Stump seek compensation

Holders Stump Cross take on Sowerby United in the final of the Skircoat Green Physiotherapy Challenge Cup at the Shay on Thursday (7.0).

Tuesday, 29th April 2014, 8:30 am

Stump will start favourites in their quest to make up for their near miss in Halifax AFL’s Premier Division, Ryburn United pipping them for the title.

Tony Kniveton’s side are unbeaten in 11 games while Sowerby, who have finished ninth in the top flight, have won only once in 11 outings since their semi-final success.

Sowerby United last won the trophy in 1990 whilst Stump Cross have won the trophy four times since then.

Experience is plentiful in the Stump ranks with former Ovenden WR players Liam Brompton, Chris Gent and Martin Ayscough used to the big game atmosphere.

Sowerby, under the leadership of player manager Garry Boyd, have a more youthful look but are more than capable of winning this final.

Sowerby could not have had a much tougher path to the final. After struggling to beat Halifax Irish Centre on penalties in the first round they then overcame Midgley United 1-0 before a trip to subsequent champions Ryburn United, which brought them a 3-1 win. They then beat Mixenden United in the semi final.

Stump Cross reached the final with wins over Hebden Royd Red Star (3-2), Greetland (3-0) and Copley United (5-0).

The other Halifax AFL final takes place less than 24 hours later when Ryburn United Reserves take on Shelf FC in the final of the Rick O’Brien Invitation Cup at Natty Lane on Friday (6.30).

Shelf FC, playing only their second season in the AFL, face a tough task against a Ryburn side from two divisions higher.

Ryburn go into the game in great form, with only one defeat in their last 12 outings.

Gareth Robertshaw and youngster Ashley Shaw have been stand-out figures for a Ryburn side that reached the final with wins against St Columbas (10-0), Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves (4-0) and Savile Arms (3-2) in the semi final.

Shelf, for whom Alex Conroy has scored a brace in two of their three wins in reaching the final, are capable of producing a shock win.

Liam Kearns, Harry Talbot and Jack Hartley have all been in fine form.

Shelf had a far from easy passage to reach the final, having beaten Denholme United Reserves 3-2, Brighouse Sports 1-0 and a semi-final win over Spring Hall Celtic by 5-1.

Last night’s Halifax AFL - Division One: Elland Allstars 3 (C.Bell 3) Sowerby Bridge Res 0.

Division Two: King Cross Warley Res v Midgley United Res P (King Cross could not raise a team).