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Newcastle United 1-0 Crystal Palace

Andros Townsend celebrates his winning goal. Credit: PA images

Andros Townsend's stunning free-kick dragged Newcastle out of the Premier League relegation zone as Rafael Benitez's rescue mission gathered pace with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

The £12million January signing struck with 58 minutes gone - his third goal in five games - to give the home side a precious lead, but it took a 70th-minute penalty saved by Karl Darlow to deny Magpies old boy Yohan Cabaye an equaliser.

Victory, coupled with Sunderland's draw at Stoke, eased Newcastle out of the bottom three ahead of Norwich's trip to Arsenal and left the bulk of a crowd of 52,107 dreaming of a great escape with just two games remaining.

READ: ITV Sport's full match report here

Stoke 1-1 Sunderland

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe rescued a point at Stoke. Credit: PA images

Jermain Defoe scored an injury-time penalty to earn Sunderland a potentially priceless point at Stoke.

The Potters looked on course for victory after Marko Arnautovic gave them the lead five minutes into the second half but Defoe made it 1-1 having won the spot-kick himself.

Newcastle's victory over Crystal Palace meant the draw was not enough to prevent Sunderland dropping back into the bottom three but it was more than they looked like getting for 90 minutes.

READ: ITV Sport's full match report here

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MP calls for 'clear statement' over hospital services

Darlington's MP is demanding answers over the future of services Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The MP for Darlington is calling for a 'clear statement' over the future of hospital services at the town's main hospital.

Labour's Jenny Chapman says rumours have been circulating for some time over the future of accident and emergency, intensive care and maternity services at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

She told ITV Tyne Tees that speculation had gone on for 'far too long' and is now calling for clarification.

Jenny Chapman MP Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

"What we need is a clear statement from Commissioners and from the Trust about what their intentions are, because it is unacceptable to leave patients, the wider community and particularly staff in this position where their jobs may be at risk, and where Darlington may be seeing a serious downgrade of services at our hospital."

– Jenny Chapman, Darlington MP

In response, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust sent us the following statement.

“As an NHS organisation we cannot stand still - advances in medical science, technology and the specialist skills of NHS professionals have made huge contributions to improved survival rates, outcomes and quality of life over the past few decades. If we want to be able to continue driving improvements and delivering high quality, sustainable services which meet the needs and expectations of our patients now and into the future against a backdrop of pressures in recruiting specialist staff, delivering quality and access standards and within financial constraints then we need to consider ways in which care and services could be delivered differently.

Senior consultants from the Trust are working with colleagues from across all the hospitals in Durham, Darlington and Teesside together with GPs on a programme of work which is about how we can improve outcomes and experience for patients when they need care, especially in an emergency.

This programme of work is called The Better Health programme and is aimed at identifying how we could improve clinical outcomes for the populations that we all serve.

However, no decisions have been made and importantly the next stage of engagement work with public, patients and staff has just begun allowing everyone to have their say. The series of engagement events will feed into a formal public consultation later in the year.”

– County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

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Two dead in light aircraft crash

Emergency services at the scene Credit: ITV News

North Yorkshire Police have confirmed that two men have died in a light aircraft crash near Castle Howard.

The plane came down in a field close to the A64 this morning.

Fire crews assist police at scene of light aircraft crash

Up to twenty firefighters are at the scene of a light aircraft crash near Castle Howard in North Yorkshire.

Crews were sent from Malton, York and Acomb after the aircraft came down in fields close to the A64 this morning.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service says its firefighters set up foam making equipment around the scene of the crash in case the aircraft caught alight.

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