Challengers lose ground in Premier Division title-race after draw

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Title-challengers Halifax Hammers and Carrington drew 3-3 in their crucial clash in the Ziggys Metro Cars Halifax Sunday League Premier Division.

The result leaves Hammers five points off leaders Waiters Arms with a game in hand, and Carrington nine points off top spot with three games in hand.

In the First Division, Halifax Hammers Reserves took what could be a decisive step towards the title with a 2-1 win at Ryburn Valley, while second-placed Lee Mount could only draw 2-2 at home to King Cross Park, leaving them five points off first place with a game in hand.

Elsewhere in the First Division, Beehive and Crosskeys beat Ryburn United 4-0.

Old Pond travelled to Halifax Rangers in their inaugural Ziggys Metro Cars Invitational Cup encounter, in a match-up between two teams struggling for form.

As with all matches played on Savile Park Moor on Sunday the wind was severe and praise should be given to both teams for putting on any kind of spectacle in difficult conditions.

Pond opted to play with the wind behind their back in the first half and struggled to control their through passing. It was the home side keeping the ball on the ground who struck first with an element of fortune. Grant Metcalfe skewed a shot from the edge of the area straight into the path of teammate Jonas Trowell who nonetheless reacted well to fire home.

At the other end, Pond signalled intent when Sean Suttle forced a good save from Sean Kellett and it wasn’t long before parity was restored. From a Kristian Ellis corner, Paul Taylor found Dave Lawrence and his shot found the back of the net.

Rangers in turn wrestled back their lead through Jordan Owens who latched onto Liam Griffin’s through ball and stroked home past Jason Kirby in the Pond net.

Again, Pond fired back; Hayden Lewis hitting a wind assisted rocket which Kellett impressively tipped over. With more of a gauge on the prevailing wind conditions, the visitors levelled again through a fine team goal. The weight of the passing was excellent as Chris Marsh found Chris Allen who in turn put the ball on a plate for front man Ellis to dispatch the simplest of tap ins.

Mid-way through the second period and now into the further increasing wind speeds, Allen put Pond ahead for the first time. His shot from distance had plenty of movement in the air and nestled into the top corner for a fine strike.

Kirby had to make a fine save from Tom Wood, whilst Marsh was denied at the other end before Rangers broke and levelled matters up again. Trowell fed Owens as the attacking pairing combined to make it three apiece.

There was still time for more drama as Kirby made a terrific triple save as the ball ping-ponged around the Pond penalty area, before the Hove Edge side’s player- manager Richard Dawson was dismissed for denying a goal scoring opportunity late on. The tie remained at 3-3 however, which at least meant that both sides ended long runs without putting any kind of result on the board.

In Group A, a boggy Lane Head was deemed unfit for North Bridge’s scheduled encounter with Mount Tabor. In the same group Fountain Head demolished Halifax Rangers Reserves 11-2 to join Andy Blakey’s Bridge side in top spot.