Calder ‘76 and Ryburn United had emphatic home wins to press their Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL title claims on Saturday.
Calder scored four goals in each half to blitz one-time contenders Mixenden United 8-1 and Ryburn stayed six points behind them, from one game fewer, after a 4-1 success against Shelf United.
Gav Fleming broke down the left and fired the opener for Calder after 10 minutes but good work on the right from Damian Randall led to Chris Woodhouse scoring a fine equaliser.
Ricky Topham restored Calder’s lead from the penalty spot, after he had been held, and Remi Allen and Topham struck before half time to put the hosts in control.
Calder bossed the second half, with Sam Taylor and Steve Jones dominant in midfield, and a Jonny Gibson hat-trick and Allen’s second doubled their tally.
Shelf, like Mixenden, were on the fringes of the title race and they had a good battle with Ryburn, who pulled clear with two late goals.
Shelf lost Dan Agar and Jacob Green to injury in the first 10 minutes, forcing a reshuffle.
Ryburn took the lead through Christian Silkstone, with the visitors appealing in vain for offside, but Shelf got on terms when a Jonathan Farrell free-kick went in off the thigh of home centre back Oliver Brierley.
Silsktone cashed in on a mix-up between Danny Thornton and the visiting ‘keeper to restore Ryburn’s lead before half time.
The sides were evenly matched for much of the second half with a couple of saves at each end but a fine goal from Bradley Waddington and one from George Turner extended Ryburn’s advantage.
Midgley boss Craig Gee has written off his side’s title chances after a 3-1 defeat at home to Greetland, who climbed out of the bottom two.
Midgley had most of the possession in the opening 25 minutes but Greetland’s Wall brothers, Tom and George, struck within three minutes of each other.
The hosts made changes for the second half and Marvin Bonney and Joe Elwin hit the woodwork but Adrian Ford cashed in on a mistake at the back to put Greetland 3-0 up after an hour.
Elwin’s good finish with 20 minutes left gave Midgley hope but Greetland looked solid at the back and comfortably held out.
Warley Rangers look lively outsiders for honours after a 5-2 home win over Hebden Royd Red Star in an entertaining match at Shroggs Park.
On a rutted, difficult surface both teams made mistakes aplenty and shared five goals in a highly eventful first half.
Warley started the better and took the lead when Oliver Rayner’s attempted 40 yard lob deceived the Hebden custodian and sneaked into the net.
Star equalised within 30 seconds via midfielder Tom Barclay but Raynor chipped over the defence to Tom Hiley, who poked his finish past the ‘keeper.
The lively Lewis Cockroft made it 2-2 within 30 seconds but a sweeping attack involving Carlton Balmer and Josh Prestage saw the latter square for Hiley to tuck home his second.
The second period was less dramatic with defences much more solid, although Rangers remained the more threatening.
Substitute Dean Lawrence had two fine opportunities and Hiley rattled the bar while the hard working Cockroft was denied by a fine save from Michael Hick.
Balmer’s cross cum shot crept into the corner with 20 minutes left and Balmer added gloss to the result scoring in the last minute.
Holmfield picked up their third point of the season in a 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers Northowram.
Jason Pettifor and Jake Kennedy scored for Holmfield with Chris Conroy and Danny King replying.
The leading trio in Division One all won to pull further clear of the next two, Elland Allstars and Elland United.
A John Booth hat-trick helped leaders Illingworth St Mary’s beat previously in-form Elland United by 5-1 while Borhan Doski scored a brace in Brighouse Sports’ 3-1 win away to AFC Crossleys.
Third-placed Sowerby United won 8-0 away to Halifax Irish Centre.
Irish started well with Martin Galvin prompting his side from midfield but Sowerby eventually got their game going and a quick fire hat trick from Corey Henderson put them in control.
Joe O’Dowd denied Sowerby with some good saves but was unable to prevent fullback Josh Hiley from scoring three times in 10 minutes in the second half.
A stunning strike from Liam Senior and one from Dan Crossland, following a penetrating run, wrapped up the scoring.
Elland Allstars went down 5-2 at home to Ryburn United Reserves and the other two games in the section, on the league first full Saturday of action since October 31, produced draws.
Joel Greenwood scored with a spectacular overhead kick but his Calder ‘76 side had to settle for a 3-3 draw when visitors Salem scored from a last minute penalty.
Jake Tait’s goal for Sowerby Bridge was cancelled out by one for Denholme United from Danny Moralee.
Shelf FC boosted their hopes of being champions of Division Two with a 4-1 home win over leaders St Columbas on the 3G surface at Buttershaw.
Shelf started strongly and took the lead when Kyle Peel was the first to react to a loose ball after the Saints keeper had parried a long range effort.
Shelf took a deserved two goal cushion into the half time break when Ben Highland made the most of a decent advantage played by referee Roger Smith to lob the ‘keeper.
Saints hadn’t caused too many alarms in the Shelf defence until striker Frank Odion prodded home Barry Richardson’s goal bound effort.
The pivotal action came with 10 minutes left. Vinny O’Shea struck a post for Saints and Shelf went straight up the other end and Sam Henderson’s well struck shot crept in at the near post.
Shelf added another late on through Kyle Peel.
In the second versus third contest.
Greetland Reserves beat Illingworth St Mary’s Reserves 1-0 in the contest between the second and third-placed teams.
Chances were limited in a goalless first half with Saints centre backs Kyle Butler and Dale Cartwright keeping the league’s top scorer Andy Hurcombe quiet and keeper Tony Clarke making a string of fine saves.
Greetland’s more experienced team then got on top and man of the match Karl Jowett was rewarded for a fine display with a scrappy goal.
Illingworth pushed for the equaliser in the closing stages, despite being down to 10 men due to a succession of injuries, but couldn’t create any clear cut chances.
Denholme Reserves were beaten 5-2 by Salem Reserves in their first home match since mid November.
Denholme made the better start down the slope and Salem replied on the counter-attack, taking the lead when Jay Thomas crossed for Chris Hunter to apply a controlled finish.
Salem doubled their a lead when a mishit shot from Scott Fieldhouse squirmed under the keeper and Lea Kelly put a penalty well wide for the hosts.
Guy Flanagan showed Kelly how to score from the spot five minutes later but Fieldhouse scored his second at the start of the second half and Holcroft made it 2-4 when his long range free kick evaded everyone.
Denholme got a second when an attempted clearance by Salem went in off a teammate but Fieldhouse completed his hat-trick after more good work from Thomas.
Another Fieldhouse to bag a hat-trick was Sowerby Bridge Reserves’ Adrian in a 7-3 win away to Shelf United Reserves.
Tom Abson hit the target twice in Northowram Reserves’ 5-=1 home win over AFC Crossleys Reserves while Sowerby United Reserves beat Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves 2-1.