AFTER a mammoth spell of inactivity the Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League finally kicked into life, with some understandably sluggish starts writes Andy Dawson.
Division One leaders Sun Inn slumped to a shock 3-0 interval deficit against lowly Queens Head.
Lee Nicholson’s side did not take long to begin a comeback however and regained their form to storm ahead via goals from Ben Timson (2), Rob Malone and an own goal.
The Halifax home side drew level to again, but the Rastrickians had one last sting in the tail as Tom Gorringe proved the match winner with a late strike.
Thornhill Briggs, without a match since November 20, had more reason to start off slowly against Elland Sports Reserves.
Glen Hall’s side were two goals down against their fellow promoted side from last season, but like Sun Inn fought back. Tom Wright and Jack Barker netted to rescue a point that preserves their comfortable mid table stance.
Old Pond suffered no such hangover, as they started very much on the front foot against Hollins Holme.
Michael Barlow was man of the match for Pond with an energetic display on the right.
His ball to the back post was expertly half-volleyed home by Pond captain Paul Taylor.
The lead was doubled before half-time. Barlow sent Tom Carter towards goal and the Hove Edge player robbed keeper Steven Butterworth before firing home.
The Hebden Bridge home side improved in the second period without hugely testing Ben Briggs in the Pond net, but stole a lifeline through a tremendous free kick from centre half Joe Gibson.
Then Barlow reacted quickest to a parried Steve Galloway shot and slotted home from an acute angle.
A late Simon Raphael goal meant that Pond had to defend but a fourth win on the bounce was achieved.
In Division Two, Kevin O’Brien also pointed to the enforced eight week sabbatical for Rastrick Bowling Club’s performance against Greetland Goldstars, although still enthused that his side should have gathered all three points on offer.
A long range screamer from Mark Holroyd and a penalty from Frank Cullen suggested that the local side were in line to gather maximum points, but O’Brien’s charges conceded two soft goals to allow the visitors a share of the spoils. Former player Craig Heppenstall was also in inspired form in goals for Greetland and helped foil his former team-mates with a string of fine saves.
The result allowed David Whiteley’s Triangle outfit to leap-frog their former Brighouse SFL foes into second place, as they started the year brightly with a solid 3-2 triumph over fifth placed Stubbing Wharf.
Top Club took to the field against their nearest rivals according to the league tables, King Cross CB & AC Reserves and so perhaps unsurprisingly the evenly matched opponents shared four goals to both still remain neck and neck on points.
Fixtures, (all 11am kick-offs), Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League – Division One: Old Pond v Cock & Bottle (Lane Head); Ovenden Amateurs v Sun Inn (Savile Park); Thornhill Briggs v Waiters Arms (Hipp & Light HS).
Division Two: Rastrick Bowling Club v Ryburn United (Carr Green Rec); The Vine Reserves v Top Club (Savile Park); Triangle v Royd Club FC (Savile Park).