Stump pushing Ryburn all the way

James Goodwin was a scorer for Shelf last night
James Goodwin was a scorer for Shelf last night

The titles in the top two sections of the Haslem Sheppard Halifax AFL will be settled this weekend after wins for Stump Cross and Shelf United last night kept alive their hopes of glory.

Stump Cross finished off their Premier Division programme with a 7-2 win over Greetland at Shroggs Park.

That took them two points ahead of Ryburn United, who must now beat deposed champions Midgley United at Wellesley Park tomorrow (6.15) to take the silverware.

Shelf United beat Ryburn Reserves 2-1 at Shelf Park but their hopes of overtaking Division One leaders Northowram, who have completed their games, are virtually nonexistent.

Shelf and Ryburn Reserves meet again on Saturday. Another Shelf win in their final contest would move Steve Goodwin’s side level on points with Northowram but the Rams’ goal difference is 12 superior.

Ryburn Reserves have been in good form ahead of an Invitation Cup final appearance and they made life difficult for Shelf, in spite of falling behind to a very early goal from James Goodwin.

Shelf squandered chances down the Shelf Park slope - including a penalty the ‘keeper saved with his legs - and Ryburn drew level on the hour when Ash Shaw produced a decisive finish from the edge of the area.

The home side got a winner 10 minutes later through Danny Thornton’s header from a free-kick.

There were also two games affecting the Premier Division relegation battle last night.

Holmfield are already down and Sowerby Bridge are likely to join them after a 2-2 draw away to derby rivals Sowerby United in their final game.

Joe Swallow and Dan Crossland scored for United with Chris Punda and Dean Fulton replying.

Bridge remain second from bottom, level on points with Hebden Royd Red Star, whose miserable second half to the season continued with a 3-0 home defeat by Copley United.

Paul Drake, Scott Davies and Gary Ash hit the target for Copley.

Red Star’s goal difference is currently three better than Sowerby Bridge’s and Dave Whitehouse’s side play their final match away to Elland United on Saturday.

The fifth and final game last night was in Division Two. Denholme United Reserves, in grave danger of the drop a month ago, are up to fourth after a 3-2 win away to King Cross Warley Reserves in their last game of the campaign.

Lea Kelly (two) and Stephen George got the Denholme goals.

The Halifax FA Saturday Cup final will take place next week after all.

Three local finals involving Saturday sides were scheduled for the Shay but they have been scuppered by the likelihood of Halifax Town being in the play-offs.

However, the FA final between Ovenden West Riding and Shelf United has been switched to Brighouse Town on Wednesday (7.0).