Shelf stun champions Ryburn

Bill Grogan (on ball in red) scored on his Shelf return
Bill Grogan (on ball in red) scored on his Shelf return

Champion Ryburn United suffered a shock 4-2 reverse away to promoted Shelf United in the opening night of action in the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL’s top flight.

Two goals from Oliver Coates and others from Mark Hindle and Billy Grogan - back from Liversedge - gave Steve Goodwin’s side a dream return to the Premier Division after an absence of one season.

News of Ryburn’s defeat was good news for Stump Cross, who finished only one point behind United last season but did retain the Challenge Cup.

Stump were 3-2 home winners over Greetland on Friday in the battle of last term’s second and third-placed finishers.

Adam Barlow struck a hat-trick for Stump and Jon Crowther got both the visitors’ goals.

Midgley United shook off the absence of some key men with long-term injuries to beat hosts Hebden Royd Red Star 4-0 in a Calder Valley derby.

George Bamford struck twice and Calum Rodgers and Andrew Butterworth also netted for the 2012-2013 champions.

Two goals from Adam Goldthorpe helped Elland United win 3-2 away to Sowerby United.

Northowram, promoted along with Shelf, were beaten 7-5 by Copley United in their home opener.

They led 4-2 at one stage but the dismissal of James Fearnley for an over-the-top tackle late on contributed to a disappointing outcome for the hosts.

Mark Eade scored twice - including his 100th goal for the Rams - but Copley finished the stronger down the slope in an eight-goal second half.

Prolific Gary Ash bagged three for Copley and Nathan Mackie got two.

Most Division One sides played last Wednesday and on Saturday.

Holmfield, AFC Crossleys and Mixenden United already have a three point advantage over the rest after two wins apiece.

Holmfield lead on goal difference after two home wins - an opening 2-1 win over a Sowerby Bridge side also relegated from the top flight and an 8-2 thrashing of Salem.

Damian Randall has scored four times but has one fewer than AFC Crossleys’ Tom Boyle, who was to the fore in wins by 6-4 and 6-3 at home to Denholme United and Calder ‘76 Reserves respectively.

Another five-goal man is Mixenden’s Carl Woodhouse, whose side have accounted for Salem by 3-2 and Elland Allstars by 5-2.

Brighouse Sports, last year’s champions of the now-defunct third division, opened their Division Two campaign with an 8-0 thrashing of Salem Reserves.

However, the team to beat in this section may be newcomers Illingworth St Mary’s, who have players proven at a higher standard.

They won their opener by 5-1 away to Denholme United Reserves on Friday with Jake Griffin scoring twice.