Mixed fortunes for valley junior sides with a win and a defeat

SAINTS Tigers got the season off to great start with a thumping 5 – 0 victory at Howden Clough.

Noah Sugarman grabbed a hat-trick in an assured team performance.

It took less than five minutes for the Saints to take the lead, with good work from Midgley and O’Keefe releasing Sugarman, who slotted the ball under the keeper.

The Saints midfield kept the pressure on Howden and the lead was doubled when Goff broke clear and lifted a powerful drive into the Howden net.

Howden tried to hit back, but the Saints defence stood firm with Gilling and Wilcox in control.

McMurdo and Fenton handled the wing threat and Evans had a quiet time in the Saints goal.

Sugarman’s pace caused havoc in the Howden defence and it was no surprise when he burst through again and added his second with a quality finish.

The only disappointment of the half was when Goff pulled up injured. Payne came on as sub and Loughrey moved up to support Sugarman.

These two combined to give Sugarman his hat trick with another stunning goal to give Saints a four-goal lead at half time.

The second half started much as the first with good work from the Saints subs, Heaps and Taylor, who both got quickly into their stride.

Howden did not give up and produced a period of pressure on the Saints goal.

Goalie Evans held firm with some good saves and a few basketball skills.

Loughrey got the Saint’s fifth and final goal when his persistence paid off, chasing down a Howden back pass. The goalie slammed the ball at him and it rebounded into the Howden net.

- TOD Sports under-10s are finding out the hard way how tough life is going to be in this new league – the first competitive one in which they have participated.

The quality of the opposition is likely to be of a consistently higher standard and that is certainly true if the first two fixtures are anything to go by.

Having been held to a draw at home in their opening fixture they were pegged back twice and finally beaten by a tough and competitive King Cross Shamrocks side.

Tod lined up with Law in an unfamiliar position in between the posts and he acquitted himself excellently in difficult circumstances.

In defence, Tod had Kelly and Hartley, who had a very busy morning and were generally solid throughout.

In midfield, Tod had numerous options with Emery, Thompson, Sorrell and Bragg, all full of running, while up front Jones and Eatherall were a constant menace.

Tod had almost the perfect start when they went ahead in the third minute.

Good play on the right wing between Jones and Thompson resulted in a cross being turned in by Eatherall.

The visitors were pegged back minutes later when the Shamrocks equalised.

Tod re-grouped to put some more pressure on the home defence and on 18 minutes more good work from Jones on the right put Sorrell in on goal. He finished coolly to put the visitors back in front at the break.

The second half saw Tod once again relinquish their lead when King Cross pulled level again after five minutes.

Both sides had chances to score during the following passage of play.

However, midway through the second half the hosts made the decisive breakthrough.

A series of corners from King Cross eventually resulted in them scoring what proved to be the winning goal, as despite creating some more chances before the end, Tod were unable to grab an equaliser and time ran out to leave them with no points from their first away fixture.