Halifax AFL: Title within touching distance for Shelf United

Oliver Coates scored a hat-trick for Shelf United
Oliver Coates scored a hat-trick for Shelf United

Shelf United need one win from their final two fixtures to be Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL champions for the first time.

It follows their 6-1 success away to bottom side Calder ‘76 on Saturday, John Lister’s side completing a quick double after a 4-0 win in the home fixture a week earlier.

United can clinch the silverware in Friday’s re-arranged game against Hebden Royd Red Star.

If they fail to win and Shelf FC have their anticipated home success over Calder on the same night, the title could go down to a final match decider between the Shelf clubs on Friday week.

Shelf United’s last two games are both at Trinity Academy with their Lightcliffe Academy pitch unavailable.

It was plain sailing for United at Holmes Park, even though the long grass stifled their passing skills.

Oliver Coates bagged a hat-trick, Ben Grech maintained his fine scoring rate with two more and Billy Grogan came off the bench to net with an excellent chip.

Shelf went 2-0 up before Callum Cushing gave bottom side Calder hope with an excellent strike.

However, Shelf scored a third before half-time and then ran away with it although the sight of key man Luke O’Brien coming off with a pulled muscle late on was not one Lister wanted to see.

United are bidding for a double, having also earned a Halifax FA Cup final appearance against Huddersfield Amateur at the Shay on April 29.

Shelf FC stayed in the hunt with a 10-3 success away to next-to-bottom Ryburn United.

Alex O’Keefe scored four times at Ripponden Wood and Callum Lewis twice. The pair took their season tallies to 31 and 28 goals respectively.

There was also a brace for Sam Henderson while Brad Osbourne and Sam Talbot helped Shelf FC into double figures.

Results - Premier Division: Calder 76 1 (C Cushing) Shelf United 6 (O.Coates 3 B.Greck-Brooksbank 2 B.Grogan), Ryburn United 3 Shelf FC 10 (A.O’Keefe 4 C.Lewis 2 S.Henderson 2 B.Osbourne S.Talbot).

Division Three: AFC Crossleys Res 3 (L.Walker O.Brumby G.Anderton) Warley Rangers 0, Shelf FC Res v Elland United P (Shelf FC could not raise a team).

Eastwood Cup League: Greetland 1 St Columbas 4.

Albert Crabtree Halifax F.A.Cup Semi-final: Huddersfield Amateurs 6 Ealandians 0.

Fixtures - Friday, Premier Division: Shelf FC v Calder 76 (M.Rhodes), Shelf United v Hebden Royd Red Star (R.Gatenby).

Saturday - Division Three: Elland United v Flying Dutchman (I.Childs). Eastwood Cup League: Shelf United Res v St Columbas (S.Hoyle).

Wednesday, May 1 - Division Three: Shelf FC Res v Hebden Royd Red Star Res (C.King).

Friday, May 3 - Premier Division: Shelf United v Shelf FC (R.Stock).