Colliery Welfare were edged 4-3 by Sunderland RCA in a thrilling Ryhope derby at Meadow Park.
Two former CW men came back to haunt the club, Kyle Davis and Nathan O’Neill both scoring two.
O’Neill gave RCA an early lead.
Jack Devlin equalised, however Davis restored the home side’s lead in what was a frantic first 10 minutes.
Devlin equalised again, Davis once again put RCA in front.
Micky Rae made the scores 3-3 before O’Neill scored his second of the game to edge out Colliery Welfare.
RCA headed into the game on poor league form, winless in their last five.
On a freezing cold afternoon with hail and high winds, a win for Ryhope CW could have moved them above their neighbours in the Northern League Division One table.
RCA took the lead inside the first minute, O’Neill adding a glancing header to a floated cross to turn the ball into the bottom left corner.
But the lead only lasted six minutes, Jack Walker played Devlin through and the attacker added a lovely finish from a tight angle.
However, RCA responded within two minutes, a ball rolled out to former CW captain Davis outside the box and he drilled a low strike home.
Joe Atkinson brought down O’Neill who was bearing down on goal, giving away a penalty in the 33rd minute. However, the goalkeeper made amends making a great save from Colin Larkin’s penalty and the rebound.
CW got up the other end and equalised, Devlin on the end of a Robbie Bird pass before breaking through the defence, rounding the ‘keeper and turning home from a difficult angle.
But once again, within minutes of pulling level Colliery Welfare went behind again, Kyle Davis with an absolutely stunning free-kick from the left edge of the box smashed in off the right post.
Michael Charlton broke down the wing and had a good chance to give RCA a crucial two goal margin, but Lewis King got back to block his and Davis’ efforts.
Six minutes after the break Micky Rae had Colliery Welfare level again, Ben Riding playing a ball over the top which Rae brought down before adding a cool finish past Dimitros Tsapolos.
Bird broke forward looking to take the lead for the first time, but his cross was blocked before it could reach Matty Weirs.
However, RCA edged out RCW again, Tom McAloon breaking down the left before adding a low cross which O’Neill flicked past Atkinson into the right corner.
There were few good chances following that as the weather worsened, McAloon could have put the game to bed in the 87th minute, but Atkinson saved his one-on-one effort and the rebound was put harmlessly wide.
Colliery Welfare now have a week off before playing West Auckland away on the 29th December.