The Halifax FA Saturday Cup final at the Shay on Wednesday, April 30 will be a David versus Goliath affair between Shelf United and Ovenden West Riding.
Halifax AFL Division One side Shelf sprung a major surprise by knocking out holders Brighouse Old Boys 1-0 on Saturday while regular competition winners Ovenden powered past AFL title contenders Ryburn United 4-0.
A Jon Lister penalty was decisive at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe School where Shelf dashed Brighouse Old Boys’ hopes of a repeat success.
It came early in the second half, Lister being fouled and taking the spot kick in the absence of injured Mark Hindle.
Shelf produced a huge team effort to win through against a Brighouse side who were frustrated at their own failings.
Shelf’s Elliott Parkinson had virtually the only chance of the first half, going through one-on-one with the ‘keeper but scooping the ball over the bar.
The game was tight until the last 15 minutes when Shelf had their backs to the wall and were grateful to Daniel Gill for a couple of saves.
Ovenden scored three times with the wind at their backs in the first half at Halifax High School and an expected Ryburn fightback after the break never materialised.
On a pitch which in parts resembled Blackpool beach, West Riding were soon putting Ryburn ‘keeper Ash Rayner under constant pressure through John Booth and Steve Fullard.
The West Riding CA League leaders got on the scoresheet in the 15th minute when Fullard reacted quickly to fire past Rayner after the Ryburn defence had failed to clear one of many long throws from Graham Hall.
Ryburn were struggling to make inroads into the West Riding half with dangerman Christian Silkstone being taken care of by Hall and Scott Eastwood.
Ovenden went 2-0 up when Jordan Coduri finished from 12 yards again following of corners,
Booth went near again before Matt Jones finished off some excellent approach play involving Fullard, Robbie Graham and Booth, beating Rayner from 18 yards.
Ryburn were expected to take the second half initiative but some poor passing let them down. When they did apply pressure, substitute Andy Bailey thwarted many of their aerial attacks.
Ovenden continued to threaten with Coduri and Booth going close, and on 80 minutes Booth raced away down West Riding’s right and his cross shot beat Rayner.