Derby win keeps Calder clear

Football - Hebden Royd Red Star v Calder 76 (white)
Remi Allen for Calder
Football - Hebden Royd Red Star v Calder 76 (white) Remi Allen for Calder

The top four teams in the Haslem Sheppard Halifax AFL all toughed it out in heavy conditions on Saturday to pick up three points.

Calder ‘76 maintained their six point lead by beating derby rivals Hebden Royd Red Star for the third time this season but had to pull out all the stops.

In a match well refereed by Phil Higgins, Remi Allen opened the scoring after 20 minutes with what appeared to be a sliced cross over ‘keeper Joe Kidder.

Allen then claimed to have got the final touch 10 minutes before half time when Karl Wooliscroft pumped the ball into the danger zone from long range and the ball ended up in the net.

Red Star’s goal came with around 15 minutes left when a corner was cleared to the edge of the area, Chris Garbutt knocked it low into the box and Dan Lumb flicked home.

The visitors had plenty of possession but failed to create too much while Calder might have added to their tally through Jonny Gibson and Steve Jones, who both went through one-on-one.

Chris Silkstone scored twice and Alex Coburn got the other as Ryburn United made it seven wins out of nine with a 3-1 success away to Mixenden United, for whom Cameron Miller was on target.

Midgley United are third after a hard-fought 3-2 success at Northowram with James Yates striking the winner five minutes from time.

The Rams played down the slope in the first half but Midgley stood firm until Danny King made ground down the right, turned his marker and squared the ball. Archie Griffiths took the ball down on his chest and scored.

Midgley levelled 10 minutes later through Marvin Bonney, after good work by Andrew Butterworth and Ryan Jeffries, and the visitors took the lead 10 minutes after the break when Jeffreys’ throw was helped into his own net by Rams’ stand-in ‘keeper Chris Conroy.

The visitors looked fairly comfortable but Northowram were determined and when ‘keeper James Brookes was unable to clear form a corner, Chris Dunne made it 2-2 in a scramble.

Yates’ low drive into the bottom corner from almost 20 yards was decisive and he then had to go in goal after Brookes dislocated a finger.

Shelf stayed on the heels of the leaders in fourth with a 2-1 win away to Copley United at Shroggs Park.

They had the better chances and went 2-0 up but then had an anxious last 10 minutes after their hosts had got one back.

Harry Talbot gave the visitors the lead from a through ball after half an hour and the visitors had strong appeals for a penalty dismissed in the run up to half time.

Shelf doubled their lead after 70 minutes when substitute Dan Agar cashed in after a poor goal kick and Danny Thornton and Talbot had chances to extend the advantage before Gary Ash struck with Shelf appealing in vain for offside.

Warley were left to rue two missed penalties as they were held 2-2 away to next-to-bottom Greetland at Goldfields.

Both teams struggled to adapt to the windy conditions in the first half hour and very little football was played.

Craig Taylor was tested by Tom Hiley and Adrian Ford wasted a decent chance for the hosts, who shaded the half playing with the slope.

After 40 minutes Carlton Balmer and Brandon Gilling hit the woodwork in quick succession and Greetland cleared long for Danny Dorward to race clear and be hauled down. Ford scored form the spot.

Two minutes later the hosts doubled their advantage as Taylor’s goal kick was flicked on by Ford and Dorward expertly chipped Michael Hickinbottom.

Stern words at the break and the introduction of Josh Prestage galvanised the visitors who penned Greetland back.

Taylor saved well from Balmer and top scorer Hiley smashed a penalty against the bar after a harsh-looking handball decision.

The pressure was relentless and with 20 minutes left Balmer pulled one back with a neat finish.

Warley were then awarded a second spot kick for a more blatant hand ball but Hiley’s weak effort was easily saved by Taylor.

With time running out Prestage pulled Warley level with a superb volley from 18 yards with his weaker left foot.

Only two out of five fixtures went ahead in Division One and they produced home wins for lowly pair Salem and Ryburn United Reserves.

Two goals from Martin Jenkins helped Salem keep Halifax Irish Centre rooted to the bottom in a 5-0 win.

Three players each scored two in Ryburn’s 6-3 success against Allstars - Nathan Hargreaves and Luke Harvey for the hosts and Connor Bell for Allstars.

After a month of inactivity, Illingworth St Mary’s Reserves managed a hard fought 5-2 win over a more experienced Northowram Reserves side in Division Two.

After an even opening, a stunning 30 yard half volley from Josh Langan gave Saints the lead but Chris Gent reacted quickest to a defensive error and made it 1-1.

Just before the break Langan restored the lead from the edge of the box.

The second half was close until Jamie Randall put Brandon Field through to make it 4-1 and then a cross from the right was deflected into his own net by a Rams defender.

A Gent shot smashed against the bar before Northowram got one back in a goal mouth scramble but Ben Heavyside wrapped the game up for Saints when his cross looped over the ‘keeper for his first ever goal.

The section’s other three games produced away wins for Sowerby United Reserves, Shelf FC and Denholme Reserves.

Alex Haggerty scored twice as Sowerby upset leaders St Columbas.

Sam Henderson, Jack Hartley and Sam Collins got the goals as fourth-placed Shelf won 3-1 at Sowerby Bridge Reserves and Neil Roberts netted twice as Denholme won 6-3 at Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves, who had former first team goal ace Adam Watts between the sticks.