Storming finish gives Rams victory

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Northowram scored four goals in the final 18 minutes to run out 6-5 home winners over Warley Rangers in a remarkable Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL match on Saturday.

The game at Northowram Rec was one of three to go ahead in the Premier Division on a wet afternoon, with leaders Illingworth St Mary’s and Ryburn United winning the others.

Playing down the slope, Warley took the lead in the first minute through Martin Boon’s superb angled rising drive into the top corner.

Carlton Balmer was inches wide with a curling free kick but Anthony Campbell doubled the lead after 20 minutes and Balmer slotted his side’s third four minutes later.

The Rams had offered little on a heavy surface but a neat move was started and finished by Matt Calland.

In the last five minutes of the half Balmer’s header following a long throw looped over James Bunn but the Rams responded immediately when the impressive Chris Gent’s perfectly-flighted free kick was met by Matthew Rushworth’s head.

Balmer hit a post and there were chances at both ends before Danny Kirman made it 5-2 with 18 minutes left.

However, Archie Griffiths nodded home the rebound after Rushworth’s header had hit the bar and Gent’s shot from outside the area squeezed into the bottom corner with seven minutes left.

Gent equalised when the midfielder’s speculative effort slipped through the keeper’s fingers after 85 minutes and Calland fired the winner in a crowded area.

Kirman was sent off for inappropriate remarks to the referee.

Ryburn United were 3-2 home winners over Sowerby United with both sides lacking key players.

Ryburn raced into a 2-0 lead inside six minutes. The first goal came from an unstoppable 20 yard strike from Alex Coburn. Brad Waddington doubled the lead a minute later.

Sowerby were indebted to keeper Jack Leonard for limiting the damage and man of the match Dan Crosland helped them get a foot hold in the game.

They failed to convert two one-on-ones before the break but a rash challenge on Rory Thickett by the Ryburn keeper enabled Crosland to score from the spot.

Sowerby then played some outstanding football but it was Ryburn who scored next when a free kick from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection.

Sowerby pulled one back through Josh Hiley but were unable to conjure up an equalliser.

Illingworth’s march towards the title continued with a 13th straight win, by 7-2 away to Greetland.

John Booth (three), Luke Prosser, Callum Cook, Joe Griffin and Gareth Gaukroger hit the target for Saints with Adie Ford responsible for Greetland’s brace.

Three matches went ahead in Division One and the most significant of them was probably Sowerby Bridge’s 3-2 win over Denholme, which stretched their lead to 10 points. Damian Watkins struck twice.

In another match on Savile Park, Calder ‘76 Reserves’ Nathan Dempsey scored the only goal of the game late on to beat Salem .

There were few chances in the opening hour and when James Redmond missed a golden chance it looked as if it might not be Calder’s day.

Salem were dangerous on the break and Calder needed a last ditch challenge from Chris Lambert and a fine save by Matty McCambridge to keep it goalless.

With two minutes left, Dempsey grabbed the winner with a fine finish over the keeper.

Brighouse Sports showed plenty of character to bounce back from the previous week’s cup semi-final defeat by Warley. They beat visitors Ryburn United Reserves 3-2

Matches went to form in Division Two with title contenders Ivy House, Illingworth St Mary’s Reserves and Junction Inn all among the goals.

Ivy House crushed Salem Reserves 14-1 while Illingworth stayed on their heels with a 13-0 eclipse of a spirited Sowerby Bridge Reserves.

Sowerby had struggled to raise a team due to call ups from the first team but credit to them they managed to get 11 players on the pitch and battled throughout, with Conrad Egan outstanding at the back.

Brandon Field led the way with six goals, followed by hat trick men Tom Holroyde and Jamie Randall. There was also a first goal of the season from youngster Nathan Field.

Junction had to settle for a more modest 6-3 win away to Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves.

St Columbas beat Shelf United Reserves 4-0 with the help of two goals from Vinny O’Shea while AFC Crossleys Reserves picked up three points on their travels with a 2-1 success against Sowerby United Reserves.