Fearless Midgley face rivals for Premier title

After last weekend’s total wipeout in the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL, Calder Valley clubs will be hoping for a miraculous thaw over the next 48 hours to stop them falling further behind with their fixtures.

Premier side Calder ‘76 and first division outfit Wadsworth United are already way behind with their league programmes and facing midweek games come the end of the season.

However, the main spotlight on Saturday falls on Premier leaders Midgley United’s home match with title rivals Ryburn United.

Midgley fear nobody after being unbeaten in the league for a season and a half, which includes their Division One title-winning campaign.

Ryburn promise to be worthy opponents. The Kebroyd side, who lie third in table, had an emphatic 10-1 win at Elland United two weeks ago and will be brimming with confidence.

Christian Silkstone, who bagged six in that Elland game, is an obvious threat while Rob Gerrard, vastly experienced ex-Midgley man Craig Peckover and Simon Carter are players who will fight for the cause.

Calder, who are next to bottom having hardly played any games, take on the team just above them, champions Elland United. First division leaders Hebden Royd Red Star travel to play improving Ryburn United Reserves. Wadsworth are in fine form and could yet be involved in the promotion race. A trip to play on Northowram’s tight, sloping pitch may be tricky.

Fixtures - Premier Division: Elland United v Calder 76 (ref J.Hallos), Holmfield AFC v Copley United (G.Porter), Midgley United v Ryburn United (P.Higgins), Shelf United v Stump Cross (A.Bennett), Sowerby United v Warley Rangers (P.Bowe).

Division One: Elland Allstars v Denholme Utd (M.Beard), Hx Irish Centre v Sowerby Bridge (R.Walker), Northowram v Wadsworth United (P.Crabtree), Ryburn United Res v Hebden Royd Red Star (S.Dennis), Salem v Mixenden Utd (A.Thorpe), Stainland Utd v Volunteer Arms (D.Wright).

Division Two: Greetland AFC Res v AFC Crossleys Res (R.Smith), Halifax Athletic v Hx Irish Centre Res (P.Crouch), Hebden Royd Red Star Res v Sowerby United Res (M.Edwards), Sowerby Bridge Res v Midgley United Res (A.Kay), Warley Rangers Res v Shelf United Res D.Bartley.

Division Three: Calder 76 Res v Elland Allstars Res (B.Payton), Denholme United Res v West Central (M.Redmile), Shelf FC v Savile Arms FC (D.Cartwright), Spring Hall Celtic v Salem Res (D.Sutcliffe), Volunteer Arms Res v Brighouse Sports AFC (V.Janecki).

Todmorden Borough are due to host Walney Island in Division Two of the West Lancashire League on Saturday.

It is a tough fixture for John Gilford’s mid-table improvers as the Cumbrians are third in the table, very much gunning for promotion and have won seven of their 11 away games in the league this season.

Both sides were out of action last Saturday. Borough were due to travel to Barrow Wanderers while Walney were without a fixture.

Jack’s House face Rochdale Sac red Heart at Firgrove Playing Fields in Division One of the Rochdale Online Alliance.

In the Rochdale Sunday League, Woodhouse United are due to host Asia in Division One this weekend.

The Calder Valley’s quartet of teams in the Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League will be hoping for a return to action.

Hollins Holme continue their promotion quest in Division One at home to Triangle while Royd Club host fellow bottom three side Stallions at Savile Park, Halifax.

In Division Two, fourth-placed Hebden Bridge AFC travel to play King Crosss Sports Reserves. Third-from-bottom Stubbing Wharf entertain promotion-gunning Rastrick BC at Savile Park.