Honours were even in Saturday’s top of the table Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL clash at the Goldfields where Greetland and Ryburn United fought out a 1-1 draw.
Greetland, looking to extend their one point lead in the Premier Division, started the brighter and created the better chances. Danny Dorward had a shot tipped onto the bar by the Ryburn ‘keeper and Dave Woffenden was denied by another great save.
The game became scrappy as half time approached with Ryburn resorting to direct play, always looking a threat with the long throw and set plays.
However, Greetland’s Craig Taylor stood firm behind a solid back four of Mickey Conroy, Adie Greenwood, Adam Oldfield and Dave Walker.
Neither team could get a grip on possession but with 30 minutes to go the introduction of Jonny Crowther seemed to give the home side more of an edge.
Scott McHale’s 25-yarder out was well saved and Tom Wall also went close but again the Ryburn keeper was excellent.
However, Greetland did break the deadlock when the tireless McHale pounced on a back pass to round the keeper and finish with 10 minutes remaining.
Just when Greetland looked to be seeing the game out, Simon Carter react the quickest after a long throw into the box and his shot through a crowd of players earned Ryburn a point.
Holmfield got their league form back on track with a convincing 4-2 home victory over Sowerby Bridge.
They started the better and took the lead after seven minutes when their midfield three combined well and Jamie Keegan set up left back Jay Crowther to apply a cool finish for his first goal in six years at the club.
Chris Punda’s looping header soon got Bridge on terms but Holmfield took control and regained the lead through Dave Heslop’s spot kick after 30 minutes following a tackle from behind on Gareth Gaukroger, who had latched on to a through ball.
The gap could have been bigger by half-time, Holmfield twice having strong penalty claims turned down and Danny Jennings making two smart saves.
After the break a swift counter was finished by Lee Wood to give Bridge hope but Holmfield were unruffled and with Danny Kirman dominant in midfield they pulled clear.
Gaukroger crossed for Micky Palethorpe to slot his 13th goal of the season and shortly after Heslop scored again from the spot after a hand-ball,
Honours were even in a pulsating match at Elland United, who drew 2-2 with Sowerby United.
Sowerby caused the home side problems with good use of the offside trap and went ahead when Joe Swallow linked up with Lee Barber, who finished in style. Minutes later the same pair repeated the move but this time Swallow who applied the final touch.
Sowerby missed several gilt-edged opportunities and in the last minute of the first half Jake Bradbury struck to get Elland back in the game. With the last kick of the half Elland missed a penalty.
Sowerby pressed from the start of the second half and missing three one-on-ones with the home ‘keeper.
Elland broke and levelled through Jordan Burnham and a late penalty miss summed up Sowerby’s day.
Midgley United avenged two earlier defeats at the hands of Calder Valley rivals Calder ‘76 this season with an emphatic 6-1 success in Saturday’s rematch.
United found some of the form which made them champions last season, making a dream start with two goals from George Bamford inside 15 minutes.
Bamford had to go off with a hamstring strain but Midgley kept up the good work and Tom Booth’s smart finish from close range made it 3-1.
Shellshocked Calder had a good spell in the run up to half time and got one back through James Dempsey at a set piece.
An Andrew Butterworth penalty made it 4-1 after 55 minutes and he and Booth both added a second, Butterworth having the final say with a cracking left foot shot into the top corner.
King Cross Warley halted a run of three defeats in a 3-3 draw away to improved Copley United.
Visiting boss Neil Grogan admitted his side’s prospects had looked bleak at 3-1 down midway through the second half but Sam Taylor powered home a shot from the edge of the area to give them hope and Chris Hall blocked a clearance and struck the ball home with five minutes left.
Copley had led 2-1 at the break, Johnny Burston scoring the second goal of the game for the visitors with a back post header.
The home side added a third in the second half and Gary Ash - who netted for Copley along with Dan Minshull and Dan Pullen - hit the bar when he had a great chance to make the game safe.
Warley were all at sea at that stage, having lost a couple of players to injury, but they hit back well to deny Copley what would have been a second league win of the season.
Denholme United and Salem remain unbeaten in Division One after fighting out a 5-5 draw at Foster Park.
As the score suggests, there was some modest defending and the hosts, who trailed for much of the game, missed a late chance to win it when Ben Huson saved Danny Moralee’s modest penalty with his legs.
Salem surged into a 2-0 lead inside five minutes. Luke Dickinson’s flicked header at the near post from a corner made it 1-2 but Salem scored again before Moralee left Denholme only one adrift at the break.
Centre half Dave Sanderson burst through the middle, exchanging passes with Moralee before chipping the ‘keeper for 3-3.
Salem regained the lead twice more, with Moralee replying, before substitute Jamie Jackson threaded the ball through for Matty Waring to tie it up at 5-5 with five minutes left.
Jackson was then brought down by the Salem ‘keeper but Huson made amends with the save.
