Halifax AFL lower divisions

Scott Holmes of St Columbas
Scott Holmes of St Columbas

St Columbas won Saturday’s only game in Division One, recovering from a poor first half display to beat Salem 5-1 at Natty Lane.

They can be promoted as champions if they win their final three matches of the season.

A committed Salem side were difficult to break down and Saints were wasteful in possession, until a Frank Odion cross was smashed home by winger Andy Sandells.

Salem had three or four free kicks in dangerous positions and Saints were made to pay when one found the top corner minutes before the break.

Saints were much brighter in the second half and they took the lead early on when Ben Caldwell converted a penalty after a foul on James Stansfield.

The Salem keeper had made some good saves and he was unfortunate when his close range stop from Ryan O’Neill fell to the feet of substitute Macauley Mountain, who stabbed home.

Andy Sandells’ cross enabled Vinny O’Shea to make it 4-1 and Salem will feel the scoreline was given an unfair look when Jacob Richardson’s goal bound header deflected in off Scott Holmes in the last action of the match.

The three games in Division Two provided three emphatic winners with Midgley United Reserves showing the way with a 7-0 success away to Sowerby Bridge Reserves to go second.

Resurgent pair Illingworth St Mary’s and Northowram Reserves both won 5-1 on their travels and Illingworth are still very much in the promotion shake-up.

They were soon 1-0 up away to Greetland Reserves when veteran striker Steve Galloway lobbed the advancing keeper from outside the box.

A mix-up in the Illingworth defence brought Greetland level when a strong Gareth Gaukroger back pass saw keeper Tony Clarke hit the ball at the Greetland striker and the ball rebounded over the line.

Saints missed numerous chances but on the stroke of half time man of the match David Suddall stabbed the ball home after a fine through ball from Jack Pullen.

Illingworth continued to dominate but it wasn’t until the introduction of Andrew Murgatroyd and Harvey Partington midway through the half that they made their dominance count.

Suddall and Galloway scored their second goals and the former completed his hat-trick with a tap-in after a fine run by veteran Jamie Moorhouse.

Northowram Reserves’remarkable upturn in fortunes continued with a 5-1 win against Sowerby United Reserves.

United took a 1-0 lead into half time through James Stott but the rams turned it around in spectacular fashion with goals from Craig Collins, Chris Conway, James Fearnley and a Mark Hayward double.

Elland United edge closer to the Division Three title when Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves failed to raise a team against them.

Shelf FC Reserves maintained their promotion bid by winning 7-2 at home to AFC Crossleys Reserves.

Daniel Royall hit a hat-trick whilst Gary Boldy and Scott Osbourne grabbed a brace for the home side. Toby Bates and Jack Smith replied.

Flying Dutchman had the biggest win of the weekend away as they demolished bottom side Warley Rangers 11-2.

There were hat-tricks for Matthew Seekins, David Oakes and Daniel Murgatroyd along with a goal each for substitutes Brad Kenny and Chama Mwamba.