SUN Inn have hit top spot in Division One of the Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League – with Rob Malone continuing his phenomenal scoring record in a 5-2 defeat of Elland Sports Reserves, writes Andy Dawson.
In rain-soaked conditions that saw a spate of postponements across the region, it was Sun who were bogged down early in the match as Jake Driver was quickest to the ball to fire Elland into a lead.
It was man of the moment Malone who made sure that it was level at the break however – the prolific marksman netting from the spot to restore parity.
Into the second period and another from the spot saw Malone give the Rastrick side the lead for the first time, before Wayne Collins and Ben Timson netted to put good distance between their side and their opponents.
Elland grabbed one back, but Malone secured another hat trick with five minutes remaining to make sure that Sun rise to the pinnacle of the table for the first time.
Malone’s hat-trick took him to an incredible 28 goals in just 11 appearances this season, more individual goals than two of Sun’s divisional rivals have netted as a team this campaign.
In the only other local game to beat the weather, Old Pond picked up a third successive win with a comfortable home victory against Queens Head.
The Hove Edge side made light of the boggy conditions, passing the ball well using the wider areas where the grassier stretches remained.
An early lead was taken via a cracking strike for Ryan Richardson who fired home his first, goal of the season.
Michael Barlow combined with Ricky Walker who in turn fed midfielder Richardson who did the rest.
The second was not long in coming, and was created by the tenacity of midfield workhorse Michael Martin.
He wrestled possession and sent Steve Galloway through on goal, with the experienced front man providing a calm finish to double Pond’s advantage.
Within 25 minutes the home side were three to the good.
Ben Walker strode from centre half and played a defence splitting pass to Tom Carter who fired home through keeper Craig Chewy’s legs.
Queens had little play in the Pond half, but did grab a lifeline right on half time when Anthony Fenwick was sent through on goal and finished well.
The goal proved a false dawn however as Pond reasserted their superiority after the break.
Carter turned provider and fed captain, Paul Taylor, who took his time before swivelling in the penalty area and smashing home a left foot shot into the corner of the net.
Pond’s fourth came once more from the energy in midfield of Martin, who again won possession before playing in Taylor. The Pond captain fed Galloway who fired home his second and Pond’s fifth.
Galloway richly deserved a hat trick for a masterclass of target man play at the sharp end for Pond and gratefully latched on to a poor clearance from the Queens defence before rolling the ball home through the mud from distance.
Pond player-manager Richard Dawson was delighted with his side’s ability to play so much good football in awful conditions and reserved praise for Martin whose hard work in the sodden central areas provided the basis for so many Pond attacks.
Forthcoming fixtures, Sunday, December 18 - Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League Division One (11amkick off): Ovenden Amateurs v Old Pond (Savile Park 4), Thornhill Briggs v Halifax Rangers (Hipp & Light High Sch.), Waiters Arms v Sun Inn (Greetland Community Centre).
Division Two (11am kick off): Top Club v The Vine Reserves (Lane Head No.1), Triangle v Rastrick Bowling Club (Savile Pk 7).