Tigers clinch Division Two title

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The action-packed season is drawing to a close and Irlam Tiger Rangers capped a fine end to the season as they held off Hattersley to capture the Division Two title.

Hattersley had led the division for a large portion of the season but a strong finish by Irlam had seen them overtake the leaders and they went into the last game of the season knowing a win over Hattersley would confirm them champions.

Irlam showed their intent as the raced into an early lead with a brace from striker Karl Cassell giving them a 2-0 lead they held on comfortably to the break.

The outstanding Sean Dawson extended the Irlam lead on 60 minutes but Hattersley kept in the frame as they reduced the arrears with a spot kick.

Irlam were not to be denied however and Dawson sealed the win with another clinical finish to set up plenty of celebrations.

The other game in the division saw Wythenshawe Wanderers ease to a 5-1 win at Newton and in midweek there were wins for Eccles United by 3-0 at Mellor and Sale Ams defeated South Manchester 5-1.

With the Division Three title won by Village Manchester, there were just two games and the local derby between, AFC Stockport and Stoconians ended in a 1-1 deadlock and Woodhouses won 3-1 at Abacus Media reserves.

It’s still all to play for in Division A with three teams in the hunt for the title.
Kartel Sports have a slender one-point lead after a close 2-1 win over AFC Oldham reserves keeps them in front with a vital game in hand.

However, North Walkden reserves are still well placed to capitalise on any slip-up after two clinical wins in the space of three days – a convincing 5-0 win at Greater Manchester on Thursday which they followed up by easing to a 3-0 win at basement boys Trafford United reserves.
Lurking just behind the top two are Salford Storm who kept in the hunt with a 2-0 win over in-form Santos.

With the top two slots in Division B decided there was just one game played in the division and it was a real thriller with Spurley Hey winning by the odd goal in nine at Flixton JFC.

Mellor reserves are the Division C champions having completed their fixtures with a 5-0 midweek win at Eccles United reserves but there were plenty of other games and goals galore in the division.

Govan Athletic Development warmed up for their forthcoming Hellawell Shield final with a 6-3 win over Village Manchester reserves, AFC Stockport Warriors also hit six at Salford Storm reserves and Staly Lions enjoyed a 4-0 win at Bury Ams reserves.

Much closer in the other midweek game with Bury Ams beating Urmston Town Vale 1-0.

In Division D, a cobbled together Salford Vics dev team enjoyed a proper end of the season game against Milltown with Vincent Omeje scoring four in a topsy turvy encounter in which both teams performed well going forward, aided by some unconvincing defending that aided the 8-5 win for Vics.

The game was played in a brilliant spirit and with proper shooting boots it could have been 20 all!

The spirit was matched in the other game played in the semi-final of the Harry Jack Cup.

Chadderton Cott made it through to the final winning a top-class thriller with Bury Ams by 4-2 to book their final slot against Signol Athletic.

Presentation Dinner at Edgeley Park marks end of L & C season

The curtain came down on another compelling L & C season with the Presentation Dinner held at the home of National League Champions Stockport County.

It was a fitting conclusion to the league’s 113th season and was a welcome return of the presentation evening after the covid-enforced absence.

There were nearly 200 people in attendance at Edgeley Park, where the league’s successful teams received their trophies and medals to celebrate their outstanding achievements throughout the season in league and cup competition.

Entertainment came in the form of guest speaker Jon ‘The Beast’ Parkin, who provided a colourful glimpse from his career which saw him score 164 goals including 45 in 199 appearances at Championship level for Hull, Stoke, Preston and Cardiff.

The evening was coolly led by MC John Melia with some excellent refreshments followed by a welcome to clubs, players and distinguished guests by league chairman Mike Yates. This was followed with a toast to the L & C by LAL chairman Simon Lord and an outline of the season from the League President Tim Roebuck (Abacus Media FC).

Special awards went to Tameside’s Peter Darby for Referee of the Year, Phil Savill of Bury Ams who was awarded Secretary of the Year, Abacus Media won the Fair Play award, and finally an award for retiring L & C Secretary Brian Davies for his 14 years of stellar service in the role.

