Old Boys show no mercy

Brighouse OB' James Fletcher
Brighouse OB' James Fletcher

From the whistle Old Boys’ higher tempo play and creative movement was too much for the Irish who struggled to compete with the team from the West Yorkshire League.

Like their match against Halifax Athletic two weeks ago, golden chances were created but not taken, although unlike that match Old Boys did score in the first half to take the lead.

With the centre midfield partnership of the skilful James Fletcher and the ubiquitous Jimmy Cummings dominating possession it was only a matter of time before the Irish defence would be breached.

A ball played to the left wing found the ebullient Calvin Lee, who dribbled his way past the helpless left back and delivered a pinpoint cross, fully 30 yards into the
Irish penalty area and there was Rob Kenny to precisely place the ball past the rooted keeper.

Almost immediately and totally against the run of play Irish equalised when a poor clearance, a lucky break of the ball and an astute finish went past Jason Hibbert, up until then a spectator in the home team goal.

But inevitably the Old Boys’ pressure did bear fruit and Andy Burton received the ball from Fletcher and placed it in the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Then the third goal; man of the match Tom Gorringe deceived two defenders by shielding the ball followed by a quick turn and set off galloping towards the Irish goal.

Taken wide by a defender he selflessly passed the ball to Lee in the six yard box who smashed the ball into the net.

More of the same was demanded from the Brighouse side’s management team. The same pattern developed with Old Boys pushing forward with rare sporadic attacks by the away team.

Cummings was brought down by an exhausted defenders attempt to stem the flow, the resulting penalty powered into the right hand corner by the exuberant Fletcher.

More followed as Old Boys piled on the pressure, once again Cummings heavily involved.

The fifth came from a through ball by Cummings to Kenny and the final goal was a mirror image with Cummings put through, this time hat trick hero Kenny placing the ball past the despairing keeper. In between these goals Irish scored a consolation goal.

Brighouse Old Boys 6

Halifax Irish Centre 2

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THREE-one down with only minutes of normal time remaining it looked like it was another tale of frustration for the Old Boys Reserves.

But credit to the team they kept playing and pushing forward and scoring two goals, one five minutes from time and the equaliser in the dying seconds to take the game into extra time and ultimately won the game comfortably.

Against their Wakefield Division One opponents the visitors controlled the game with Damian Place on his road to recovery after injury and Adam Williams bossing the midfield, but the game was being played at a steady pace so despite all their possession the Old Boys in the build ups were to slow, allowing the home side to get men back. Prince of Wales were always dangerous on the counter attack and they grabbed the lead after 25 minutes with a ball over the top catching the Old Boys defence square the home forward bursting through giving ‘keeper Gareth Betts no chance.

Old Boys hit back strongly with wingers Graeme Tait and Dan Leahy making inroads down the flanks, and it was the former’s cross which found Lee Burgess on the edge of the area but his powerful drive went inches wide. The equaliser came after 40 minutes when Leahy’s corner was powerfully turned home by Vaughan Wagstaffe to make it 1-1 at half time.

The game followed the pattern of the first half with Steve Ashford and Burgess both going close, but it was all Old Boys and it seemed only a matter of time before they would score. Instead, the home side stunned them on 65 minutes with two goals in quick succession.

Substitutes Mark Barlow and Gary Nicholson were introduced as the Old Boys upped the tempo, and with five minutes remaining their persistence paid off asTait’s cross was headed home by Wagstaffe. There were only seconds remaining after a sustained period of attacking play when Wagstaffe’s pass found Adam Williams who forced the ball over the line to make it 3-3 and take the game to extra time.

Brighouse took a deserved lead mid way through the first period when a Lee Williams through ball was flicked on by Barlow to the ever alert Burgess and his crisp shot found the corner of the net.

Old Boys didn’t take their foot off the gas and when Adam Williams he was hauled down in the box, and the same player got up to score expertly from the spot.

The home side pushed men forward in numbers and with three minutes remaining they ensured a nervy finish when they made it 5-4, but Burgess scored his second and restored the two goal advantage sending the visitors through to the next round.

Prince Of Wales Ossett 4

Brighouse Old Boys Res 6 (AET 3-3 after 90mins)

West Riding Challenge Trophy