Halifax AFL lower divisions
Northowram revived their Division One promotion challenge, after a mauling at the hands of Illingworth the previous week, with a 5-1 win away to Elland Allstars.
A very strong wind, blowing touchline to touchline down the slope at exposed Greetland Community Centre made life very difficult.
The Rams still managed to put together some tidy moves and when Billy Farrell’s shot hit a post, Matt Calland was on hand to tap in the opening goal after 12 minutes.
Jake Baker, played in by Ash Smee’s through ball, doubled the lead with an angled shot into the bottom corner after 25 minutes and 10 minutes later a defensive mix-up left Farrell with an easy chance to slot in.
An ineffective Elland team had a man sent off five minutes before half-time for an alleged head butt on Josh Baines.
Calland scored his second on the hour. He looked second favourite to convert Allen Slingsby’s 50 yard ball but, with a defender in close attendance, he managed to steer an inch-perfect shot just inside the far post.
Three minutes later Calland linked up with Olly Spencer, then Matty Long before smashing the return pass high into the net.
The home side created a couple of chances in the final 10 minutes and were rewarded when their best player, Ben Attle, got them on the score sheet.
Mixenden United slashed Illingworth St Marys’ lead to a single point, with a game in hand, after an 8-0 home win over bottom side Salem at Natty Lane.
St Columba’s won the battle of the fourth and fifth-places side, putting eight points between themselves and Brighouse Sports with a gritty 3-2 win on a heavy pitch.
Saints dominated the early stages. Kutubo Touray gave them the lead after collecting a Brighouse goal kick and running through to finish from the edge of the area.
Touray then turned provider with a through ball to striker Frank Odion, whose shot found the bottom corner via a deflection.
Brighouse had struggled to get into the game but they were boosted by a superb late first half free-kick that went in off the crossbar.
Brighouse had a lot of possession after the break but Saints extended their lead. James Stansfield won the ball in midfield and sent Odion clear. His emphatic finish looked to have settled matters but Brighouse struck straight back and the Saints defence had to be resilient with Jacob Richardson making a ball and all last ditch tackle at the end.
Illingworth St Mary’s Reserves won a closely contested game 3-1 against Calder Reserves on a windswept Trinity 3G pitch in Division Two.
Calder opened the scoring from a sweetly struck free kick which struck both posts and Nathan Dempsey reacted quickest to stab the ball home past a static Tony Clarke.
Saints responded quickly when a Phil Livesy free kick was headed home by veteran striker Steve Galloway.
The second half saw Saints dominate after introducing man of the match David Sudall but miss a string of chances.
Just as the game looked to be heading for draw, Livesy smashed the ball home. There was still time for substitute Nial Smithson to cross for Marc Loboda to head home and make the game safe.
Midgley United Reserves maintained their much-improved form this season with a 3-0 home win over Sowerby United Reserves, Jack Holmes, George Standring and Matthew Thompson finding the net.
Goals from James Fearnley and Conal Spencer helped Northowram Reserves get off the mark at the 11th attempt.
The bottom side were 2-1 home winners against Greetland Reserves and now only trail Stainland United, thumped 11-0 at home to leaders AFC Crossleys, by three points.
There were hat-tricks for Connor Atkinson and Bailey Naylor at Stainland Rec plus two each for Sam Cole and Tom McGregor.
Rowan Binns and Dom Wray each hit the target twice each as second-placed Shelf United Reserves had a surprisingly comfortable 6-0 win over Sowerby Bridge Reserves on the Lightcliffe Academy all-weather pitch.
Carlton Balmer and Mark Kelsey scored twice each as Division Three leaders Elland United continued on their merry way with a 5-0 win at home to Flying Dutchman.
Crossleys Reserves’ Jack Smith was another two-goal man as his side beat visitors Warley Rangers.
Honours were even at Westwood Park where Nathan Charlton scored Shelf FC Reserves’ goal in a 1-1 draw with Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves.