Challenge Cup final completes season

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The curtain comes down on the Halifax AFL season tomorrow when Midgley United meet Warley Rangers in the final of the Skircoat Green Physiotherapy Challenge Cup at The Shay (7.0).

Midgley lifted the trophy in 2003 but Warley have yet to win it, although some of their players won it with Elland United in 2012.

A spate of injuries have really tested Midgley’s resources this season but they still managed a top four finish.

One key man who has missed a lot of the season is Tom Booth, who has been a prolific scorer in past seasons. He is due to team up again with 20-goal George Bamford.

Joe Gibson is a big, strong defender who will be hoping to blunt the threat of Warley strikers Tom Hiley and Carlton Balmer.

Warley will look to their longest serving player, Chris Hall, to control things in midfield, along with ex-Ovenden WR and Brighouse Town man Damon Gledhill-Nichols.

For Midgley, it will be another ex-Ovenden WR man, Ian Hudson, who will be the key man in that area.

Midgley manager Craig Gee will miss the final as he will be in Italy for his daughter’s wedding.

Warley have won both league meetings this season, by 4-1 and 5-4, and since the semi-final Midgley have only managed one win in seven.

Midgley’s route to the final was a first round bye, followed by wins against West Central (6-1), Calder ‘76 (3-1) and Shelf United (2-1).

Warley ended the hopes of Salem (3-2), Brighouse Sports (5-0), Ryburn United (4-2) and Northowram (2-1).

Midgley are also involved in the rearranged Invitation Cup final against Ryburn United Reserves at the Shay tonight (7.0).

The Halifax AFL’s presentation dinner takes place at the Shay on Friday, May 22.

All the title-winning teams will receive their trophies on a night which is a fundraiser for the league’s new ground near SBCI cricket club at Sowerby Bridge.

Development work is taking place and it is hoped that some of the league’s cup semi-finals will be able to take place there next season.

Jeff Winter, who retired from top-flight refereeing after taking charge of the 2004 FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Millwall, will be the guest speaker and Pete Emmett is the comedian.

There will also be an auction and tickets are £25.