Illingworth win promotion battle

Illingworth St Mary's Reserves, runners-up in Division Two of the Halifax AFL.
Illingworth St Mary's Reserves, runners-up in Division Two of the Halifax AFL.

There was a winner-takes-all battle for the runners-up berth in Division Two of the Halifax AFL on Saturday with AFC Illingworth St Mary’s Reserves beating Shelf United Reserves 6-4 on the Lightcliffe Academy 3G.

That gives Illingworth promotion alongside runaway leaders Crossleys and adds to the Division One title success of the club’s first team.

Illingworth started strongly and youngster Dave Suddall twisted and turned on the edge of the box before scoring with a fine left foot strike.

Suddall then latched onto a fine Phil Livesy through ball and doubled the lead with a stunning shot.

Next it was Livesy’s turn. When the ball dropped to him 30 yards out he smashed it home.

Shelf couldn’t handle Suddall and it was no surprise when he struck another fine shot into the corner to complete a superb first half hat-trick.

Shelf responded just before the break when they out-muscled the Saints defence to make it 4-1.

The home side improved massively in the second half and deservedly got themselves back into it with two quick goals.

Illingworth pulled clear again with a rare deflected goal from skipper Kyle Butler but Shelf made in 5-4 to set up a nervy last 10 minutes.

It was left to 16-year-old Thomas Webster to wrap the game up when he broke clear down the right and finished with a fine shot.

Crossleys made it 15 wins out of 16 - their ‘defeat’ came in the committee room - with a 2-1 win away to much-improved Northowram Reserves.

Lyndon Armstrong struck for the Rams in their last match of the season but Tom McGregor and substitute Sam Cole edged it for Crossleys.

Calder ‘76 Reserves were gifted three points when visitors Greetland Reserves were unable to raise a side while Division Three champions Elland United had their fourth walkover of the season when hosts Crossleys Reserves were unable to fulfil the fixture scheduled for Holmfield Rec.

Flying Dutchman picked up a fourth win on the trot with a 4-0 success away to Shelf FC Reserves at Westwood Park. Dan Murgatroyd struck twice for Dutchman, who look unlikely to deny Shelf the runners-up berth.

Premier side Greetland were 5-4 winners away to St Columbas, who have finished third in Division One, at Natty Lane in the new Eastwood Cup competition.