Jon Parkin was next up with his enjoyable entertainment and the evening was concluded with the presentation of the trophies to the successful teams beginning with the cup winners who had already received their trophies and medals at the finals.

The league winners were:

Premier Division: De La Salle Reds, runners-up Moston Brook

Division One: Chadderton Cott, runners up Shaw Athletic

Division Two: Irlam Tiger Rangers, runners up Hattersley

Division Three: Village Manchester, runners up Chadderton Park,

Division A: Kartel Sports, runners-up North Walkden reserves,

Division B: Aldermere reserves, runners-up Heaton Mersey,

Division C: Mellor reserves, runners-up Dukinfield Athletic,

Division D: Whalley Range A, runners-up Bury Ams A.

The final trophy was the SE Woollam Trophy for the club with the top points total from their top two teams and it went to Irlam Tigers.

Kartel go ‘Wild’ for the double and Moston Brook add the Hellawell Shield

THE L & C playing season ended with the last two cup finals both hosted superbly by former L & C club West Didsbury and Chorlton, who are now flying high in the North West Counties League..

The first final was for the Whitehead Cup for clubs in Divisions A and B and featured the top two in Division A.

Kartel, who are based at the Jim Evison playing fields in Wilmslow, clinched the league title in their final game overtaking North Walkden reserves and went into the game looking for a league and cup double.

They came flying out of the blocks with a Sam Beckett tap-in opening the scoring on nine minutes.

They kept up the momentum as their outstanding striker Ben Wild doubled the lead on 13 minutes and added another clinical finish on 18 minutes to put Kartel in cruise control.

He completed his hat-trick after being fouled for a spot-kick which he coolly converted to take his total to 44 for the season, and Kartel were 4-0 up at the break.

But all credit to North Walkden as they showed great spirit in the second half with a superb volley from Steven Binns upping their ante.

North kept up the pressure as Binns converted a spot-kick on 78 minutes but Kartel regained control in the last ten minutes to ease their nerves for a 4-2 in an excellent game which was a great advert for the league at this level.

Kartel team is featured image.

Two days later West Didsbury and Chorlton were again superb hosts for the Hellawell Shield final, for teams in Divisions C and D.

It featured Moston Brook fourths and Govan Athletic Development to complete the season’s fixtures.

Moston Brook fielded a mix of very experienced and young players and it proved to be a winning combination as they controlled the game for long periods.

They opened their account with the opening goal on 27 minutes with captain Mark Terris converting a spot kick awarded for handball.

Brook went into the break with a 1-0 lead and got what proved to a decisive second goal on 55 minutes with a powerful strike from Lee Scanlon.

They continued to dominate the play for the rest of the game creating several more chances, which they failed to convert and restricted Govan to a few half-chances to run out as comfortable winners and take the trophy for the third time in the club’s long history.

The game was again a great advert for football at this level played in great spirit and excellently controlled by the match officials.

Brook end their long wait in dramatic Rhodes Cup Final

THE climax of the busy L & C season is ending with the completion of vital league fixtures and five cup finals.

The top cup competition is the Rhodes Cup for teams in the Premier and Division one and Hyde United were excellent hosts for the final featuring De La Salle Reds and Moston Brook, the top two teams in the Premier division.

Moston Brook joined the L & C in 1969 and after finishing the season as runners-up by a point to De La Salle Reds they made it through to their first-ever Rhodes Cup final.

A fine audience of nearly 400 enjoyed a close game between the top two teams in the League which showed the talent and great organisation enjoyed by both of them.

The first half saw De La Salle have a slight edge but there were few chances created with the best one seeing Brook hit the woodwork.

Moston Brook came out with greater purpose after the break and they created several good chances before breaking the deadlock on 65 minutes when the outstanding Jack Ward saw a powerful shot deflected in to open their account.

De La Salle responded well and pressed hard for the rest of the game but were denied by some determined defending to see Brook across the line and set up suitable celebrations as they ended their 53-year wait to win the league’s premier Knock Out Trophy which has been played for over 110 years.

