Handsome wins for top two

Football - Shelf v Greetland Ben Grech for Shelf and Charlie Cliffe for Greetland.
Football - Shelf v Greetland Ben Grech for Shelf and Charlie Cliffe for Greetland.

Ryburn United and Shelf United continue to pile up the points at the top of the Halifax AFL’s Premier Division after convincing home wins on Saturday.

Leaders Ryburn had their expected win over next-to-bottom Northowram but their 5-1 success at Ripponden Wood was by no means plain sailing.

It was 1-1 approaching the final 20 minutes and Ryburn only pulled clear after having George Turner dismissed after his clash with the Rams’ Chris Gent.

The Rams started brightly with Matt Calland forcing a save low down from Matthew Hirst and first half chances were scarce.

The only score came after 20 minutes when the lively Brad Waddington was brought down by Jake Baker and Joe Swallow put the home side ahead from the spot.

The second half was more eventful and the Rams equalised after six minutes following sustained pressure.

Calland’s shot was kicked off the line and Baker’s powerful drive was well saved by Hirst but Archie Griffiths struck after Matthew Rushworth’s header had come back off the bar.

The width of the post prevented Billy Farrell from putting the Rams ahead.

Turner got his marching orders after an incident which resulted in a scuffle involving several players.

Ryburn regained the lead with a well-executed cushioned volley from Waddington.

A contentious penalty was converted by Swallow and substitute Christian Silkstone scored the fourth with 15 minutes left when he was quickest to react to a corner.

Silkstone completed the scoring four minutes from the end after James Bunn’s save had foiled Waddington.

Shelf United maintained their fine run on the 3G at Lightcliffe Academy and kept another clean sheet, beating Greetland 4-0.

A big, physical Greetland side stopped Shelf getting into their stride in a scrappy and fairly even first half, Luke O’Brien and David Chappell missing the best chances for the hosts.

Shelf boss John Lister sent on James Waggett and Ben Grech to strengthen the midfield and once Chappell made the breakthrough, Shelf quickly went 3-0 up.

Good play from Grech and Chappell left Billy Grogan with a tap-in and then O’Brien fired into the top of the net from just outside the box.

Greetland, who had keeper Kyle Hancock and wing backs Aaron Dorward and Oliver Bagley in good form, had more possession after that but conceded a fourth when Grech passed the ball into the net after good build-up play.

Midgley United climbed above next weekend’s visitors Sowerby Bridge into third place with a 1-0 home win over Sowerby United.

Youngster Joe Lally came on for his debut in the second half and struck the winner with a fine strike on 72 minutes.

There was little between the sides, who ran themselves to a standstill on a very heavy pitch, with Gareth Swain making some excellent saves for the hosts.

Sowerby had given Midgley a footballing lesson in the first meeting but their rivals edged the first half in the rematch with the wind behind them, Tom Hosker and Greg Spink missing their best chances.

The visitors got on top after the interval but could not beat Swaine and the fresh legs of three substitutes helped the home side steady the ship and take the lead.

Swain saved two long distance strikes and saw a Dan Boyd effort come back off the woodwork as Midgley held on.

Sowerby Bridge dropped two points away to improving bottom side Illingworth St Mary’s at Trinity Academy. Callum Cook and Josh Langan scored for the hosts.