The result allowed Northowram, who have played three games more than the pair, to move 10 points clear after an 8-0 win over Ryburn Reserves in a game switched from Wellesley Park to Northowram Rec.
Ryburn were quicker to the ball in the opening 20 minutes and their tidy passing was in stark contrast to the Rams’ laboured and error-strewn efforts.
It was a surprise when the Rams took the lead after 27 minutes. Referee Craig Salmons, who otherwise had a fine game, missed a push by Chris Dunne in a crowded penalty area which gave him the space to head in James Waggett’s free kick.
Apart from Ross Risdon’s header which narrowly over, there was little to cheer the Rams’ supporters in what was a mundane opening 45 minutes.
Some purple prose from manager Neil Griffiths at half-time finally stirred the Rams into action. Dunne’s reluctance to use his left foot saw a good chance go begging but the Rams were in front four minutes in when Danny King’s ball left Chris Conroy clear and he lobbed the keeper.
Risdon and Dunne both missed reasonable chances before four goals arrived in five minutes. Jake Baker played in Conroy after 70 minutes; Waggett scored from the spot after Mark Eade was brought down; Eade set up Conroy to complete his hat-trick; and the same two combined for Danny Rushworth to fire in the sixth.
Ryburn, still playing some pockets of neat football but defensively shell-shocked and disorganised, conceded two further goals. Conroy neatly dinked the ball over the keeper and Baker put the icing on the cake nine minutes from time with a superb rising drive.
Wadsworth United were again left bemoaning the lack of a regular scorer after they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Elland Allstars.
Once again it was skipper and centre back Keiron Sim who found the net, firing in from outside the box.
That brought the score back to 2-1 but instead of kicking on Elland were able to add a third before the break, Ash Smith getting all their goals.
The second half saw Wadsworth work hard to haul themselves back into the game but they were unable to make the most of any chances they created.
Joe Griffin’s four goals helped Shelf United win 5-3 away to Sowerby Bridge Reserves. Mark Hindle also scored for the second-placed side while Dean Fulton, Richard Pearson and Scott Hibbert hit the target for Bridge.
Stainland United kept Greetland Reserves pinned to the bottom with Dan Hodgson, Paul Friend and Karl Jowett the men responsible for a 3-0 scoreline.
Halifax Irish Centre picked up their second league win of the campaign when they shocked visitors Volunteer Arms 4-2, Ash Holms netting twice.
The Division Two title contest is looking increasingly like a three-horse race between AFC Crossleys, Mixenden United and Spring Hall Celtic.
Craig Gladwin scored four times as Crossleys retained a two-point lead with a 5-3 home win over Denholme Reserves.
Mixenden stayed on their coat tails with an 8-0 thrashing of visitors Halifax Irish Centre Reserves, Travis Allinson and Paul Kemp scoring twice each.
Sameer Ahmed bagged a brace as Celtic won 3-1 away to Calder ‘76 Reserves.
Keir Watkinson scored both goals in Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves’ 2-0 win at Sowerby United Reserves.
Salem Reserves made a gallant but unsuccessful attempt to regain some of the four points they lost through last week’s withdrawal of Elland All Stars Reserves, losing to the only goal of the game after 80 minutes at home to second-placed Shelf FC in Division Three.
Boss Matty Stones was hugely disappointed to lose to Harry Talbot’s scrambled goal from what he felt was a very dubious free-kick.
Despite the scoreline, it was an end to end game with plenty of opportunities.
Home ‘keeper Steve Hawksworth pulled off a couple of memorable saves and the Jenkins brothers Martin, Tom and Dennis,linked well down the left on several occasions to carve out good chances for Dan Manley and Ricky Beaumont and Martin Jenkins himself.
Salem did have chance to equalise when they were awarded a penalty for handball, but Brad Cahill totally mis-kicked from 12 yards and the ball trickled to the keeper, who was able to pick it up one handed.
Visiting centre back Josh King and home livewire Danny Waddington picked up the man of the match awards for their sides.
Brighouse Sports continue to lead after a 6-1 home win over Savile Arms.
Stump Cross earned a Challenge Cup third round date with Greetland by winning 3-2 away to Hebden Royd Red Star.
Red Star were hit by injuries during the game but boss Dave Whitehouse wasn’t prepared to use that as an excuse foe what he thought was his side’s worst 45 minutes of the season in the first half.
Stump went 2-0 up in the first quartet through Ben Hiley and Ben Watkins but appeared lucky to keep 11 men on the field after home midfielder James Chadwick was elbowed, the offending player getting away with a yellow card.
An own goal at the start of the second half following a cross into the box gave Star hope but Tom Hiley’s header made it 1-3 before Tom Garland got Star’s second after a run down the right and low shot.
Two goals from Ross Broadley were in vain as Shelf United Reserves lost by the odd goal in seven at home to West Central in the second round of the Invitation Cup.