Serious injury causes cup tie to be abandoned

Action from the Rastrick derby between Top Club and Rastrick BC
Action from the Rastrick derby between Top Club and Rastrick BC

The Briggs Priestley Senior Cup quarter final tie between Premier Division rivals Lee Mount and Halifax Hammers was abandoned with five minutes to go due to a serious injury.

Hammers player Waleed Raja suffered a double fracture of a leg and was operated on in hospital yesterday.

A Hammers club official said the operation had gone well and thanked everybody from the Ziggys Metro Cars Halifax Sunday League who had sent messages of support for the injured player.

It is expected that league officials will now meet to discuss what action will be taken regarding the fixture.

The game itself had been finely balanced as befitting two sides challenging for the title.

Hammers broke the deadlock after some fine play from Irfan Afzal and Mohammed Ozair which sent Sameer Ahmed through to calmly slot the ball into the bottom corner of the goal. Similar play saw Hammers go two up minutes later with Afzal making a fine run and finish to show his class once again.

From that moment on Hammers didn’t have one more shot on target and Mount pressed on with Jordan Pettifor pulling the strings in the middle. The tricky Callum Meade was then brought down for a penalty which he smashed down the middle leaving the keeper wrong footed.

The second half saw Mount continue to dominate but they were guilty of missing chances.

The equaliser finally came when Brian Matthews floated a free kick into the area which Gareth Gaukroger managed to get his head onto.

After a goalless first half of extra time it was Mount who edged in front when Meade broke free and squared the ball to Jordan Ryder who made no mistake.

However, the injury to Waleed Raja brought about a premature end to proceedings.

The only other tie to go ahead saw Elland Sports down top flight strugglers Feathers by 9-0 in a game well refereed by Wayne Cotton.

Elland boss Rick Thomas told his players to send a message out to the remaining teams, and they did just that with the fast flowing football he has instilled in his squad.

It took a while to settle before man of the match Michael Midwood scored after a good move outside the box

Feathers seemed to be attacking with six players and were soon caught out again with Midwood notching his second

Elland dominated possession and extended their lead when Carlton Balmer won the ball, took on the defender then toe-poked into the bottom corner.

Elland continued to create chances and Balmer quickly completed his hat trick shortly after half-time

Frustrated strike partner Dean Lawrence then got his name on the scoresheet with a brace having not had much luck in the first half.

Captain Dene Heppenstall scored a fine solo goal before Vaughan Boon tapped in the ninth

Top Club took the spoils 5-1 in a typically hard fought Division One derby with Rastrick Bowling Club in a match with plenty of tough tackling and some fine goals.

Bowling Club were handed an early disadvantage as they lost Scott Johnston to injury, and with no bodies on the bench they were forced to play a man light for much of the first half.

James Lord brought a superb save out of Rastrick keeper Ben Wilson. The home side’s relief was short lived however as the visitors took the lead when the ball broke to Dan McLeod and he produced a strong finish.

Less than ten minutes later Chris Smith’s charges were level. A long ball over the top gave Luke Briggs the opportunity of a run on goal and he produced a superb finish off the post.

Top Club had a decent effort to go ahead just before the interval when Dean Kelly crudely brought down Tom Gorringe and the midfield man shaved the crossbar from the resulting free kick.

With Rastrick back up to the full complement, they started the second period brightly. Cameron Burnside lofted the ball just over with an early effort.

Top Club started to slowly turn the screw and Jamie Rice headed home his sides second from a right wing cross and McLeod spurned an opportunity for a third when fed by Ryan Barkham.

Rastrick boss Smith threw on Marshall Riley to try and wrestle a way back into the match, but Top Club had the wind in their sails.

Gorringe weighted a perfect through ball to Rice for a tidy finish. Further chances were created for Barkham and Lord before the fourth came after a tremendous run and finish from McLeod.

A little bit of complacency almost gifted Rastrick a way back as a stray back pass allowed Aaron Burnside an effort on goal, but his attempted lob cleared the crossbar

The visitors produced a moment of class to complete the victory. Gorringe took a free kick on the edge of the Rastrick penalty area by sliding a diving header into the path of McLeod who’s finish was as classy as the unorthodox set up.

Ryburn United maintained their fine run of goalscoring form with a 7-3 home success over Queens Head.

The result saw United move to within a point of leaders Mount Tabor, who were not in action, with three games in hand.

However, the scoreline paints a false picture as Queens Head, who have seen a number of players return to the club, were very much in the game at the break with the score at 2-2.

When Ryburn went 3-2 up the visitors chased for an equaliser but left themselves exposed at the back.

Bub Cockroft helped himself to four goals with Lewis Brierley bagging a brace. Jake Finch completed United’s total

Third placed Ryburn Valley slipped up as they fell to a 2-1 home defeat by Bradshaw.

Valley went ahead in the first half but then saw a Johnny Booth header ruled out for offside.

A good deal of the play went Ryburn’s way, but Bradshaw’s persistence was rewarded in the second half by two goals from Chris Woodhouse leaving them deserved winners.

Adam Stacey’s King Cross Park avenged an 8-4 drubbing at the hands of Weavers as they claimed the spoils from a 5-1 win in Division Two.

Park started well, pressing high to win the ball in the final third then attacking with pace and numbers.

They took the lead when Sam Dunkley placed the ball into the corner from a Martin Eland through ball. Weavers quickly hit back with a wonder strike from 30 yards to make it 1-1.

This didn’t phase Park and Dunkley grabbed his second after brilliant link up play by Tom Peirson and a Si Ward step over. The lead was extended before the half time with a cool finish by Ward into the corner.

Weavers came out the stronger in the second half and had all the possession but rarely tested the Park goal.

The next goal was vital and it came when Dunkley completed his hat trick with a cheeky chip from the penalty spot.

Ward completed the rout with 10 minutes to go when he thrashed home from 18 yards after great work from Dunkley and Park stalwart Chris Heptinstall.

After a run of five consecutive defeats, Halifax Rangers stopped the rot with a 3-2 success over mid-table St Columbas.

Key to the success was Grant Metcalfe, who supplied the set-piece deliveries which led to all three Rangers goals.

The first came after just four minutes, a low left-wing corner that was touched home by Matt Smith. Soon after, Rangers were gifted a penalty when Smith was adjudged to have been bundled over by the keeper, but Metcalfe pulled his spot-kick wide.

With fifty-one year old namesake Tommy Metcalfe pulling the strings in midfield for Rangers, the home side rarely threatened and they found themselves two goals down when Aiden Hill rose to head home Metcalfe’s corner from the opposite flank.

It was from another Grant Metcalfe corner that Rangers went 3-0 up midway through the second half, the unfortunate Kieran Wright turning the ball past his own keeper.

Mike Kellett was then unlucky to see a shot from outside the box graze the bar, but thereafter Rangers sat back and allowed St Columbas back into the game.

With 10 minutes remaining, Jack Wilkinson forced the ball home to give the home side a lifeline, and the closing stages were made even more interesting when Wilkinson saw his shot through a crowded area squirm under the body of keeper Josh Ward, though ultimately this proved too little too late.