Premier Division leader Waiters Arms set up a keenly-anticipated Eddie Hebblethwaite Sunday Cup final with holders Carrinbton after a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Halifax Hammers.
The game was billed as a tight affair and didn’t disappoint. The first half was cagey with both defences on top, Callum Charlton for Hammers and Waiters’ Gordon Brierley marshalled their lines well. Chances were at a premium with only a Billy Grogan free kick from Waiters which hit the bar and a Mohammed Ozair drive from 25 yards tipped over by Waiters keeper Ethan Daly the only chances of any note. With 35 minutes gone the deadlock was broken with David Chappell chasing down a long ball which the Hammers keeper kicked out straight to the feet of Grogan who deftly lobbed it back over his head into the net.
Both teams made changes at half time with Waiters introducing Lee Wood for John Lister who had sustained a nasty leg injury making a block. Waiters went straight at their opponents and when Reece Uttley had turned his man and ran clear he struck a cross which deceived the Hammers keeper and nestled in the bottom corner. Waiters knew what was coming though and sat back. But Ozair started to turn the screw in the midfield and Hammers got two quick goals to draw level through defender Sameer Ahmed from set pieces.
Waiters started to lose the ball despite the battles of James Hurtley and when Hammers made it 3-2 through Terriq Pervez with just 12 minutes remaining the writing looked on the wall for the hosts.
Pervez had a chance to possibly seal the result when he ran clear and rounded Daly but fortunately for Waiters full back Dean Park ran back to block on the line.
Waiters boss Adam Fenton had seen enough and threw his last roll of the dice sending on Kev Talbot. He went to 3-5-2 and it proved immediate dividends when a Brierley punt upfield was nodded on by Grogan and Talbot squared for Chappell to grab his 25th of the campaign. At this point penalties looked on the cards but with just two minutes remaining Talbot knocked back for Hurtley who slid it past his man and ran clear on goal before slotting home a great finish. There were still a couple of nervy moments for the hosts with Hammers sending everyone forward for a free kick but James Waggett and Lee Albon managed to clear their lines.
In the Ziggy’s Metro Cars Invitational Cup, Mount Tabor thrashed Halifax Rangers Reserves 9-1, Lee Mount were 12-3 winners over Halifax Rangers, Beehive and Crosskeys won 3-2 at Bradshaw and Division Two champions Fountain Head won 7-1 at Triangle.
In Division One, there were away wins for Ryburn United and Ryburn Valley, who beat league leaders Halifax Hammers Reserves 2-1 and Oddfellows 1-0 respectively.