FIERCE foes FC Royal of Pellon and Elland Sports will contest the Briggs Priestley Senior Cup final after both progressed through their semi-finals at the expense of fellow Premier Division opposition on Sunday.
Royal emerged 4-2 winners over FC Bowling Green in a scrappy affair at Elland Cricket Ground. The game began as expected with league leaders Green dominating possession and they were soon in front when a quality flowing move found Gregg Porter who turned and checked before curling a glorious effort into the top right corner.
Green continued to press but were caught on the break and a long ball lead to a foul on Mikey Gregory. Andy Farrell stepped up and bent the ball past the wall and beyond Paul Barker to equalise.
Green worked hard to recover the lead and went close through Tom Holroyde and Gary Ash and it was against the run of play when a dead ball eluded the midfield and defence and fell kindly to Farrell who needed no excuse in front of goal to finish.
Green pressed further after the break and eventually worked themselves level when Andrew Sutcliffe was brought down on the edge of the area and Gregg Porter curled another splendid effort into the top right corner.
With the momentum in Green’s favour they strove for another and should have been in front when Josh Gill’s close range effort sailed over the bar.
Hard working Royal had other ideas and another long ball caused an uncharacteristic upset in the Green defence and fell kindly to Sam Taylor who dribbled past two defenders and struck his effort into the top corner.
With 15 minutes left a frustrated Green pushed for an equaliser but were reduced to 10 men when Gregg Porter was given his marching orders for a stray elbow.
Royal’s chances were limited by the outstanding form of player manager Dan Taylor mopping up at the back but as Green continued to commit men forward in search for a late equaliser they were once again caught by the long ball which led to a free kick and Farrell’s looping header eluded everybody and dropped in the net to complete a fine hat-trick.
Elland booked their place with a 5-2 success over Mount Tabor - but the result flattered Nigel Dare’s side.
Tabor have shown great improvement over the course of the season and dominated for long periods only to spurn decent chances with Elland keeper Tom Greenwood making some fine saves.
Jacob Driver fired through a crowd of players to put Elland ahead after which a long ball from the Tabor keeper was headed on allowing them to pull a goal back
Elland restored their lead through Carl Ainley who beat two or three players on a 25 yard run before slotting past the keeper and soon after he made it 3-1, profiting on a mistake from the keeper to beat the defender on the line.
Tabor continued to create chances after the break but Elland hit them with a sucker punch Glenn Haley heading in from a free-kick.
Ainley secured his hat-trick with a goal against the run of play before battling Tabor pulled another back but time ran out on their efforts.