part in the match.

Colin McLeod scored Consett’s first goal then had to go off injured.

Roofing’s best period came early in the second half. After 51 minutes, their best player, Haley, shot straight at James Platten. Six minutes later Platten was forced to save at the foot of the post, again from Haley.

But Consett took control with a second goal after 65 minutes. Robson broke away and headed for goal, and as he bore down on the keeper he was clipped from behind by Howe, who was dismissed for his pains.

Lee Suddes stepped up to convert the resulting spot kick, and the Steelmen made the game safe with a third goal after 71 minutes. A misunderstanding between Rogers and Caffry gave Stuart Kelly the easiest of goals as he was left with an empty net.

Consett could have added a fourth after 82 minutes, but Caffry tipped over Steven Brown’s 25-yard free-kick.

The team line-ups page from the match programme.

After the match the magnificent Sunderland Shipowners Cup was presented to Consett captain Colin McLeod. It was the third trophy long-serving manager Colin Carr had delivered in his 10 years in charge, after the 2nd Division championship in 1989, and the League Cup in 1995.

  • Many thanks to Ian Hamilton, club secretary at the time, for the main picture, showing him with the Sunderland Shipowners Cup. Here it is in full.

Gary Welford