Holders Ovenden brush aside Red Star

Holders Ovenden West Riding powered into the semi-finals of the Halifax FA Albert Crabtree Cup with a 4-0 win away to Halifax AFL first division leaders Hebden Royd Red Star.

The visitors started brightly with John Booth causing problems for left back Liam Barrett and former Star man Andy Gregory volleyed over from close range with just Glynn Claxton to beat.

The opening goal came Mathew Jones after delightful build up play from Jay Carney, Booth and Gregory.

Tom Garland missed a chance to equalise after a defensive slip and Ovenden soon doubled their lead with a goal of real quality.

The ball was switched from left to right and out to Booth, whose lofted pass was chested down by an onrushing midfielder and dispatched on the half volley by Carney.

Shortly before half time ithe game was effectively up for Red Star when another former player, Steven Senior, got in a low cross from the left and Steve Fullard turned his man well before firing low past Claxton.

The second half saw an improved performance from Star as James Chadwick and Daniel Lumb saw more of the ball in the centre of midfield.

Chadwick’s header was just over but Star were indebted to Claxton as the half wore on. He made a number of good saves at the feet of Ovenden attackers but he could do nothing about the fourth goal from Booth in the closing stages.

Ovenden’s semi-final hosts will be Brighouse Old Boys, who were 3-1 home winners against Halifax AFL leaders Midgley United.

Calder ‘76 earned a trip to Huddersfield Amateurs - previous conquerors of Halifax Irish Club - after ruthlessly snuffing out the hopes of minnows Spring Hall Celtic by 4-0.

Good work from Steve Jones, Remi Allen and Paul Ashman allowed Ricky Topham to fire the home side in front from near the penalty spot.

Simon Stansfield’s effort was bound for the net before being deflected over and Celtic, who generally struggled to produce a telling final pass, blew their best chance when a player burst through but over-ran the ball and ‘keeper Warren Clayton cleared up.

Allen made it 2-0 from a corner midway through the first half after a couple of efforts had been blocked by the visiting ‘keeper.

After a spell of few chances, Karl Wooliscroft made it 3-0 with a powerful left foot volley from the edge of the area and Topham sewed up victory after good work from Gav Fleming and Si Whitton down the left.

Stump Cross maintained their pursuit of leaders Midgley United in the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL with a 4-2 home win over Greetland.

Tony Kniveton’s side had the edge in a well-contested game played in the right spirit but needed a stroke of luck midway through the second half with the sides locked together at 2-2.

A Tom Robinson shot hit the angle of post and cross bar and the ball hit the luckless Andy Hurcombe in the face and ended up in his own net.

Sub Sam Hiley then nipped in to make the game safe for Stump with 15 minutes left.

Earlier, Dan Crosland had scored the only goal of the first half for Stump, knocking the ball over the line after Matty Hoyle’s brave headed challenge.

Danny Dorward scrambled an equaliser after the break.

Greetland ‘keeper Craig Taylor then made an absolutely stunning save from Robinson, only to be beaten by a long-range effort into the top corner from the same player.

Carl Ainley quickly made it 2-2 but the own goal helped tip the scales Stump’s way.

Ryburn United look to slipping out of the title race after dropping two more points in a 1-1 draw away to Sowerby United in a hard-fought game.

Sowerby were caught cold and Nathan Hargreaves lost his marker to fire Ryburn ahead in the first two minutes.

The lead lasted barely three minutes. A weaving run from Lee Barber was ended by a trip and the big striker scored from the resulting penalty.

The game flowed from end to end with both sides missing decent chances but defences generally on top.

Corey Henderson was the big threat to Ryburn with Danny Boyd also a stand out figure for Sowerby while Ashley Raynor was to the fore for Ryburn.

In the second half both keepers, Paul Barker for Sowerby and Craig Walker for Ryburn, made great saves to keep the score level.

After failing to win in their opening eight games, Shelf United made it two wins on the bounce with a 4-1 home success against Copley United.

James Goodwin, Danny Thornton and Elliott Parkinson (two) were on target for Shelf, who are growing in confidence and had the points in safekeeping when they scored a third goal shortly after half time.

The only slight disappointment was when they conceded what they considered a sloppy late goal to Will Shaw.

Holmfield climbed three places courtesy of a 3-1 success away to Warley Rangers, Mick Palethorpe, Danny Patchett and Jason Pettifor getting their goals.

Northowram scored seven goals at home for the second week running, going third in Division One with a 7-1 thrashing of an Elland Allstars side who occupied that position before the start of play.

