Saints spoil Rangers’ fine start

Actions from Warley Rangers v Illingworth SM, at Shroggs Park. Pictured is Jonny Lamb and Luke Prosser
Actions from Warley Rangers v Illingworth SM, at Shroggs Park. Pictured is Jonny Lamb and Luke Prosser

Illingworth St Mary’s won the big match in the Halifax AFL’s Premier Division, preventing Warley Rangers from going five points clear at the top with a 2-0 success.

Saints, last season’s runaway Division One champions, won with goals from Phil Livesey and Gareth Gaukroger.

Home boss Matthew Chapman was disappointed his side had failed to take their chances against a side lacking star striker John Booth.

“It was disappointing because I thought we were the better side but they did repel a lot.”

Livesey gave Saints the lead with a penalty for hand-ball and Gaukroger cashed in on a last-minute mix-up in defence.

Steve Cook was best for Saints and winger Connor Bell for Warley.

Shelf picked up their first points at the fourth attempt when they beat visitors Greetland 4-0.

It was also their first win at their new Lightcliffe Academy home venue, where the long grass made life more difficult.

Danny Thornton’s left foot finish after 15 minutes divided the teams at the break.

Shelf then sent on Harry Talbot and he bagged a hat-trick with some decent finishes.

Hard-working striker Karl Jowett tried to get Greetland going but the visitors only threatened in scrambles following a couplwe of corners.

‘Keeper Craig Taylor (Greetland) and hard-working Billy Grogan (Shelf) were others to catch the eye.

Mixenden United were unable to raise a team to play Sowerby United.

Shelf FC went top of Division One on goal difference for Sowerby Bridge after an 8-0 win away to Greetland Reserves.

Last season’s Division Two runners-up had doubles from Callum Lewis and Kyle Peel up at Goldfields.

Ryburn United Reserves also hit their hosts for six, beating Denholme United 6-2 at Foster Park.

Nathan Hargreaves and James Lawton struck twice each for third-placed Ryburn.

Matthew Hields scored the only goal of the game as Elland Allstars got off the mark for the campaign at home to Midgley Reserves.

Junction Inn made it five wins out of five in Division Two with a 2-0 home success against Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves.

FC Plummet Line moved up to fourth with a 4-2 victory over Sowerby United Reserves.

A dour first half only sprung to life 10 minutes before half-time when Plummet’s Tom Howse’s shot from outside the box flew straight into the top corner.

Sowerby equalised on the stroke of half-time and took the lead five minutes after the restart with a low shot from close range.

That sparked Plummet into life. Jake Meade equalised following a good cross from Howse and substitute Ahmad Yehyah made it seven for the season with a quickfire brace, one following good work from strike partner Joe Grimley.

Derby rivals Shelf Reserves and Northowram Reserves warmed up for their meeting next Saturday with wins away to Salem Reserves and Sty Columbas respectively.

The first round of the West Riding Challenge Cup brought its usual high casualty rate for Halifax AFL sides but Midgley United powered through.

The Premier Division’s fourth-placed team powered past Cowling 5-2 to earn a second round home tie with Ealandians.

Midgley took the lead with an own goal after 15 minutes against opponents from Division One of the Craven League.

Toby Standring doubled their advantage but Cowling hit back with a long range effort which caught Steve Butterworth off his line.

Midgley made changes at the break and played well in the second half with Liam Brompton prominent in midfield.

Chris Woodhouse scored twice to take them clear before a swerving effort from distance beat Butterworth.

Steve Butterworth then saved a penalty before Andrew Butterworth scored Midgley’s fifth.

Ryburn United will be at home to Ilkley Town after a 3-0 home win over Rimington FC from Clitheroe.

Tom Hiley struck twice and Christian Silkstone got the other for the Ripponden Wood side.

There were crushing defeats for Holmfield (9-2 at home to Leeds City Rovers) and Copley United (7-0 at Goole United).

AFC Crossleys (3-1 to Wetherby Athletic), Hebden Royd Red Star (2-1 to Overthorpe Rec, Ivy House (2-1 to Hunslet Club), Northowram (3-1 to Thackley Reserves) and Sowerby Bridge (6-5 to Huddersfield YMCA) also bowed out.

Northowram gave a creditable performance against Thackley.

They fell behind after 27 minutes to Chris Davey’s unstoppable volley and their problems increased when a bouncing free-kick eluded a host of players and Luke Robinson deflected the ball home.

Matthew Rushworth and Chris Conroy went close before Lewis Oldridge rewarded the Rams’ enterprising play after 35 minutes.

Shaun Popek headed against the bar as Northowram ended the half on the front foot.

The Rams had the better chances down the slope in the second half and penalty shouts dismissed on two occasions.

Five minutes from time, a ball over the top sent Joe Storey clear and he sealed Thackley’s win.

Damian Watkins and Sam Hiley scored twice each as Sowerby Bridge lost little caste in their narrow defeat to West Riding CA big guns Huddersfield YMCA