Ten goals for Booth in rout
A difficult season for Copley United reached a new low on Saturday when their relegated side was thrashed 23-1 away to rampant Halifax AFL champions elect Illingworth St Mary's.
Long-serving AFL fixture secretary David Rattigan couldn’t recall such a one-sided scoreline in the Premier Division and said Copley had two substitutes.
The visitors to Trinity Academy, who complete their season at home to Warley Rangers next Saturday, deserved credit for fulfilling the fixture after picking up just three points from draws this season.
John Booth looks set to finish as the league’s leading scorer, having added another 10 to his tally.
Illingworth’s other goals came from Gareth Gaukroger (three), Andy Gregory (three), Luke Prosser (two), Phil Livesey (two), Joe Griffin (two) and Damien Randall.
James Thorpe replied for the outclassed visitors.
Illingworth need a maximum eight points from their last five games to be confirmed as champions after West Riding cup semi-finalists Ryburn United lost 2-1 at home to Northowram.
Neither keeper had a save to make in an even opening half at Ripponden Wood with Ryburn looking slightly the more assured on the ball.
The hosts took the lead from their first chance on 25 minutes, Christian Silkstone hooking the ball on and Tom Hiley nudging it over onrushing stand-in keeper Chris Conroy.
Silkstone firing wide when well placed and the same player’s attempted chip floated well over.
The Rams had a couple of scares in the opening 10 minutes after the restart but a switch in formation to 4-4-2 led to gaps appearing in a hitherto secure home defence.
Had Josh Baines, in an offside position, not headed in Matt Calland’s effort that looked to be goal bound, the Rams would have drawn level.
Lewis Oldridge sent a couple of efforts over the bar but levelled from the penalty spot on 65 minutes after Silkstone had fouled Jacob Turner and Matt Calland’s strength on the ball enabled Oldridge to drill home the winner.
Sowerby United gained their first win of 2017 when they edged past Shelf United 4-3 at Ryburn School.
Despite taking an early through Ryan Allen, Sowerby were second best for most of a first half in which Shelf went 2-1 ahead with goals from Jon Farrell and Billy Grogan.
Sowerby, with the wind and rain at their backs in the second half, drew level through Corey Henderson but Shelf once again responded with a strike from Harry Talbot.
The final 20 minutes saw Sowerby become stronger and Harvey Walsh equalised before Rory Thicket grabbed them the points with a goal 10 minutes from time.
Calder ‘76 boosted their hopes of finishing Calder Valley top dogs for the second season running with a fine 4-0 derby win away to Midgley United.
John Jones, in charge of the team with sports teacher Rob Kenworthy away on a school trip, thought it was Calder’s best performance of the season.
With hot shot Remi Allen ill, and making only a brief appearance as a substitute, Zac Greenwood took the scoring honours with his first hat-trick for the club.
Greenwood was moved forward to Allen’s position wide left and struck twice in the first half with a Jordan Pettifor effort in between.
When Greenwood completed his hat-trick 10 minutes after the break, following good work from Sam Cartwright and Steve Jones, it was virtually game over.
Warley Rangers made it back to back wins with a hard earned 3-2 victory against bogey side Greetland, who were playing final fixture of the season.
In blustery conditions at exposed Goldfields, Warley took a deserved lead through Reece Brady’s first goal of the campaign when he shot through a crowd of players.
Rangers wasted chance and were denied by good goal keeping but a second goal arrived via striker Mark Kelsey, who reacted first in a scramble inside the area.
Greetland finished the half strongly and although Lee Goodall made a superb fingertip save onto the bar he was eventually beaten by Ady Ford’s precise finish.
The second period was more even with Goodall denying the hosts an equaliser.
Rangers stretched their advantage mid-way through the half as Connor Bell raced away and lashed in off the post.
Bell missed several good chances and Adam Worsick closed the gap after Karl Jowett had been tripped.
In the final action, Ed Brigg’s block denied Greetland a draw.
Shelf FC won the crunch match in Division One, beating leaders Sowerby Bridge 5-3 at Westwood Park.
Oliver Coates scored a hat-trick for the visitors but Calum Lewis and Josh Hans scored twice each for Shelf, who are well placed to be champions if they can cope with a packed end of season fixture list.
Greetland Reserves’ Andy Hurcombe was another hat-trick man but his side lost to hosts AFC Crossleys by the odd goal in 13.
Midgey Reserves lost 4-0 at Denholme United but at least managed to raise a team this week, which is more than could be said for Holmfield, who conceded against Calder ‘76 Reserves.
Honours were even at Lane Head, where Brighouse Sports and Salem drew 2-2, and at Goldfields, where Nathan Hargreaves got all Ryburn United Reserves’ goals in a 3-3 draw against hosts Elland Allstars.
FC Plummet Line brought down the curtain on a fine first season with a 4-0 victory against Sowerby Bridge Reserves in Division Two.
Sowerby started short of a full complement of players but only a fine save from Matty Berry stopped them taking the lead.
Liam Calvert opened the scoring with a sharp close range finish to make it 22 for the season.
Plummet doubled their advantage soon after with the goal of the game, Jordan Bloem finishing after a sweeping passing move.
Sowerby went close on a couple of occasions but after the break, Calvert added another with a shot that went through the keeper.
Kris Charnock fired over from close range for Sowerby and both sides had chances before a pinpoint cross from Phil Bailey was met with an equally convincing header by Tom Howse.
St Columba’s got back to winning ways with a hard fought 3-0 victory away to Northowram Reserves in the only other game in the section.
They kept a fifth clean sheet in the last eight games. Centre backs Jack Dobson and man of the match Jacob Richardson repelled a series of Northowram corners down the slope in the first half.
Saints always looked dangerous going forward and they took the lead when Andy Sandell’s long range effort was spilled and Ryan O’Neill followed up to lift the ball over the unfortunate keeper.
Northowram came out strongly in the second half and pushed for the equaliser, but Saints doubled their lead when O’Neill won the ball down the right and Ben Caldwell released the in-form Scott Holmes to slot home from a tight angle.
Victory was sealed with 10 minutes left when Andy Sandells’ well disguised inside ball found Holmes, who showed his confidence with an excellent finish.
The game was well controlled by young referee Miles Milner in only his second match.