Calderdale pair Halifax Irish and Ovenden WR had contrasting fortunes when they kicked off their West Riding County Amateur League seasons on Saturday.
Irish surged to a 5-0 win at Lower Hopton with four goals from Eli Hay and one from Anthony Brown.
They were 3-0 up at the break and hopes will be high that they can improve on last season’s lowly finishing position in the Premier.
Prolific trophy winners Ovenden lost 1-0 at Lepton Highlanders and have lost several of last season’s squad, including Robbie Graham and Jordan Coduri to Emley AFC and Mathew Jones, Hayden Kerris and Carlton Pownall to arch rivals Irish.
John Booth is playing in the Halifax AFL Division One for Illingworth St Mary’s, Glynn Beale has moved to Thornton United in the WRCAL Division Two and Steve Senior and Matty Devlin were also absent at the weekend.
Ovenden have recruited George Bamford from Midgley United and Tom and Josh Hiley from the now defunct Stump Cross and Bamford had the ball in the net during the first half on Saturday but was ruled offside.
Both sides had plenty of chances in the opening 45 minutes and Chris Moroney made a couple of excellent saves. Steve Fullard and Andy Bailey both missed opportunities to break the deadlock.
Ovenden’s much changed side struggled to find any rhythm and Josh Hiley cleared off the line to keep it goalless at half time.
Promoted Lepton threatened more and James Keenan found a way past Moroney to settle the game on 70 minutes, after he had come off the bench.
Irish travel to Golcar United on Wednesday while Ovenden host Lower Hopton at Natty Lane, Illingworth.