Holmfield KO Rams on penalties

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Holmfield claimed the scalp of division-higher Northowram, on penalties after a 2-2 draw, in Saturday’s first round of the Halifax AFL Jack Haymer Challenge Cup.

The Premier side were left to rue missed chances.

On the big Natty Lane pitch, both sides passed well. The Rams directed most of their play to the dangerous Lewis Oldridge, who flashed an effort inches wide from an excellent Matt Calland through ball.

James Bunn made a superb one-handed save low down following a deflection before the Rams took the lead after 12 minutes. Josh Baines made the telling pass and Oldridge again turned his man before finding the bottom corner.

Baines crashed a shot against the bar and then put the ball over the top after Calland had sent him in one-on-one.

The Rams had more of the play but Holmfield stood firm and Craig Gladwin sliced horribly wide from three yards out.

Holmfield drew level two minutes after half-time when a badly mistimed punch from Bunn gave Gladwin the simple chance to head into the empty net.

The Rams regained the lead after 55 minutes when Chris Gent released Oldridge and his low cross was finished by Cameron Millar. Archie Birchall, Calland and Jacob Turner threatened to increase the lead but instead Billy Reilly made it 2-2 direct from a corner.

Gent, Baines and Oldridge all had their penalties saved and even though Archie Griffiths scored the Rams’ fourth, and Bunn saved Holmfield’s first, successful penalties by Danny Kirman, Jason Crowther and Gareth Sherwood secured the tie.

Northowram’s derby rivals Shelf United were also taken to penalties by first division opposition, but they came through 3-0 on spot kicks at home to Denholme United after a 3-3 draw.

Ryburn United, beaten by Shelf FC in last year’s final notched a second win of the campaign against champions Ryburn United, winning 3-1.

The other three ties were one-sided, led by Midgley United’s 10-1 thrashing of Junction Inn.

The visitors and league newcomers were soon under the cosh but took the lead on the break, only for Tom Hosker, Joe Gibson and a Greg Spink penalty to give Midgley a 3-1 interval advantage.

It was mainly one-way traffic after that, although Gareth Swain did make some good one-on-one saves when Junction threatened.

Hosker started and finished the second half scoring and also bagged Midgley’s eighth with the goal of the game from 25 yards.

Sam Tattersall, George Bamford, Euan Davis and Roy Laycock were also on target for Midgley.

William Chappell hit a hat-trick as Elland Allstars won 6-1 against Plummet Line and Greetland were even more handsome winners with an 8-0 home success over Crossley’s, helped by two goals each from Karl Jowett and Charlie Cliffe.

Invitation Cup first round: Northowram Res 2 (L.Batchelor 2) FC Ovenden 4 (D.Oczabruk 2 C.Atkinson M.Cummings), Stainland United 4 (D.Hodgson 3 T.Brook) Midgley United Res 1 (G.Thompson).