The first final was for the Wray Cup for teams in Divisions two and three and Wythenshawe Amateurs were great hosts for a gripping contest between Baguley Athletic and Hattersley.

An even first half saw defences dominate and few chances were created.

There was much more goalmouth action after the break and both keepers Dan Green (Baguley) and the outstanding Tyler Devlin (Hattersley) produced some fine saves to take the tie goalless into extra time.

The decisive moment came just before the break in extra time when a handball on the line prevented a Hattersley goal to result in a red card and a penalty.

Rob Swallow is a regular scorer for Hattersley and the speedy winger made no mistake from the spot.

Baguley showed great spirit in the dying minutes as they launched plenty of attacks, despite being a man short, but Hattersley held on to win the trophy and celebrate in typical style and they gave due thanks to the match officials and their opponents for making this a dramatic final which was a credit to the league.

Two days later at Wright Robinson Sports College was the final of the Harry Jack Cup – brought in during the season to fill a fixture gap in a depleted Division one.

In action were Division one champions Chadderton Cott and Signol Athletic who last season had played a marathon Wray Cup final that went to over 30 penalties to decide the winners.

Another close encounter saw Cott lead 1-0 at the break before a penalty saw Signol level and taking the tie into extra time.

Signol went into the lead but Cott were not to be denied as they drew level to force the penalty shoot-out but Signol had the last word as they won the shoot-out 5-3.

The final league fixtures were completed to end a stressful season for fixture secretary Malc Kershaw with the main focus on division A where the title was still up for grabs.

Kartel FC went into their final two games with a slight advantage over North Walkden reserves and a mid-week 3-3 deadlock with Salford Storm seeing them needed to win their final game after North had won their midweek game by 7-3 at Stretford Paddock Development. Kartel kept their nerve to beat Salford Vics reserves 2-0 and claim the title by two points.

The other game in the division saw Moston Brook reserves win 3-1 at Salford Storm.

There were three games in Division two and champions Irlam Tiger Rangers lost 3-0 in their local derby with Eccles United and two close games saw Mellor beat Baguley Athletic 4-3 and Bedians were 3-2 winners at Newton.

Just one game in Division B with Flixton JFC beating Greater Manchester reserves 2-1 to move into fourth spot.

Mellor reserves are Division C champions after finishing their programme in the previous week and produced comfortable wins for Salford Storm reserves by 7-2 over Stoconians reserves and Altrincham Hale by 4-0 over Govan Development.

The other game ended in a 2-2 deadlock between Eccles United reserves and Bury Ams reserves.

Just two cup finals remain to compete the season with West Didsbury and Chorlton FC hosting the Whitehead Cup for teams in Divisions A and B between Kartel and North Walkden reserves and the Hellawell Shield for teams in Divisions C and D between Moston Brook fourths and Govan Athetic development.Pics – Celebration for Moston Brook

Brook end their long wait

(with pics)

THE climax of the busy L & C season is ending with the completion of vital league fixtures and five cup finals.

The top cup competition is the Rhodes Cup for teams in the Premier and Division one and Hyde United were excellent hosts for the final featuring De La Salle Reds and Moston Brook, the top two teams in the Premier division.

Moston Brook joined the L & C in 1969 and after finishing the season as runners-up by a point to De La Salle Reds they made it through to their first-ever Rhodes Cup final.

A fine audience of nearly 400 enjoyed a close game between the top two teams in the League which showed the talent and great organisation enjoyed by both of them.

The first half saw De La Salle have a slight edge but there were few chances created with the best one seeing Brook hit the woodwork.

Moston Brook came out with greater purpose after the break and they created several good chances before breaking the deadlock on 65 minutes when the outstanding Jack Ward saw a powerful shot deflected in to open their account.

De La Salle responded well and pressed hard for the rest of the game but were denied by some determined defending to see Brook across the line and set up suitable celebrations as they ended their 53-year wait to win the league’s premier Knock Out Trophy which has been played for over 110 years.

