Ovenden’s troubled summer

Actions from Huddersfield Amatuers v Ovenden WR, at Old Earth, Elland. Pictured are John Booth and Chris Conroy
Actions from Huddersfield Amatuers v Ovenden WR, at Old Earth, Elland. Pictured are John Booth and Chris Conroy

Ovenden West Riding hope to get their season started in the West Riding County Amateur League’s Premier Division tomorrow when they receive Lepton Highlanders to West Vale (2-30).

After last season’s very successful campaign, in which Ovenden were runaway champions of Division One, expectations were high again.

However, a mass exodus of players left them initially with only Andy Bailey and Glyn Beale remaining.

Goal machine John Booth has retired through injury and other departures include goalkeeper Lewis Scott to Ryburn, Jamie Randall to Illingworth SM, Andrew Butterworth and Hayden Kerris to Midgley. Scott Eastwood to Campion and Damian Randall to Mixenden United.

Manager Tony Kniveton resigned during the summer for personal reasons and Scott Griffiths from the successful West Riding Juniors set up has the task, along with long-serving Steve Smith, of somehow forming a competitive team.

They requested a delayed start to the programme, which got under way last Saturday, are are two matches behind other teams in the division.

It was Ovenden’s second player crisis in three season. One of Calderdale’s most successful clubs, with numerous Halifax FA Cup successes, they had to sit out the 2016-17 campaign after being left short of players.

Ryburn United, runners-up to Shelf FC in the Halifax AFL’s Premier Division last season before switching to the West Riding CA, got off the mark at the second attempt on Wednesday.

They won 2-1 away to AFC Bingley with goals from Oliver Brierley and Christian Silkstone at Marley Stadium, Keighley.

They had opened with a 4-2 defeat away to Golcar last Saturday after trailing 2-1 at half time. Brierley and George Turner were their scorers.

Ryburn now have successive home games, against DRAM Community FC tomorrow and against Ovenden West Riding next Wednesday.

Huddersfield side DRAM have lost their opening two games, by 6-1 and 2-1.

Brighouse Old Boys bounced back from a 4-1 home defeat by Swillington Saints in their West Yorkshire League Division Two opener with a 3-0 home win over Tingley on Saturday.

A Richard Heins penalty gave them an interval lead at Lightcliffe Academy and Lucas Birts and Heins extended the lead.

Old Boys lost 5-1 away to Shelley at Storthes Hall on Wednesday. They lie 11th of the 15 teams at this stage.

They host Old Centralians, who have 10 points out of 12, tomorrow.