Match abandoned in Halifax AFL

Shelf United v Hebden Royd RS at Lightcliffe Academy. Pictured is Star's James Chadwick
Shelf United v Hebden Royd RS at Lightcliffe Academy. Pictured is Star's James Chadwick

Yesterday’s Halifax AFL top section game between Shelf United and Hebden Royd Red Star at Lightcliffe Academy was abandoned during the second half.

League fixture secretary David Rattigan said he understood it was due to crowd trouble but he was unclear of the circumstances at this stage, having been unable to speak to the referee.

Title contenders Shelf United, in fifth place but with games in hand on all the teams above them, were 1-0 up at half time after a goal from Oliver Coates on 35 minutes.

Star, who are just above Shelf in the table but have played four games more, had the wind behind them on the 3G pitch in the second half and had taken a 2-1 lead through Foysol Ahmed and Jack Gormley before the controversy leading to the abandonment.

It is believed that Shelf won a corner after about 70 minutes and from it the home side thought that Red Star player James Speechley had handled the ball on the line, which then hit the bar and bounced down onto the goal line.

Shelf claimed the ball had hit the roof of the net.

Star’s stand-in keeper Lewis Cockroft cleared long as most of the Shelf players remonstrated with the referee and Gormley made it 3-1, prompting criticism of the official from 20 or so Shelf supporters.

Both sets of players lined up ready for the restart but the referee abandoned the game saying that he feared for his safety.

One Halifax AFL game failed to start when Stainland United were unable to raise a team for the Division Two game against Illingworth St Mary’s Reserves, who have been awarded the points.