Midgley left to concentrate on cup final after defeat to Star

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Midgley boss Craig Gee conceded that his side’s Halifax AFL title hopes had perished in a 3-1 derby defeat by Hebden Royd Red Star.

Second half goals from Dan Lumb and Lewis Cockroft helped improving Star avenge a 4-0 home defeat on the first day of the season.

Midgley lost top spot to Ryburn United, who will battle it out for honours with favourites Stump Cross for the second successive season.

Gee had no complaints about the outcome of Saturday’s game. “Star deserved it for the way they played in the second half,” he said.

Midgley had been bidding for a second title in three seasons but he said: “We are definitely out of it now.

“We knew deep down that we were struggling and we did well to keep in it as long as we did.”

The focus will switch to a Challenge Cup final meeting with Warley or Northowram while Midgley Reserves will meet Ryburn Reserves in the Invitation Cup final.

Chad Godfrey gave Star the perfect start with a first time shot into the top corner.

George Bamford made it 1-1 midway through a scrappy first half with a firm shot after Tom Rawnsley’s good work.

Lumb restored Star’s lead with a nice finish after the ball had dropped to him in the box following a throw in.

Injury-hit Midgley moved an extra man forward but visiting ‘keeper Joe Kidder was largely untroubled and Lewis Cockroft made the game safe from an acute angle.

Calder ‘76 continued their excellent Premier Division form with a deserved 3-2 home win over Northowram.

They made a flying start with early goals from the in-form Remi Allen and James Redmond. Danny Rushworth replied but Allen rounded off a fine move before Mark Eade completed the scoring.