Last year’s Division One champions Midgley United made a satisfactory return to the top flight in the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL with a 4-4 draw away to last season’s runners-up Warley Rangers.
They stormed into a 3-0 lead inside 30 minutes through Darren Nelson, George Bamford and Ryan Jeffries before Craig Bodkin scrambled a goal back.
The hosts brought on striker John Booth for the second half and he made all the difference, even though the outstanding Steve Butterworth saved a penalty from him.
Sheldon reduced the deficit with a cracking shot and Booth produced two excellent finishes to make it 4-3 until a late Andy Butterworth penalty levelled it up.
Holmfield won 6-3 against neighbours AFC Crossleys in spite of falling a goal down in the first five minutes.
Scott Gaukroger quickly equalised and Holmfield took control, an unstoppable drive from Jordan Pettifor and further goals from Pettifor and and Paul Binns made it 4-1.
Crossleys got a second midway through the second half but Holmfield, with new signings Jamie Keegan and Dan Kirman now in the action, went 5-2 up through new signing Mick Palethorpe’s 30 yard free kick.
Crossleys scored again but the tireless Danny Patchett won a penalty and Scott Gaukroger made the points safe for Paddy Fitzgibbon’s side.
Calder ‘76 produced a powerful second half display to blow away Sowerby United by 7-1.
Calder were a goal up after 20 minutes when the impressive Remi Allen poked home after a scramble in the box.
Defensive mistakes gifted Calder goals from Allen and Ben Clayton with a Joe Swallow free kick for Sowerby in between.
The home side produced some fine football in the second half. Clayton bagged his second, substitute Scott Carney grabbed a brace as Calder found gaps at will and Gavin Fleming rounded off the scoring.
A debut goal for Chris Gent helped Stump Cross beat Ryburn United 4-2.
Stump went 2-0 up through Damian Watkins and Dean Lewis, who cashed in on good work from Ben Hiley, but Christian Silkstone replied before the break and made it 2-2 after a slip from Lee Marsh.
Ex-Ovenden WR player Gent made it 3-2 with a free-kick from his own half which bounced over the ‘keeper and Watkins’ second sealed Stump’s win.
Last year’s double winners Elland United opened with a 3-1 home win over Greetland thanks to goals from Jake Bradbury, Mark Cook and Carlton Balmer.
Relegated pair Hebden Royd Red Star and Stainland United started their bid to regain Premier Division status with away wins.
A second half header from James Chadwick did the trick for Red Star away to last season’s Division Two champions and derby rivals Wadsworth United in a game played at breakneck pace.
Wadsworth left back Sam Cartwright went closest in the first half while Red Star ‘keeper Glynn Claxton made the save of the game from Jonny Gibson.
Central midfield trio Jack Earle, Daniel Lumb and Chadwick helped Red Star gain the upper hand and there was one moment of controversy when the visitors claimed Lumb’s goalbound effort was cleared off the line by the Wadsworth manager standing next to the post.
However, their sense of injustice did not last long as man of the match Chadwick rose highest in the six yard area to nod home one of Earle’s long throws.
Gibson had a header brilliantly cleared off the line by Jordan Dean and in the last minute Wadsworth captain Kieron Sim crashed a 20 yard effort against a post.
Salem were deserved 4-2 winners at Northowram, taking control in the second half after the Rams had the better of things playing down the slope in a goalless first period which had chances at both ends.
Paul Opacic opened the scoring after a free-kick had been blocked and right-back Steve Foy’s speculative cross from the touchline floated over Chris Bunn’s head.
The Rams replied when a slick move involving Archie Griffiths and Ingham set up Chris Conroy to finish but breakaway goals from Matty Horsfall and the impressive Nic Green made it 4-1 before Matthew Rushworth scored with a last minute flicked header from Conroy’s long throw.
Two goals from Martin Bates gave Sowerby Bridge victory away to Ryburn United Reserves while a Damian Randall hat-trick was only worth a point from Mixenden United in a 4-4 draw at Denholme.
Halifax Athletic made a flying start to their opening Division Two game against Midgley United Reserves, Richard Pearson expertly controlling a high ball and drilling a shot past the helpless Midgley keeper.
Promoted Midgley kept their composure and made it 1-1 from close range and got a second equaliser with a fine lob after a long Pearson throw had deflected in off a defender.
However, Halifax went on to win 4-2 thanks to second half goals from James Hodgson and Pearson, who turned and fired a low strike from the edge of the box late on.
Last year’s Division Three champs Crossleys Reserves were beaten 8-4 at home by Halifax Irish Centre Reserves while a single goal was enough for Warley Reserves to win away to their Hebden Royd Red Star counterparts.
