Christian grabs a share of spoils

RYBURN United went to extraordinary lengths to make sure their top flight clash against Shelf went ahead - then both sides produced an extraordinary match which finished with honours even at 5-5.

With the Ripponden Wood pitch waterlogged following flash flooding, the home contingent spent over an hour transferring water off the playing surface in buckets to enable to game to go ahead.

And Ryburn must have wondered whether it had been worth the bother as the impressive visitors roared into a two goal lead, Lee Riley beating home manager and keeper Craig Walker one on one then doubling the lead after a fee-kick squeezed through the wall and wrong-footed the home number one.

That woke Ryburn up and in Billy Grogan and Christian Silkstone they had the personnel to kick-start the comeback. Grogan reduced the deficit by firing through a crowded penalty area then levelled from the spot after Si Carter had been brought down.

Shelf looked to re-establish control early in the second half and Games Goodwin flicked the ball over Walker for a 3-2 lead.

Silkstone’s mazy run ended with him finding the net but again Shelf edged in front when a long clearance from the keeper bounced over Walker and J. Lister had the simple task of nodding in.

The home side hauled themselves back into a topsy-turvy contest when Silkstone looped a header over the Shelf keeper but the visitors would not lie down and Goodwin made it 5-4 with a free header.

Ryburn, who were awarded three points by the AFL management after Stainland United failed to raise a team at the start of them month, were in no mood to let the game slip away and gained their reward with four minutes to go when Silkstone followed up after the keeper had parried the ball into his path.

The result means Ryburn are still locked together with Warley Rangers at the top.

Warley continued their good start to the season with a well deserved 5-3 victory over a youthful Elland United side shorn of several key players.

Manager Neil Grogan had to shuffle his pack with Chris Hall and Craig Smith away and Craig Reidy pulling out on the day of the game due to a bizarre incident involving a washing machine landing on his toe.

The changes to the side seemed to be of little distraction as Warley raced into a two goal lead inside the opening fifteen minutes. John Burston grabbing both goals after good work from Brian Matthews.

But Elland fought their way back into the game when a defensive mix-up allowed Carlton Balmer the simplest of tap ins. And the home side were soon level after Mike Jordan had given the ball away on the halfway line, Elland countered and Vaughan Boon drilled a shot into the bottom corner past Langleys dive.

Balmer then missed an open goal with Warley all at sea but five minutes before half time the old head of Paul Kendall gave them the lead with a sublime 20 yard strike.

Warley could have added further goals before the interval with Burston and Kendall both guilty of poor finishing as Elland were hanging on to stay in the game.

The second period saw Warley race out of the blocks and make-shift striker Burston completed his hat trick after Simon Reekie had carved through the defence and laid the chance on a plate.

Elland’s misery was compounded when Jordan left three men trailing on the wing and his low cross was hacked into his own net by Kellan Bradbury.

As Warley took there foot off the gas Elland crept back into the game and Mark Kelsey’s bullet header from Martin Boon’s cross gave them a lifeline with twenty minutes remaining.

But marshalled by man of the match Darren Smith, Warley never looked in danger of conceding any further goals and saw the game out comfortably.

Sowerby United registered their first success of the season with a 2-1 win at Calder 76.

Sowerby started brightly with man of the match Andrew Wadsworth driving them forward from the off and it was his superb ball that sent John Wilkinson racing clear to give Sowerby the lead after 20 minutes.

Karl Wooliscroft was a huge influence in Sowerby’s play who went into the break with the one goal lead. That was doubled early in the second half when Wilkinson was pulled back in the penalty area and scored from the resulting penalty. Calder battled hard with Steve Jones and the hard working Gavin Fleming striving hard to get his side back into the game. They were rewarded for their efforts when Fleming worked his way into the box before firing into the corner of the net.

Calder had lots of possession but could not find a way past Dan Taylor and Adam Kershaw.

AFC Crossleys are still unbeaten following their 2-1 home win over Greetland while Holmfield heaped more misery on fallen giants Hebden Royd Red Star with a 2-1 win.

Stump Cross hit the goal trail and Dan Crossland in particular as he hit a hat-trick in his side’s 7-1 thumping of rock bottom Stainland United.