The first final was for the Wray Cup for teams in Divisions two and three and Wythenshawe Amateurs were great hosts for a gripping contest between Baguley Athletic and Hattersley.

An even first half saw defences dominate and few chances were created.

There was much more goalmouth action after the break and both keepers Dan Green (Baguley) and the outstanding Tyler Devlin (Hattersley) produced some fine saves to take the tie goalless into extra time.

The decisive moment came just before the break in extra time when a handball on the line prevented a Hattersley goal to result in a red card and a penalty.

Rob Swallow is a regular scorer for Hattersley and the speedy winger made no mistake from the spot.

Baguley showed great spirit in the dying minutes as they launched plenty of attacks, despite being a man short, but Hattersley held on to win the trophy and celebrate in typical style and they gave due thanks to the match officials and their opponents for making this a dramatic final which was a credit to the league.

Two days later at Wright Robinson Sports College was the final of the Harry Jack Cup – brought in during the season to fill a fixture gap in a depleted Division one.

In action were Division one champions Chadderton Cott and Signol Athletic who last season had played a marathon Wray Cup final that went to over 30 penalties to decide the winners.

Another close encounter saw Cott lead 1-0 at the break before a penalty saw Signol level and taking the tie into extra time.

Signol went into the lead but Cott were not to be denied as they drew level to force the penalty shoot-out but Signol had the last word as they won the shoot-out 5-3.

The final league fixtures were completed to end a stressful season for fixture secretary Malc Kershaw with the main focus on division A where the title was still up for grabs.

Kartel FC went into their final two games with a slight advantage over North Walkden reserves and a mid-week 3-3 deadlock with Salford Storm seeing them needed to win their final game after North had won their midweek game by 7-3 at Stretford Paddock Development. Kartel kept their nerve to beat Salford Vics reserves 2-0 and claim the title by two points.

The other game in the division saw Moston Brook reserves win 3-1 at Salford Storm.

There were three games in Division two and champions Irlam Tiger Rangers lost 3-0 in their local derby with Eccles United and two close games saw Mellor beat Baguley Athletic 4-3 and Bedians were 3-2 winners at Newton.

Just one game in Division B with Flixton JFC beating Greater Manchester reserves 2-1 to move into fourth spot.

Mellor reserves are Division C champions after finishing their programme in the previous week and produced comfortable wins for Salford Storm reserves by 7-2 over Stoconians reserves and Altrincham Hale by 4-0 over Govan Development.

The other game ended in a 2-2 deadlock between Eccles United reserves and Bury Ams reserves.

Just two cup finals remain to compete the season with West Didsbury and Chorlton FC hosting the Whitehead Cup for teams in Divisions A and B between Kartel and North Walkden reserves and the Hellawell Shield for teams in Divisions C and D between Moston Brook fourths and Govan Athetic development.Pics – Celebration for Moston Brook

Brian Stringer RIP

The League is sad to announce the death of former President and League Treasurer Brian Stringer. Brian first appeared for Bradford Parish (now Denton Town) in 1950 and was a permanent member of their very successful first team throughout the fifties, including the winning of the Lancashire Amateur Cup in 1952-53. He became the club secretary for fourteen years from 1963-77 and continued to serve on the club committee thereafter. He was elected League President for the 1988-89 season and then accepted the invitation to manage the League’s finances for the next few years. He was a mainstay of his club for several decades and our thoughts are with his family and friends.

L & C win John Howard Trophy and Village Manchester dramatically secure title

The L & C and the LAL have been playing representative matches against each other since 1921 and that latest one at the Lancashire FA ground in Leyland was a special occasion as the team played for the John Howard Trophy one hundred years on.

John played a great part in the history of the L & C for over 60 years in many roles before his death in 2021 and was a true legend of the L & C and amateur soccer.

It was the first game between the leagues for three years due to Covid restrictions and the L & C put on a great display of team work, attractive football and team spirit to run out worthy 3-1 winners and do themselves, the team managers, their clubs and the league great credit with the quality of their play against spirited opposition from the LAL.

