South Shields reclaimed the Sam Bartram Memorial Cup after Jon Shaw’s hat-trick helped them to a comfortable 5-2 victory at Boldon CA on Saturday.
The Mariners were beaten 1-0 by the Wearside League side in last year’s contest, but had too much for their opponents this time.
Julio Arca was also on the scoresheet with a trademark free-kick, while new signing David Carson also netted after dancing his way through the defence.
Shields have scored 19 goals in their last four games, and have now completed their pre-season campaign ahead of Saturday’s trip to Marske United in the FA Cup.
The game kicked off more than half an hour late after the match officials failed to appear, with Shields physio Andrew Morris eventually taking the whistle, while a replacement linesman and a Boldon substitute were his assistants.
When the match finally did get started, Shields got to grips quickly, with captain Leepaul Scroggins skewing a shot wide after a good move within the first minute.
David Foley hit an effort over before again showing his ability by bringing the ball inside from the left and then hitting a low effort which home goalkeeper Brett Wilson did well to save.
From the resulting corner, Wilson somehow kept out efforts from Michael Turner and Dillon Morse, while Barrie Smith later went close as the Mariners continued to pressurise their hosts.
Boldon were almost handed an unlikely lead, though, when Shields gave it away at the back, and Josh Carmichael was called on to make a fine save from Regan Tate.
The Mariners were soon back in control, and Wilson had to make another stunning double save as he denied Craig Baxter and Foley from close range.
Shields took the lead on 20 minutes as Shaw latched onto a misplaced backpass before racing through on goal and sliding it past Wilson.
The Mariners continued to press after taking the lead as they searched for goal number two, with Foley going close before Shaw scored again nine minutes before half-time.
A Robert Briggs effort from the edge of the box was parried by Wilson, and Shaw was in the perfect position to take advantage as he tapped into an empty net.
Shaw almost had his hat-trick before half-time, but fired over after being found by Michael Turner.
Against the run of play, Boldon pulled a goal back in first half stoppage time when the Mariners gave the ball away at the back, and Tate linked up with Jack Young, with the latter beating Carmichael.
After the break, Shields regained control, and Foley went close before Shaw completed his hat-trick when he tapped in a low cross from Foley.
Arca gained the fourth goal of the afternoon with a trademark free-kick, with the midfielder getting the ball up and over the wall from 20 yards before it nestled in the bottom corner.
Foley and Smith both went close to adding a fifth, but eventually it was David Carson who was next on the scoresheet as he dribbled his way through the defence before coolly beating the goalkeeper.
Boldon scored their second of the afternoon with a superb free-kick from Liam Cox, and that was almost the last action of the game as Shields sealed their victory.
Captain Scroggins lifted the trophy after the game as the Mariners finished their pre-season programme in good style.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Carmichael (Elliott 61), Baxter (Morse 80), Turner, Morse (Storey 61), Riding (Danny Carson 45), Briggs (David Carson 46), Smith, Scroggins (c) (Arca 46), Shaw, Byrne (Finnigan 46), Foley.
Goals: Shaw (20, 36, 58), Arca (68), David Carson (83).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Bob Scott.
South Shields will bring their pre-season preparations to an end when they make the short trip to Boldon CA on Saturday (2pm kick-off).
The South Tyneside neighbours are facing each other in the annual Sam Bartram Memorial Cup match at the Villa (NE35 9AN).
Boldon are the holders of the cup, having beaten the Mariners 1-0 in last year’s game.
However, Shields manager Jon King is eager to put that right.
He said: “We want to do better than we did last year.
“That was the first time we had lost the cup for a while, so we want to regain that and finish pre-season on a high with lots of confidence.
“We’ve been delighted with how we’ve done in pre-season so far, and hopefully we can finish it in the right way.”
Right-back Craig Baxter added: “If you’re in any cup, you want to win it.
“On paper, it’s just another pre-season game, but we certainly want to win it with a cup being at stake.
“It’s our last pre-season game, so it would be good to keep the winning run going.”
The Mariners have won their last four friendlies, scoring 14 times in the last three.
South Shields’ pre-season schedule has become clearer after six friendlies were announced ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.
All of the games are subject to change, while there are more friendlies awaiting confirmation.
All those currently scheduled are away fixtures, beginning with a match at Bedlington Terriers on Tuesday, July 12.
Shields will travel to take on Ibby Hassan’s former club, Whitby Town, on Saturday, July 16, before making the short trip to Hebburn Town on Monday, July 18.
The Mariners will then face David Palmer’s ex-side, Seaham Red Star, on Friday, July 22.
A further game is scheduled at Crook Town on Tuesday, July 26, with the traditional Sam Bartram Memorial Cup match at Boldon CA taking place on Saturday, July 30.