Manager Rob Kenworthy was a relieved man after defending Halifax AFL champions Calder ‘76 got off the mark for the season at the second attempt with a 3-2 home win over Mixenden United.
Calder had lost their opener to derby rivals Midgley United by the same score, having led 2-0 with seven minutes to go.
They again showed signs of physical and mental fatigue late in the game against Mixenden, after an unsatisfactory pre-season, but this time hung on.
It was goalless at half time but a double from Remi Allen and a Rick Topham penalty put Calder in control.
Mixenden hit back through Travis Allinson and Cameron Millar but time ran out.
Kenworthy believes Calder may struggle to retain their crown but took heart from their second outing: “It was important we saw it through and we should be sharper now.
Two more of last season’s top teams met at Ripponden Wood and a 1-1 draw between Ryburn United and Midgley United was probably a fair outcome in a game of few chances.
Toby Standring took advantage of the home ‘keeper’s hesitation to give Midgley the lead.
Joe Swallow equalised with a penalty for hand-ball.
Mark Eade bagged a hat-trick as Northowram followed up their opening derby win over Shelf in a 5-2 success over Copley United.
John Booth bagged three in Illingworth St Marys’ 5-0 success over Shelf but both he and Eade were upstaged by Hebden Royd Red Star’s Lewis Cockroft, who hit the target four times in a 7-3 success over Greetland.
Sowerby Bridge head Division One after making it two wins out of two with a 4-2 success at Elland Allstars.
Ryburn United Reserves are second after a 2-2 draw away to Greetland Reserves.
Jake Tait gave them the lead at a front post corner, but veteran skipper Andy Hurcombe levelled from the spot.
Hurcombe had another spot kick saved by Matty Hirst and Ryburn regained the lead from another corner, Ash Shaw finishing. However, Greetland showed spirit and Chris Green headed in Ben Cole’s free kick.
Shelf FC launched their campaign with a fine 4-2 win away to Brighouse Sports while Tom Boyle’s brace helped AFC Crossleys to a 4-3 derby win away to neighbours Holmfield.
Some Division Two sides have already played four games and Ivy House continued their perfect start with a 4-2 success against Plummet Line.
St Columbas had conceded a last minute equaliser on the Wednesday but hit back with a comfortable 4-1 win at home to Sowerby United Reserves.
Vinny O’Shea gave them the lead from close range butDan Howard equalised after a break.
Saints regained the lead when Scott Holmes set up Kutubo Touray and Ben Caldwell extended the lead when his shot hit the post and went in off the unfortunate keeper.
Man of the match Touray got Saints’ fourth late on.