Calder ‘76 go seven points clear

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Calder ‘76 stormed into a seven-point lead at the top of the Halifax AFL with a 4-1 win away to Holmfield in the only Premier Division game of the day.

Jonny Gibson put a good chance wide for the visitors early on and 30 seconds later the hosts hit the outside of a post.

Calder played some good football in the first half on a heavy pitch and took control with two goals in five minutes.

Max Crossley got the first after Remi Allen’s lob had hit the bar and Allen then shot into the far corner.

Gav Fleming missed a great chance to possibly put the game out of Holmfield’s reach just before the break and that escape and the introduction of experienced ex-Ovenden WR striker Steve Fullard lifted the hosts.

When Mick Palethorpe reduced the deficit Calder were looking less assured but the visitors got a third, claimed by Ricky Topham after the ball had taken a deflection off a defender, before Allen finally settled matters with 15 minutes left.

Sowerby United moved up to second in Division One with a 2-1 home win over Midgley United Reserves.

Sowerby raced into the lead inside the first minute when Oliver Smith’s surging run was halted by a trip and Dan Boyd’s 30-yard curling free-kick gave the ‘keeper no chance.

Sowerby were playing fine football, with James Clegg outstanding in midfield, but Midgley were stubborn and fought hard to keep the home side at bay.

Matthew Seekins and Michael Rigby provided Midgley’s biggest threat but Dan Crossland was in commanding form at the back for Sowerby.

Midgley levelled midway through the second half when Seekins quickly closed down a defender and scored.

Sowerby continued to press and after Brad Gaimster had hit the bar with a header, Harvey Walsh hit the winner following good work by Andrew Wadsworth.

St Columba’s went top of Division Two with a 3-2 home victory over Sowerby United Reserves in a game which featured some quality goals.

Saints saw lots of the ball in the first half an hour and the pressure eventually paid off when a clearing header fell to Scott Holmes just inside the penalty area and he calmly volleyed into the far corner.

Sowerby levelled before half time when a free kick knocked into the box from long range dropped under the bar.

Saints regained the lead in the second half when man of the match Ben Caldwell received the ball 25 yards out and his sweetly timed rising drive went in off a post.

When Ryan O’Neill curled a 30 yard free kick into the top corner Saints looked to be coasting to victory.

However, Sowerby came back strongly and set up a competitive finale with another free kick, this one smashed in from 25 yards.

Illingworth St Mary’s Reserves lost their 100 per cent record in a surprise 4-4 draw at home to Salem Reserves.

Illingworth were 2-0 up inside 10 minutes through the lively Robbie Wardle and a penalty from Bradley Madin.

However, Salem battled back. Sean Byrne cashed in on good build up play between Martin Jenkins and James Broadbent. Broadbent then equalised with a smart finish.

Harvey Partington put Saints back in front with a fine strike before Salem levelled again through Jenkins’ deflected 25 yard strike.

Illingworth hit the front with five minutes remaining through Robbie Sinclair’s fine strike but Salem deservedly pulled level with a great shot from substitute Dave Oakes to cap Salem’s best perfromance for a long time.

Sixteen-year-old winger Oliver Bagley scored a superb hat-trick as Greetland Reserves beat Northowram Reserves 7-4 at Goldfields.

Skipper Andy Hurcombe opened the scoring with a cool finish before Paul Glew equalised.

Bagley scored his first with a low right footed effort after some good link up play with Chris Green and he scored again with a header from a Craig Hare corner to make it 3-1 at half time.

Northowram scored first in the second half with a header from a corner before Karl Jowett raced clear from midfield to make it 4-2.

Jowett then set up another 16 year old, George Bainbridge, who scored his eighth goal of the season with a simple finish.

Bagley smashed home his third before Chris Gent pulled another back for the spirited visitors.

The Rams then scored another, which threatened to make it a nervy finish for the hosts. However, a goal of the season contender from veteran full back Darren Ward, who thundered in a right footed volley from more than 30 yards, completed the scoring.