Ryburn on brink of title success

James Chadwick for Red Star and Carl Maguire for Ryburn.
James Chadwick for Red Star and Carl Maguire for Ryburn.
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Ryburn United look likely to have to beat deposed title-holders Midgley United at Wellesley Park on Friday to become Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL champions.

They remain one point ahead of Stump Cross, with the rest well beaten off, after the pair won their penultimate games of the season on Saturday.

Ryburn beat Hebden Royd Red Star 4-0 away while Stump sneaked past Copley United 1-0.

Stump play their final league game at home to Greetland on Wednesday and with an inferior goal difference to Ryburn must win to keep their hopes alive.

Goals from Si Carter, Christian Silkstone, Alex Coburn and Reece Uttley did the trick for Ryburn at Red Star, who remain in danger of the drop.

Gerry Doherty got the all-important goal for Stump, who had crucially been held 1-1 at home by Ryburn three days earlier.

Stump will have been encouraged in their trophy quest by another of Saturday’s results - Midgley’s 5-1 home win over Sowerby United.

That suggests Midgley may not make things easy for Ryburn and also confirmed that Stump’s Challenge Cup final opponents Sowerby aren’t in the best of form.

Sowerby have won only once in nine outings since booking their final place and have slipped to fourth from bottom of the Premier.

Midgley, who are hoping to beat Greetland for third spot, went ahead with an Andrew Butterworth penalty and soon doubled the lead with a George Bamford strike.

Sowerby gave themselves hope when the outstanding Nathan Howard headed home Jordan Manning’s cross.

The killer blow for Sowerby came when Callum Wheelwright scored on the stroke of half time.

Midgley dominated much of the game and further goals from Butterworth and Rob Stansfield took them clear.

There were two games in Division One and Greetland Reserves beat visitors Salem 5-2 to climb above Halifax Irish Centre and ensure they do not finish bottom.

That could be enough to keep them up if Wadsworth, who have indicated that they are likely to fold, do so.

Salem had thrashed them 9-0 on the opening day of the season and Greetland had failed to win at home in their previous 10 outings.

Ellis Dixon and Oliver Jefferson took control of the midfield but Salem took the lead against the run of play through Adam Gaze, who controlled a cross well at the back post and fired across the goal into the far corner,

Two Danny Brooks saves prevented Salem extending their lead and Greetland got a timely goal just before half time when Hurcombe drilled the ball hard and low across the six yard box and Gary Taylor couldn’t miss.

Hurcombe’s calm finish put Greetland in front and first team boss Mark Leonard, on as a sub, put more daylight between the teams with a stunning free-kick into the top corner.

Leonard then forced Salem into a mistake and Hurcombe completed a hat-trick.

The match between Ryburn United Reserves and Denholme United at sandy Wellesley Park was abandoned after 50 minutes when visiting midfielder Peter Wright broke a leg in an accidental collision.

Denholme were 3-2 up at the time, Michael Midgley’s second goal having given them the lead shortly before.

The visitors, certain to finish third, had gone 2-0 up inside 20 minutes through Midgley and Danny Moralee’s penalty, only for Gareth Robertshaw to capitalise on defensive errors with two goals for the hosts.

Ryburn are next in action at Shelf on Wednesday, in the first of two matches against opponents who need big wins to deny Northowram the title.

Denholme United Reserves continued their storming finish to the season with a 5-1 home win over King Cross Warley Reserves.

Having looked set for a quick return to the bottom section for much of the campaign, the side run by Dennis Sharp and Paul Greenwood have taken 13 points out of a possible 15 to ensure safety.

a hat-trick from Guy Flanagan plus other goals from teenager Jack Harrison and Lee Kelly gave them victory, Craig Beazley getting King Cross’s goal.

Shelf United Reserves were unable to raise a team at home to Calder ‘76 Reserves.

Wednesday

Premier Division: Hebden Royd Red Star v Copley United (ref D.Wright), Sowerby United v Sowerby Bridge (P.Higgins), Stump Cross v Greetland AFC (A.Williams).

Division One: Shelf United v Ryburn United Res (M.Beard).

Division Two: King Cross Warley Res v Denholme United Res (P.Bowe).

Friday

Premier Division: Ryburn United v Midgley United.

Saturday

Premier Division: Calder 76 v Holmfield AFC (R.Smith), Copley United v Greetland AFC (S.Dennis), Elland United v Hebden Royd Red Star (I.Childs), King Cross Warley v Sowerby United (M.Beard).

Division One: Denholme United v Elland Allstars (S.Hoyle), Ryburn United Res v Shelf United (P.Crabtree).

Division Two: Shelf United Res v King Cross Warley Res (J.Hallos).

Monday, April 28

Division One: Elland Allstars v Sowerby Bridge Res (R.Smith).

Division Two: King Cross Warley Res v Midgley United Res (W.Cotton).

Friday, May 2

Division One: Sowerby Bridge Res v Ryburn Utd Res (A.Williams).