NESTLE Rowntree added the John Smith's Bitter Cup to the North Riding Cup in sensational sudden-death shoot-out fashion on Sunday and are still on course for an unprecedented four trophies in a season.

Rowntrees were trailing 2-0 with just three minutes remaining of the final against Volunteers, but their continued pressure finally told as Matty Wain scored with a penalty and then, deep into stoppage time, Steve Jones levelled. They went on to take the trophy on penalties.

Volunteers started the brighter of the two teams in Sunday's final and deservedly took the lead after 15 minutes. James Bonarius was caught late as he shot at goal and referee Dave Walsh had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Lee Bond stepped up to send Craig Code the wrong way.

Volunteers struck the woodwork twice within the next five minutes - first through Luke Ibbetson and then Russ Barley with a dipping, curling 25-yard strike. Nestl had a penalty claim turned down on half-time as they struggled to get any rhythm.

Whatever the Rowntree management said at the break seemed to work as they thereafter took the game to Volunteers.

Wain had a header superbly palmed over the bar by Drake, three corners were won in quick succession and they asserted pressure on the Volunteers' goal. Wain miskicked with the goal of his mercy on 65 minutes and Ward had a shot pawed away by Drake two minutes later before he then missed a sitter with the goalkeeper out of position.

The Volunteers' goal was leading a charmed life and it was against the run of play when Bonarius latched on to a through ball to slide home to make it 2-0 with only seven minutes remaining.

The cause looked to be lost until with just three minutes remaining, Ward was felled by Drake and Wain duly pulled one back from the resulting spot kick. Volunteers were hanging on and they were undone three minutes into added time when Jones turned their defence before unleashing a shot which nestled in the top corner to take the tie into extra time.

There were a few chances in the added 30 minutes, the best of which came when Code spilled the ball off the feet of Ibbetson, who snatched at the chance and sent the ball over the Rowntrees bar with the goal at his mercy.

The match thus went into a shoot-out, in which the first eight spot kicks were duly despatched before Drake saved from Jones. Atkinson stepped up with the chance to win the trophy for Volunteers only to have his shot saved, and it became sudden death.

Steve Ward's spot kick nestled in the bottom corner to make it 5-4 and when Luke Bilham missed the cup was Rowntree's.

Updated: 09:17 Wednesday, April 23, 2003