DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH SOUTH SHIELDS AND DARLINGTON

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passtheball
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DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH SOUTH SHIELDS AND DARLINGTON

Post by passtheball » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:12 pm

For readers interest here is the full article from which the Shields 'Gazette' printed extracts as part of its match preview.

Both clubs share a history with periods of major highs and lows and of much changed fortunes and circumstances for each with 125 years or thereabouts since their original formations, both phoenix-like following dramatic events for both clubs in their respective histories. South Shields on two landmark occasions 1930 and 1974 going out of existence and Darlington very recently and most particularly with four division demotion in two years from the football league to the Ebac Northern League first division. Both share a similar rise in their formative years from comparative local obscurity to regional prominence and competition against each other that began in 1908 with their first season together as new members in the once celebrated North Eastern League, which was the premier regional league. Prior to which Darlington can claim that a town football club originated in 1861 but the club dates its official foundation from 1883, and for South Shields some sparse references found that allude to a club in the early 1870's, but with a confirmed 1888 appearance of the original South Shields Association Club. Competitive football between the two clubs began over a century ago and it is from their first meeting in 1908, when Shields joined from the Northern Alliance and Darlington from the Northern League that our story begins as a backdrop to the latest game tomorrow between the two clubs ....

Both clubs remained members of the North Eastern League until the advent of the 1914 - 1918 First World War, which was suspended in 1915 for the duration of hostilities. During the years of their membership Shields were champions on two occasions 1913 - 1914 and 1914 - 1915, and Darlington 1912 - 1913. The clubs went their different ways thereafter and Shields joined the wartime Tyneside Combination and Darlington into a local league, later both became members of the Northern Victory League in 1918. South Shields were elected members of the Football League Second Division the following year and Darlington rejoined the North Eastern League, and in 1921 also became members of the new Football League Third Division North. From season 1920 - 1921 both clubs fielded reserve sides in the North Eastern League, and which continued until 1930. Games between the two clubs at senior level recommenced in 1925 - 1926 with Darlington's promotion to the second division, with the Quakers winning both games 4 : 1 and 4 : 2. In 1926 - 1927 Shields won at home 1 : 0 on December 4th but on April 23rd suffered their heaviest ever league defeat at Feethams 8 : 2. Darlington were relegated the following season, as were Shields for 1928 - 1929 and joined Darlington in the Third Division North. A 2 : 2 draw was the result of the seasons opener on August 25th, followed by a home 1 : 3 defeat at Horsely Hill on December 31st. In Shields final year in the football league the following season, the club suffered another heavy defeat at Darlington on January 1st 1930 8 : 3, and the return fixture on April resulted in a 3 : 3 draw. At the end of what proved to be the final season in the football league for South Shields, although 7th in the league table, the club moved lock,stock and barrel to Gateshead and meetings with Darlington were not resumed until the 1936 - 1937 season.

Shields reformed and joined the North Eastern League in 1936 and its second X1 joined the Wearside League, and games once again resumed against Darlington in the NEL, but against their second X1, and this continued until season
1958 - 1959. Shields recorded a 9 - 0 victory over Darlington Reserves in their NEL championship winning season 1957 - 1958. A new league the North Regional League for football league reserve sides only was then formed, in which Darlington, Middlesborough, Sunderland, Workington, Gateshead, Carlisle and Hartlepool all joined, and the NEL as a direct consequence folded through inability to find suitable replacements. Shields with others joined the Midland League for two seasons, and thereafter in the Northern Counties League 1960 - 1962, and then the reformed North Eastern League 1962 - 1964. 1964 saw the formation of the North Regional League, of which Darlington Reserves became a member in the following season, as also Gateshead. Darlington Reserves left to join the Wearside League at the end of the 1966 - 1967 season and remained until 1971 - 1972. South Shields became a member of the new Northern Premier League in 1968 until 1974, when the club then moved to Gateshead for the second occasion in its history.

So, it will seen that over the years since that first game in 1908 there have been only a few seasons prior to WW1 and during the 1920's in the football league that Shields and Darlington have actually met each other at senior ( first team ) level and from 1936 for most of the years up to 1971 - 1972 for the Darlington reserve side against Shields first X1. From that latter season and Shields subsequently being reformed in 1974, the 2 : 1 encounter at Heritage Park at Darlington's shared ground at Bishop Auckland on October 10th last year is the only game between the two clubs at first team level since 1930, and also those at reserve level for Darlington the last in season 1971 - 1972, and finally a friendly also during that season. In cup competition the Durham Senior Cup final replay of 1969 - 1970 which Darlington won 3 : 2 after a 3 : 3 draw was also a last occasion. So whilst Darlington 1883 are a member of the Ebac Northern League, at least for the current season, or until the club achieves a promotion to the Evo Stik ( Northern Premier ) League on a long climb back to the Football League as its eventual ambition, games that began between the two clubs over a century ago have resumed after a long absence ...

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