Saturday sides’ extra chance

THE Halifax Saturday League has stolen a march on its Sunday counterpart and added a final set of fixtures for 2012.

While the Sunday League has given teams New Year’s Eve off, the AFL is keen to avert a growing fixture backlog caused by a second successive blank weekend for its sides.

Teams such as Calder ‘76 and Wadsworth United will be particularly desperate to play with midweek games already looking likely when the clocks go forward.

Calder have played only four games in the Premier and are a round behind in the Halifax FA Cup, in which they meet Brighouse Town.

Wadsworth have played just six games in Division One - fewer than anyone else.

League fixture secretary David Rattigan described the overall fixture picture as “okay at the minute” but said that clubs such as Calder were a cause for concern.

Calder will be hoping to play away to Sowerby United on Saturday while Wadsworth are at home to Volunteer Arms.

Premier Division leaders Midgley United and Division One table toppers Hebden Royd Red Star get a chance to stretch their leads.

Midgley host Holmfield and could stretch four points clear because second-placed Stump Cross are without a game.

Red Star face a tricky trip to Denholme United, who are much improved this season.

Premier Division: Elland United v Shelf United (ref P.Higgins), Greetland AFC v Copley United (B.Payton), Midgley United v Holmfield AFC (P.Bowe), Sowerby United v Calder 76 (M.Redmile).

Division One: Denholme United v Hebden Royd Red Star (D.Cartwright), Elland Allstars v Hx Irish Centre (A.Thorpe), Mixenden United v Sowerby Bridge(D.Bartley), Northowram v Stainland United (P.Crabtree), Wadsworth United v Volunteer Arms (R.Walker).

Division Two: Halifax Athletic v Greetland AFC Res (A.Bennett), Hebden Royd Red Star Res v Sowerby Bridge Res (P.Walsh), Shelf United Res v Elland United Res (S.Dennis).

Division Three: Calder 76 Res v Elland Allstars Res (R.Smith), Salem Res v Denholme United Res (T.Bennett), Savile Arms FC v Volunteer Arms Res (J.Hallos), Spring Hall Celtic v Brighouse Sports AFC (P.Crouch).

West Riding Challenge Cup, third round: Ryburn United v Brighouse OB.