Tony Kniveton was a satisfied man after his Stump Cross side got their Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL title challenge back on course on Saturday.
The third-placed side, whose long unbeaten run had been ended by Elland United the previous week, thumped visitors Holmfield 6-2 at Shroggs Park.
Kniveton saw his side blast into a 5-0 lead after 25 minutes against relegation-haunted visitors before cruising to victory.
Kniveton said: “I was looking for a response after the Elland defeat and I got it.”
Ash Ackroyd started up front for the first time and he and young Tom Robinson both scored twice as Stump tore into Holmfield.
Liam Brompton’s free-kick accounted for the other goal among Stump’s first five.
Lee Heslop got one back from the penalty spot with the last kick of the first half and Gareth Gaukroger further cut the deficit with a fine individual effort.
However, Stump had the last word through Ben Watkins, who mopped up a rebound after a save from Jason Crowther with 10 minutes left.
Kniveton thinks it is a three-horse race for the title after Ryburn thrashed Greetland 5-0 and believes reigning champs Midgley may take some catching.
Kniveton’s counterpart at Ryburn, Craig Walker, was equally pleased after his side’s best display of the season.
“It was a great performance from start to finish,” he said.
Reece Uttley produced some great work down the right while Oliver Brierley and Matt Lamb were rock solid at the back.
Greetland ‘keeper Craig Taylor made superb saves from Alex Coburn and Owen Wilkinson as his side soon came under the cosh but he was eventually beaten by Christian Silkstone’s header from Oliver Brearley’s long free-kick into the box.
Coburn doubled the lead with a superb finish from a ball over the top and Ryburn kept up the good work in the second half.
Sikstone scored with another header from a Brierley free-kick and the front man completed his hat-trick from ‘keeper Ash Raynor’s long clearance, lifting the ball over Taylor.
A Simon Whitton tap-in completed the rout and it could have been worse for Greetland with their hosts getting the ball in the net on a few more occasions.
Stump’s hopes could depend on keeping players fit with a squad of limited size.
A hat-trick from 19-year-old newcomer James Redmond helped Calder ‘76 to a 4-1 home derby success over Hebden Royd Red Star.
It was 1-0 at half time, Calder taking the lead midway through the first period when John Moynes and Jamie Casey helped set up an opportunity for Ricky Topham, who produced a good finish across ‘keeper Glynn Claxton into the bottom corner.
Redmond had seen a goal ruled out for offside by then and just before half time Calder’s right back James Megson had a powerful shot at the near post tipped round by Claxton.
Red Star were a threat from set pieces and corners. James Rawlinson had a header cleared off the line in the first half and hit the bar in the second.
Calder got their second goal when Megson drove into the area and shot powerfully. Claxton saved but was unable to hang on to the ball and Redmond bundled it over the line.
Star had a decent spell with Oliver Chadwick on the ball and Warren Clayton saved well from Ed Harvey before Clayton, Topham and Redmond produced a length-of-the-field third for Calder.
Richmond completed his hat-trick with a header from Topham’s cross but James Rawlinson provided some consolation for Star when he chested the ball down and knocked it through the legs of Matt McCambridge and Claxton.
Elland United, like Calder, are climbing the table. Mark Kelsey scored twice and Anthony Campbell got the other goal in a 3-2 win away to Copley United, who had Dan Minshull and Gary Ash on target.
Sowerby United were impressive 6-1 winners over King Cross Warley.
After early Warley pressure, Sowerby started to take control with Joe Swallow causing problems.
Sowerby took the lead when Lee Barber’s cross was headed home by Adam Kershaw.
Sowerby doubled their lead when ‘keeper Paul Barker’s big kick was controlled instantly by Jordan Manning, who threaded the ball through for Barber to score.
Joe Swallow added a fine third as the home side hit top gear.
Warley started the second half well but a quick break finished with Corey Henderson getting Sowerby’s fourth.
Warley pulled one back when Matthew Chapman rifled home but Barber replied from the penalty spot after George Turner had been upended.
The energetic Barber outstripped his marker on the half way to race clear before squaring the ball for Henderson to complete the scoring.
Northowram completed their Division One home programme unbeaten, thrashing visitors Stainland United 7-0.
Despite a bobbly surface, they produced some fine incisive football to register their second successive seven goal haul and need only one point to make certain of promotion.
Stainland never recovered from falling two goals behind in the opening six minutes.
The first was a James Waggett penalty after Chris Conroy had been fouled. Then good work from Olly Spencer, who was outstanding in midfield, led to Conroy’s shot hitting the bar and Alex O’Keefe nodded in the rebound.
O’Keefe, Waggett and Matthew Rushworth might have scored before Paul Friend’s 13th-minute penalty was off target for Stainland.
The visitors spent most of the remainder of the half in defensive mode and two goals in the final five minutes gave the Rams a comfortable half-time lead.
Spencer’s lay-off was driven home by Archie Griffiths through a crowd of players and Waggett swept home Danny King’s perfect free kick.
Stainland could not take advantage of the slope in the second half and failed to force a save from James Bunn.
Substitute Chris Dunne missed the simplest of chances but Waggett slotted his second penalty and King’s shrewd pass sent Conroy racing clear for number six.
O’Keefe, a handful throughout, hit the bar with a spectacular effort before Rushworth bundled the ball home to complete victory.
Veteran and loyal servant Adie Hollands, in his 22nd season, came on as a half-time substitute for his final appearance at the Rec and signed off with a solid performance.
