Hebden Royd Red Star honoured the memory of their former chairman Peter Kennedy with one of the surprise results of the Halifax AFL season last Saturday.
After a minute’s silence for a man who served the club for an astonishing 64 years, Star produced a superb backs-to-the-wall performance to register a 2-0 home win over title favourites Stump Cross.
A Stump side beaten only once previously in the league this season were undoubtedly stifled by a heavy pitch but Kennedy would have been proud of Star’s spirit.
Star produced a programme for the game, containing at tribute to Kennedy, but the odds were against the hosts managing a win in the absence of strike pair Lewis Cockroft and Tom Garland.
James Rawlinson started up front with Ed Harvey but Rawlinson pulled a hamstring after 15 minutes and Star had to send on their only substitute, Chad Godfrey.
The first half was a stalemate with few chances, although home player-boss Chris Garbutt made the first of two goalline clearances.
Star had teased teenager James Speechley beforehand about his failure to score a goal for the team but he put the record straight on the hour in spectacular fashion.
His 35 yard lob cleared the ‘keeper and the efforts of a retreating Stump defender to keep the ball out of the net were to no avail.
Stump hit the home bar straight away with a long shot and the pressure continued to mount on the hosts, who looked to hit back on the break.
Pat Thomas had a golden chance to put more daylight between the teams from Harvey’s cross but his close-range header was straight at the ‘keeper.
Man of the match Garbutt made another last-ditch clearance as Star continued to be under the cosh but Thomas made amends for his earlier miss with the clincher on the break entering the last 10 minutes.
Garbutt said a lot of people had attended the match and heard club official Simon Kendall speak about Kennedy’s contribution to the club before the kick off.
He was delighted Star’s players had been able to mark the event with such an excellent result.
Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves went close to making it a double away to St Columbas in Division Two.
They fought back from 3-0 down to lead 4-3, only to be pegged back by a late goal.