Division Two title contenders Brighouse Sports got in some much-needed match action in the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL on Saturday.
They beat Salem Reserves 7-0 on Savile Park in one of only four league games to go ahead after Friday night’s big thaw had left many pitches waterlogged.
Victory in their first game since December 6 took them back to the summit, ahead of next weekend’s hosts Illingworth St Mary’s.
Manager Gary West reported: “Once we got into our stride we moved the ball well.”
It took 25 minutes for Brighouse to break through, Michael Balmforth scoring from the spot after Borhan Doski had been brought down.
Chris Allen made it 2-0 before the break and Brighouse ran away with it in the second half with Allen, Doski (two), Drew Johnson and Max Heaton adding to the tally.
Brighouse tackle Illingworth on the 3G at Trinity Academy next Saturday and it promises to be a big test for West’s men.
Saints, newcomers to the league this season, have won 10 out of 10 and are also through to the semi-finals of the Halifax FA Saturday Cup.
West said: “We are looking forward to it. It will be a good challenge for us against a good team but we want to better ourselves.”
Three games took place in Division One but none of the leading lights were in action.
Fifth-placed Volunteer Arms remain one point and one place ahead of AFC Crossleys after the pair fought out a 3-3 draw on Savile Park.
It a fluctuating contest, Crossleys were 3-1 up with seven minutes to go but Volunteer draw level and had the chance of a breakaway winner when the referee blew for full time.
Nathan Sloane bagged a hat-trick for the visitors, opening his account after 10 minutes when he superbly flicked the ball home from Dave Maguire’s cross.
Crossleys missed chances before Sloane finally headed a second for them 10 minutes after the break, only for Volunteer to reply from the spot.
Sloane completed his three-timer with 15 minutes left but Volunteer were now on top and stormed back, aided by some sloppy defending.
They made it 3-3 with seconds to go - Matthew Mason (two) and Antony Rice getting their goals - and the referee’s whistle came to Crossleys’ rescue as Volunteer broke with the visitors wide open at the back.
Connor Bell added another two goals to his tally as Elland Allstars made home advantage pay with a 3-1 success against struggling Halifax Irish Centre.
Chris Leigh got the other goal and Craig Eastwood replied.
Ryburn United Reserves are up to seventh after a 6-0 thrashing of hosts Stainland United.
Lewis Brierley scored twice and Rob Worthington, Jake Finch, Nathan Hargreaves and George Turner got Ryburn’s other goals as Stainland’s poor start to 2015 continued with a third defeat in a row.