On this day in our history: 26 April 2018 – Consett scratch an 11-year itch by beating Dunston to win the Durham Challenge Cup in style

A scintillating first half hour provided the platform for Consett to beat Dunston UTS 4-2 at The Hetton Centre on this day two years ago, to win the Durham Challenge Cup for the first time in 11 years.
Mark Eccles’ side stunned their opponents by taking a three-goal lead in the opening third of the game, and although Dunston made a game of it, the Steelmen lived up to their name with a solid defensive display in the second half to lift the famous old trophy for the seventh time.
Consett took the lead on 14 minutes when a long ball saw veteran striker Michael Mackay run through and lob the keeper with a superb finish.

Michael Mackay makes it 1-0 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

And on 20 minutes Mackay doubled the advantage after being set up by strike partner Michael Sweet to slam a first-time shot into the roof of the net from 15 yards.
On 27 minutes Mackay turned provider, clipping a diagonal ball to Sweet, who turned his man and finished into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

Michael Sweet made it 3-0 to Consett. Pic: Gary Welford.

Dunston responded with a goal from Dale Burrell on 32 minutes, and although the Tynesiders enjoyed their best spell of the game after that, it remained 3-1 to Consett at half-time.
Mackay almost had his hat-trick two minutes after the break when a corner fell to him at the back post, but Dunston keeper Niall Harrison made a good block.
But the keeper was at fault for the goal in the 69th minute when all-but ensured the cup would be heading to Consett, letting a well-struck shot from Sweet slip through his hands and his legs to make it 4-1. It was the striker’s 40th goal of the season.

Dunston’s keeper holds his head after letting in a soft fourth goal. Pic: Gary Welford.

Dunston reduced the arrears on 75 minutes when Consett keeper Kyle Hayes, who’d made a couple of fine saves in the first half, missed a cross and centre-back Michael Hall made it 4-2.
But the men in red held firm as Dunston threw everything at them, and a frustrating night for the blues ended with skipper Burrell being shown a straight red card for a lunge on Dowson, and his reaction when the Consett man remonstrated with him.
The Conny Army behind the goal, who had been in fine voice all night, mobbed the players at the end, and it was a proud skipper Danny Craggs who lifted the gleaming silver trophy into the night sky.

Consett skipper Danny Craggs lifts the Durham Challenge Cup. Pic: Gary Welford.

CONSETT: 1 Kyle Hayes, 2 Nick Cassidy (sub Nathan Convery 81), 3 Clark Kay (sub Adam Male 90+3), 4 Arjun Purewal, 5 Ryan McKinnon, 6 Matty Slocombe, 7 Calvin Smith, 8 Danny Craggs (captain), 9 Michael Sweet, 10 Michael Mackay, 11 Jordan Lavery (sub David Dowson 75). Subs not used: Nathan Lawrence, Chris Rogan.
DUNSTON UTS: 1 Niall Harrison, 2 Liam Marrs, 3 Ben Pollock (sub Scott Heslop 71), 4 Jake Stafford, 5 Dan Capewell, 6 Michael Hall (sub Callum Elliott 85), 7 Dan Halliday, 8 Michael Pearson, 9 Mark Fitzpatrick, 10 Dale Burrell (captain), 11 Liam Thear. Subs not used: Aidan Grant (GK), Dan Lowther, Matteo Faiola.

  • Many thanks to Ken Fitzpatrick for the image at the top of this article.

Gary Welford