Reigning Halifax AFL champions Calder ‘76 had a remarkable 9-7 win away to Sowerby United at Ryburn Valley High School on Saturday.
Remi Allen scored six goals for the visitors and Calder boss Rob Kenworthy described a 13-goal first half as “like a basketball match.”
Calder roared into a 6-0 lead and were 7-1 ahead after just 30 minutes.
The visitors switched off and a Rory Thickett inspired Sowerby pulled it back to 7-6 by half time.
Connor Ashworth and Thickett netted twice and skipper Dan Crosland and Corey Henderson grabbing one each for the hosts.
The next goal was going to be all-important and Calder got it on 50 minutes.
Sowerby hit back again with an Alex Healey strike but Calder got a last-minute clincher.
Calder’s other goals came from Allen’s strike partner Ricky Topham, ex-Sowerby defender Andrew Wadsworth’s superb strike and George Hampshire.
Both sides were full of praise for referee Peter Bowe, who kept things flowing.
There were hat-tricks for key men as Illingworth St Mary’s and Midgley United emphasised their title claims with emphatic wins.
John Booth added another three goals to his impressive seasonal tally as Illingworth St Mary’s won 5-1 away to one-time leaders Hebden Royd Red Star.
Damien Randall was also on target and both sides got an own goal.
Midgley dealt visitors Warley Rangers’s hopes of honours a potentially fatal blow with a 4-0 win.
George Bamford notched a first half hat-trick with some good finishes in the box and Martin Woodhouse set up Steve Fullard for the home side’s final goal midway through the second half.
Steve Butterworth made a couple of good saves as Warley tries to hit back but Midgley boss Craig Gee thought his side had controlled matters for the majority of the contest.
Northowram and visitors Greetland fought out a dreary 2-2 draw, both sides lacked imagination and composure on the ball.
Two goals in the opening six minutes belied much of what followed. Mark Eade put the Rams ahead with a measured lob over the keeper from Archie Griffiths’ long ball but Greetland replied through Charlie Cliffe’s low shot.
The Rams, after a decidedly undistinguished 25 minutes, took the lead when Chris Conroy powered an unstoppable volley into the top corner after the ball broke loose just inside the area.
Cliffe scored his second a minute before half-time with a crisp finish into the bottom corner after he skilfully rounded three defenders.
The second half was a goalless and aimless affair with little to concern either keeper. Conroy sliced high and wide when well placed and Chris Gent, best for the hosts, fired narrowly over.
Bottom two Copley United and Shelf United also drew 2-2 with goals from Danny Dewick and Tobias Mears for Copley cancelled out by efforts from Billy Grogan and Harry Talbot.
Sowerby Bridge and Holmfield, the leading pair in Division One, remain four points apart after they registered contrasting victories.
Bridge won 11-1 away to Calder ‘76 Reserves with hat-tricks from Luke and Dayle Maguire plus two each from Lee Wood and Sam Hiley.
Holmfield were 3-2 winners on the short trip to play AFC Crossleys at Mason Green. Lewis Parker, Craig Gladwin and Joe Sykes hit the target for the visitors and Andrew Brunning and Nathan Sloane for Crossleys.
Salem picked up a valuable 2-1 win at home to Midgley United Reserves in a battle of strugglers.
All the goals came from the penalty spot, Louy Kenny getting two for Salem in the first half and James Yates replying in the second.
Denholme United had a useful 3-1 home win over Brighouse Sports while Elland Allstars were 4-0 winners away to Greetland Reserves with Matthew Hields Jorge Westin-Pearson, Craig Billington and Chris Haigh doing the damage.
The top two sides in Division Two met on the Trinity 3G pitch and home side Illingworth St Mary’s Reserves edged a tight derby 2-1 against previously unbeaten Ivy House.
Ivy House starter much the stronger with Leon Hurles Brooke causing problems down the left with some fine runs.
However, Illingworth’s back three of Pete Southwell, Jamie Randall and Ben Heavyside were in fine form and when Ivy House did create chances veteran keeper Tony Clarke made a string of fine saves.
However, the pressure finally told when Hayden Kerris broke clear down the middle and finished well.
Illingworth responded quickly with Bailey Naylor reacting quickest to send the sides in at the break 1-1
More experienced Ivy House continued to create chances but were unable to finish and as the game progressed Illingworth’s youngsters seemed to want victory more.
They were rewarded with 10 minutes left when Jack Pullen squeezed the ball home in a goalmouth scramble.
Northowram Reserves pulled off a shock with a 2-1 win away to previously unbeaten Junction and St Columba’s went third thanks to an own goal - the only goal of the game - at home to Crossley’s Reserves.
Saints were wasteful and were grateful for a Kutubo Touray corner, which was turned into his own net by the Crossley’s keeper.
Plummet Line made it three wins on the bounce with their expected 3-1 home win over Salem Reserves.
Ryburn United’s two sides had differing fortunes when their county cup fourth round games went to penalties on Saturday.
The first continued their excellent run in the Challenge Cup with a 3-2 win on spot kicks away to Leeds City Rovers.
The game had finished 2-2 with Alex Austin and Christian Silkstone the scorers for the Halifax AFL top flight side.
Ryburn Reserves bowed out of the Trophy by 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw away to Huddersfield YMCA Reserves.
There is still some AFL interest in the Trophy after middle-section side Shelf FC had a thumping 10-1 win away to Salts fourths.