One of Northowram’s three remaining games is up the road at their title rivals Shelf, who maintained their winning run with a 4-0 home success over Wadsworth.
Shelf, who have won eight league games in a row since losing 3-2 to the Rams, took command with a Mark Hindle hat-trick down the slope in the first half.
Joe Griffin and John Lister set up Hindle to fire across the ‘keeper for an early goal.
Hindle added a second from the penalty spot on 30 minutes after Wadsworth had handled and overlapping left back Jamie Moorhouse crossed for Hindle to nod in his third at the back post.
Shelf might have had more goals with a better final pass while Frank Howell did well in midfield for Wadsworth, who were lacking a cutting edge.
Lister scored Shelf’s fourth midway through the second half, beating a couple of defenders in the box and firing left footed into the bottom corner.
Salem and Denholme both won away and look to be battling it out for third.
Goals from Tyson Illingworth, Tom Neville and Lee Worrall gave Salem a 3-1 away to Elland Allstars, Ash Smith replying.
Denholme recovered from a mauling at Northowram with a 6-1 victory over Volunteer Arms on Savile Park.
The visitors made a bright start and had a lot of possession but failed to take their chances until the 30 minute mark when a Volunteer player was injured, forcing a switch-round for hosts, who were without substitutes.
Denholme took full advantage with a three-goal burst. Danny Moralee continued his fine strike rate with the first and Michael Midgley notched a quick double, beating the offside trap for the first and then cashing in on good work from Matty Waring on the left.
Moralee made it 4-0 after the break and although Volunteer had a better spell for 10 minutes and pulled one back through Greg Thomas, Matty Waring and Neil Roberts took Denholme further clear.
Ryburn’s second string made it a club double over Greetland on the day, Gareth Robertshaw scoring twice in their 5-0 away win.
Greetland slipped to the bottom after two more of the strugglers, Sowerby Bridge Reserves and Halifax Irish Centre, fought out a 3-3 draw at Hollins Mills Lane.
AFC Crossleys moved a step nearer the Division Two title with a 5-0 success away to Hebden Royd Red Star.
They had the upper hand throughout but took an hour to break through a resilient Red Star, Andrew Mellard eventually getting the opening goal.
Scott Cartman doubled the lead when he put home the rebound following a fine save from Dave Mlodecki’s spot kick and Crossleys pulled further clear with a double from Tom Boyle and one from Chris Woodhouse.
Martin Woodhouse scored twice but Mixenden United’s slim promotion hopes took another knock when goals from Guy Flanagan and Lea Kelly earned hosts Denholme Reserves a 2-2 draw.
There was the same result in the game between the second teams from King Cross Warley and Shelf United Reserves.
Ryan Stansfield got a winner for Midgley United Reserves 10 minutes from time at home to bottom club Sowerby United.
Stansfield reacted quickest after a Darren Nelson effort had come back off the bar.
A Midgley side with a handful of under 18s dominated the first quarter and were rewarded with a goal from Nelson.
Sowerby had a good 20-minute spell in the second half and Alex Haggerty got them on terms.
It was anyone’s game in an end-to-end finale and Stansfield’s goal gave Midgley a 2-1 success.
The top two in Division Three won again, leaders Brighouse Sports winning 4-0 away to Salem Reserves and West Central finding a late winner to beat Savile Arms 3-2.
Brighouse need only two points from three games to win the title after beating bottom side Salem in spring-like conditions at Savile Park.
Salem’s offside trap frustrated Brighouse in a scrappy first half and the game was goalless until just before the break when Connor Durkin and then Borhan Doski, who had squandered many opportunities, struck.
The second half was more open as Salem looked to get back in the match but Brighouse doubled their tally through man of the match Ben Oakland and skipper Chris Allen.
Salem’s Steve Hawksworth pulled off several good saves and sub James Hings made a miraculous goalline clearance to keep the score respectable.
Hings was also involved at the other end. His mazy run was stopped illegally in the box but he ballooned the penalty over the bar.
Salem complete their campaign in a fortnight at home to Savile Arms knowing they have again collected the wooden spoon, although they have many positives to take out of the season.
West Central dominated the early stages of an entertaining game at the Calderdale College. Awais Haroon was sent clear but was foiled by the ‘keeper while Lamin Janneh Jnr and Kashif Akmal linked impressively.
Arms took the lead against the run of play when Adam Goldthorpe won possession in midfield and his shot from outside the box was out of the reach of Tayyab Khalid.
However, West Central hit back quickly when Lamin Jnr skipped past two defenders and smashed the ball into the top corner.
Central scored again, a flowing team move culminating in Lamin Jnr sending the ‘keeper the wrong way and rolling the ball into the net.
The second half was a more controlled affair as West Central’s man of the match Jasim Salih and Hassan Ahmed controlled midfield and reduced Savile to a few hopeful long-range efforts.
Central were becoming wasteful in front of goal and were punished when Goldthorpe beat his marker and slotted the ball past the keeper for 2-2.
West Central kept their composure and after a wonderful cross from Awais Haroon, Shabaz Ali pounced to score the winner when the ball rebounded into his path off the ‘keeper.
Shelf FC sprung a major surprise when they beat Spring Hall Celtic 5-1 to earn a place in the Ricky O’Brien Invitation Cup final.
Goals from Alex Conroy (two), Gary Boldy, Harry Talbot and J.Hartley gave Division Three side Shelf victory at West Vale.
Atif Hussain replied for Celtic, who are title contenders in Division Two and still going strong in the West Riding Trophy.