Grafting Juniors make Irish work hard for narrow win

Halifax Irish were made to battle before achieving their 3-2 success against a hard working Shelf Juniors side who gave a great account of themselves in a very tough match.

It seemed as though Irish would stroll to victory as they took a two goal lead in the first 10 minutes. Matt Crowther passed to Kian Sunderland and although his shot was stopped by the keeper, Niall Paterson was once again first to react to stab the ball into the net for the first.

The second goal was an excellent team move starting from goalkeeper George Clarke who threw the ball out to Elliott Cuttle at full back.

He in turn slid the ball up the line to Zach Thompson who turned his man and then passed the ball inside to skipper Aiden Walker who sent a defence splitting pass through to Kian Sunderland who gave the keeper no chance with a low drive from 15 yards.

Shelf bounced back in slightly fortuitous circumstances. Elliott Cuttle was caught with an accidental high boot that left him with a black eye, and while he was down Shelf broke to score with a lob over George Clarke that gave the keeper no chance.

There was nothing wrong with the equaliser, however, when Irish failed to clear a cross after 18 minutes and it was lashed into the net.

Irish soon got their noses back in front when Aiden Walker took a pass from Josh Teale and set off on a solo run that saw him go past three Shelf players before cracking the ball into the net to give Irish a 3-2 half time lead.

The second half was even tighter than the first with Henry Welford and Josh Burland keeping things solid for Irish down the right had side and man of the match Jirrove Roque producing a number of excellent tackles.

Dion Oczabruk was creating havoc for Irish with his pinpoint corners and Matty Crowther headed just over from one delivery before Harry Ashcroft almost got a fourth for Irish when his quick reaction volley almost found the net as he diverted an Aiden Walker shot.

Josh Teal was also forced into a couple of last ditch tackles as Shelf gave everything to try and grab an equaliser but George Clarke had only a couple of catches to make as Irish held on for a hard earned victory.

CLIFTON under nines overcame the poor conditions to inflict a 2-1 defeat on Thornhill.

Their defence remained resolute with keeper Levi Haigh and defenders Harrison Gilbert, Bradley Hall-Crowther and Callum Wallace impressive despite Thornhill managing a lucky goal midway through the first half.

Clifton woke up after the interval and took the game to Thornhill.

Their first goal came from a Sam Nixon shot that rebounded into Henry Pryor’s path before a great passing move between Robbie Thompson and Manav Sandu enabled Pryor to score his second goal and claim all three points.

Much more junior sport in Thursday’s Halifax Courier