League newcomers West End Central got off to a winning start with a 4-0 success away to Salem Reserves at Savile Park.
A youthful visiting side, brimming with enthusiasm, pace and energy. were held by a new-look Salem side for the first half of game well refereed by Adam Bennett.
However, injuries and fatigue eventually took its toll, causing individual errors to creep in to the home side’s play.
In the 76th minute the deadlock was broken by Terriq Pervez, who was set up by visiting man of the match Adil Mahmood, and sub Shabaz Ali Kahn, Dalibor Makula and Pervez added to the tally late on.
Brighouse Sports couldn’t raise a side to go to Denholme and there were home wins for Calder ‘76 Reserves, Savile Arms and Volunteer Arms Reserves.
RESULTS - Friday, Premier Division: Calder 76 7 ( B.Clayton 2 G.Fleming R.Allen 2 S.Carney 2), Sowerby United 1 (J.Swallow); Elland United 3 (J.Bradbury M.Cook C.Balmer), Greetland 1 (J.Greenwood); Holmfield AFC 6 (M.Palethorpe P.Binns S.Gaukroger 2 J.Pettifor 2) AFC Crossleys 3 (T.Boyle C.Meade 2); Stump Cross 4 (D.Watkins 2 C.Gent B.Hiley), Ryburn United 2 (C.Silkstone 2); Warley Rangers 4 (J.Booth 2 C.Bodkin K.Sheldon), Midgley United 4 (D.Nelson, G.Bamford, R. Jeffries, A.Butterworth).
Division One: Denholme United 4 (K.Lancaster M.Beeney P.Armitage M.Midgley), Mixenden United 4 (D.Randall 3 P.Webster); Elland Allstars 1 (C.Bell), Stainland United 3 (A.Worsick J.Wood A.Pinchin); Northowram 2 (M.Whitworth C.Conroy), Salem 4 (M.Horsfall P.Opacic S.Foy N.Green); Wadsworth United 0 Hebden Royd Red Star 1 (J.Chadwick).
Saturday, Division One: Ryburn United Res 0, Sowerby Bridge 2 (M.Bates 2).
Division Two: AFC Crossleys Res 4 (T.Boyle B.Bower M.Clark J.Hindle), Halifax Irish Centre Res 8 (R.Barlow C.Eastwood 2 L.Holmes L.Hemmingway S.Starsmore); Elland United Res 3 (M.Boon V.Boon P.Caldwell), Greetland AFC Res 3 (J.Crowther 2 M.Duffy); Halifax Athletic 4 (R.Pearson 2 F.Hallam J.Hodgson), Midgley United Res 2; Hebden Royd Red Star Res 0, Warley Rangers Res 1.
Division Three: Calder 76 Res 3 (D.Mitchell J.Jackson 2), Shelf 1 (A.Conroy), Denholme United Res v Brighouse Sports AFC P; Salem Res 0 West Central FC 4 (D.Makula T.Pervez 2 S. Ali Khan); Savile Arms 3, Elland Allstars Res 2; Volunteer Arms Res 3 (K.Spalding L.Busfield L.Smith), Spring Hall Celtic 2.
FIXTURES- Friday, Premier Division: AFC Crossleys v Shelf United (ref S.McMoran), Greetland AFC v Warley Rangers (M.Beard), Midgley United v Calder 76 (R.Walker), Ryburn United v Elland United (W.Cotton), Sowerby United v Copley United (P.Walsh).
Division One: Denholme United v Northowram (D.Sutcliffe), Elland Allstars v Sowerby Bridge (J.Hallos), Hebden Royd Red Star v Volunteer Arms (M.Sharman), Hx Irish Centre v Salem (A.Williams), Stainland United v Mixenden United (P.Higgins).
Saturday, Premier Division: Stump Cross v Holmfield AFC (A.Thorpe).
Division One: Wadsworth United v Ryburn United Res (G.Porter).
Division Two: Halifax Athletic v Shelf United Res (P.Crabtree), Hx Irish Centre Res v Sowerby United Res (M.Redmile), Midgley United Res v Greetland AFC Res (M.Beard), Sowerby Bridge Res v Elland United Res (P.Higgins), Warley Rangers Res v AFC Crossleys Res (D.Sutcliffe).
Division Three: Brighouse Sports AFC v Shelf FC (S.Mir), Calder 76 Res v Denholme United Res (S.Dennis), Salem Res v Elland Allstars Res (P.Crouch), Volunteer Arms Res v Savile Arms FC (M.Taj), West Central FC v Spring Hall Celtic (A.Williams).