The Rams were three up after nine minutes.

Danny Rushworth’s persistence forced the keeper to parry the ball into the path of Adam Ingham who headed home from close range after five minutes.

A sublime through ball from the excellent James Waggett released Chris Conroy and his emphatic finish gave the keeper no chance.

One minute later a free kick skimmed off a defender’s head into the path of Alex O’Keefe, who slammed the ball home.

A Waggett effort was a shade too high, as was Conroy’s header, as Allstars struggled to get a toehold in the game and their only clear chance of the half was skewed well wide.

Playing up the slope, the Rams began the second half in the same stunning fashion as they had the first and scored twice in the opening three minutes.

After a mazy run, Ingham was brought down and he hammered in the free kick and Conroy made it five a minute later.

Allstars eventually scored with a remarkable strike from Ash Smith near the touchline which brought a burst of applause from both sets of supporters.

However, Rushworth played in O’Keefe who finished unerringly and another shrewd pass from Waggett gave Conroy the opportunity to clinch his hat trick after 72 minutes. Allstars struck the bar with a header late on.

Sowerby Bridge won their game in hand on leaders Hebden Royd Red Star, winning 4-3 at home to Halifax Irish Centre to close the gap at the top to one point.

Adam Barlow’s hat-trick - one with his left, one with his right and a header - saw Bridge through after Tony Clark made a string of saves to keep the visitors in the hunt.

Fullback Dean Park’s burst from half-way and pull back enabled Barlow to open the scoring from the edge of the box after 10 minutes but veteran Steve Galloway struck a fine equaliser.

Martin Bates broke the offside trap and crossed for Park to make it 2-1 at the far post and Barlow’s header into the top corner on 55 minutes made it 3-1.

However, Irish drew level with a quick double from Starsmoor and an a Craig Eastwood penalty, only for Barlow to find the net from his corner kick for a 4-3 scoreline.

When centre half Gaz Foster scrambled an equaliser with 10 minutes left Bridge were in danger of dropping precious points but Barlow sent Rick Taylor through and he rounded the keeper to notch the winner.

Wadsworth are fancying their chances of finishing third or better after routing visitors Stainland United 8-1.

They cruised into a 3-0 interval lead and ran away with a contest which featured four penalties.

Stainland missed with a first half spot kick and Wadsworth converted all three of their opportunities, leading scorer Johnny Gibson bagging two in a match haul of four goals.

He then allowed Sam Cartwright to take the final penalty and the fullback grabbed his opportunity, scoring his first goal for the side after three seasons of trying.

Kieron Sim, Frank Howell and Zak Greenwood, Wadsworth’s man of the match, got the home side’s other goals while player-manager Nathan Sim came on as a substitute after injury.

Mixenden United lifted themselves off the bottom with a 4-4 home draw against Denholme United.

The visitors were aggrieved when they had strong penalty appeals turned down late on and the hosts went straight down the other end of the field and equalised with Denholme appealing in vain for offside.

Kemp beat the offside trap to give Mixenden the lead but a Matthew Beney double - a penalty following a challenge on Michael Midgley and a long-range free-kick - gave Denholme the lead.

The Woodhouse brothers got Mixenden’s remaining three goals. The first made it 2-2 at half time but Denholme twice regained the lead through Neil Roberts, after good work from Matthew Waring, and Beney’s stunning hat-trick goal when he returned ‘keeper Gary Allchin’s clearance with interest.

Ryburn United Reserves slipped to the bottom after crashing 5-1 at home to Volunteer Arms, Mick Naylor scoring twice.

Division Two leaders Sowerby Bridge Reserves were held 2-2 away to their Elland United counterparts while second-placed Warley Rangers Reserves were 2-0 down away to Midgley United Reserves when the game was abandoned after an hour due to injury.

Salem Reserves picked up just their fifth point of the season in Division Three, building on several promising performances to drew 2-2 away to Denholme United Reserves.

Chances were soon being created for man of the match Ricky Beaumont and CJ Waddington, who scored the only goal of the first half after 20 minutes.

Waddington doubled the lead five minutes after the break but Simon Herbert’s mistimed tackle allowed Denholme’s best player John Judson to pull one back from the spot.

This was the signal for Denholme to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at Salem. However, a combination of dogged defending and an outstanding performance from ‘keeper Charlie Holdsworth kept them out.

Kev Crossley and sub Louis Halstead had chances for Salem, who rued those misses when Guy Flanagan poked home a last-minute equaliser.

West Central won the only other game in the section with a 3-0 win away to Volunteer Arms Reserves.