Shelf United are ticking over nicely on the 3G pitch at Lightcliffe Academy, winning there in the Halifax AFL’s Premier Division for the third successive Saturday.
A 3-0 success over Calder ‘76, with goals from David Chappell, Oliver Coates and Luke O’Brien, helped them follow up wins over Sowerby Bridge and Northowram and they stay four points behind Ryburn United in second place.
They have bagged three goals in each of their recent games and conceded just one in total but manager John Lister felt they should have scored many more against Calder.
“It was one of our best performances of the season but we missed a lot of chances,” he said.
Chappell hit the bar early on and while he, O’Brien and Billy Grogan impressed with their general play up front, their finishing left plenty to be desired.
Chappell eventually opened the scoring after half an hour with a shot across Calder’s impressive ‘keeper Matthew Senior.
Two goals midway through the second half settled matters for Shelf, who again had Jonny Butterfield calling the shots in midfield.
Coates broke away and fired into the bottom corner of the net and O’Brien fired into the top corner from 25 yards.
Calder stuck to their task, with young full back Ben Fairburn showing up well, but Grogan should have extended the winning margin late on.
Conditions were no doubt more testing at Ripponden Wood where Ryburn maintained their title push with a 2-0 win over Sowerby United.
Goals from Christian Silkstone and Bradley Tynan did the trick for the leaders, who were best served by Matthew Hirst. Corey Henderson did most to catch the eye for the visitors.
A third Premier Division contest took place at Goldfields, Greetland, where the home side and Hebden Royd Red Star fought out a 3-3 draw.
Adrian Ford scored twice for the hosts with Michael Midwood getting their third.
The three games which survived the wet conditions in Division One were all won by the visitors.
Copley United climbed to third with a 10-1 thrashing of AFC Crossley’s at Mason Green while Holmfield jumped a place with a 7-3 success against Elland Allstars at Greetland.
Man of the match Lee Worrall netted four times for Copley and there was also a hat-trick for Gary Ash.
It was only 1-1 at half time in the Greetland game but Holmfield then cut loose, Nathan Sloane finishing with four goals and Craig Gladwin two for the visitors.
Ryburn United Reserves were back on song away to Salem at Shroggs Park.
Reeling from successive defeats by three goal margins, the visitors won 5-2 with goals from Ian King and Jay Thomas in vain for their hosts.
Plummet Line stretched eight points clear of the rest in Division Two with success in the only game in the section to go ahead.
They were hard-fought 4-2 winners over Shelf United Reserves at Savile Park.
Shelf dictated all of the early play but Plummet took the lead when striker Liam Calvert stroked home his 24th goal of the season following good work from Niall Carrington and Luke Sharman.
Not long after, Calvert’s partner in crime Josh Hunt grabbed his first following an excellent solo run from halfway.
After the interval, Plummet made it three when Hunt converted from close range but Shelf pulled one back as Thomas Conway found himself free at the back post to squeeze the ball home.
Plummet needed the security of a fourth goal and it came when Hunt smashed home from inside the area to complete his hat-trick, following a great run and cross from winger Tom Howse.
Shelf would not lie down though and got their reward when winger Christie Ogilvie lashed a shot home from the edge of the box.
Warley Rangers 2017 picked up only a third win in 13 Division Three outings when they beat Flying Dutchman 3-2 on Savile Park.
Regan Martin (Warley) and Martin Seekins (Dutchman), the star performers for their sides, were among the scorers.
The clash between the second and third placed sides, Stainland United and FC Ovenden, went the way of the hosts by 6-4.
Jack Brewster scored a hat-trick for Stainland and increased the gap between the clubs to four points, although Ovenden have played three games fewer.
Illingworth St Mary’s Reserves progressed to the semi-finals of the Invitation Cup with a resounding 10-0 win over Greetland Reserves.
Credit to both teams and referee Wayne Cotton for doing everything possible to get the game played on a snow covered Trinity Academy 3G pitch.
Saints started quickly and were soon ahead when Brandon Field broke clear and calmly finished.
Rohan Ford scored a quick double to put Illingworth 3-0 up, before a rare goal from Jamie Moorhouse, who smashed home from a corner.
The second half saw a cracking long range strike from Tom Kershaw and he quickly followed that up with a fine second.
Robbie Sinclair added a tap-in before Tom Holroyde continued his goal-a-game record when he added a late hat trick.
Sowerby Bridge marched on in the West Riding Trophy but Denholme United are out.
Premier side Bridge beat visitors Newsome Reserves 2-1 at Wellesley Park while Division One leaders Denholme conceded two goals in the last eight minutes and lost 3-1 to Halton Moor at Foster Park.
The visitors from East Leeds took the lead after 30 minutes and held it until the hour mark, when Michael Midgley poked the ball home at the back post after a scramble.
In poor conditions, the ball hit Cameron Foster and went in to his own net to put Moor back in front. Denholme went searching for the equaliser but got caught on the break for the decisive third.