It was even-steven for the first 35 minutes before the LAL broke the deadlock with a great finish from 25 yards.

The L & C upped their game to create plenty of chances and got their reward just before the break with a penalty converted by the outstanding Jack Ward (Moston Brook).

They kept up the momentum in the second half with the seamless introduction of substitutes, who maintained the high standard, and one of them, Sheldon Casey (Shaw Athletic), gave the L & C a deserved lead with a clinical finish after a sublime assist by Ward.

The clinching third goal came on 74 minutes from Connor Berry (Moston Brook) after another assist from the impressive Ward.

More chances were created while at the other end, Jack Bostock (Moston Brook) superbly marshalled the defence as the team ran out deserving winners of the coveted John Howard Trophy.

The clubs providing players for the team were Moston Brook, Stretford Paddock, Abacus Media and Shaw Athletic managed by Dave Haughton and Mike Treanor with all of the players enjoying the experience of playing for the league and providing a great display of their talent.

There was limited but important action in the league programme with many teams now having completed their season.

Both the Premier and Division One teams have completed their league fixtures but sides in the latter are competing for the Harry Jack Cup.

Semi-final action saw Signol Athletic go through to the final with a hard-earned win 2-0 win over Didsbury.

The other game saw Bury Ams enjoy a comfortable 5-1 win over Shaw Athletic.

The battle for the Division Two title is still wide open as Hattersley beat Stretford Paddock reserves 7-4 to keep in touch with leaders Irlam Tiger Rangers.

Baguley Athletic are third after a comfortable 5-0 win at Newton and also shared the spoils 1-1 in a midweek local derby with Wythenshawe Wanderers.

Newton lost a much closer midweek game at Eccles United 1-0.

The other Saturday game saw Mellor win 4-2 at Bedians.

The Division Three title was decided in dramatic fashion as Village Manchester visited Aldermere knowing that they to win by nine clear goals to overtake long-time leaders Chadderton Park.

Village were on fire from the kick-off led by Ed Asaman who netted four times with Chris Telling, Dec Moran, George Mardoukoutas and Jack Hayes also on target to see them leading 8-0 with six minutes left to play.

An over-anxious Village missed two gilt-edged chances before their nerves were settled by a strike from Dan Hodgson and their joyful day was completed as Ed Asaman completed a 10-0 rout to set up wild celebrations.

The other game in the division was a much more serene affair with neither Hooley Bridge Celtic nor Salford Albion able to hit the target.

Kartel SC moved the top of Division A with a midweek 4-1 win over Milnrow Firgrovia but Salford Storm are hot on their heels with a 2-0 derby win at Salford Vics reserves.

Storm showed their intent with an emphatic 7-1 win at Stretford Paddock Development who shared four goals with AFC Oldham reserves in midweek.

Santos got back on the winning trail with a 3-0 derby win at Milton reserves.

They took the lead with a first-half strike from Ben Marshall and Ciaran Finegan and Tom Slater added two more after the break.

Heaton Mersey have enjoyed a great second half to the season in Division B, after losing their serial draw tag, and completed it with a fine 7-1 win at Greater Manchester FC reserves to clinch the runners-up spot behind Aldermere reserves.

The other games saw Hillgate win 4-3 at Parrs Wood Celtic and AFC Oldham thirds enjoyed a 4-1 win at Flixton JFC.

It’s going down to the wire in the race for the Division C title as a big 8-1 win for Mellor reserves at Village Manchester reserves put them a point behind Dukinfield Athletic with a game to play.

It was much closer in the other games in the division with midweek draws between Salford Storm reserves Bury Ams reserves 2-2, and Altrincham Hale and AFC Stockport Warriors 3-3 and Warriors winning their Saturday game by 2-1 in a local derby with Stoconians reserves.

In Division D Bury Ams thirds closed the gap on second-placed Moston Brook fourths with a comfortable 3-0 win over Salford Vics Development.

The final game of the day saw Altrincham Hale reserves draw 1-1 with a gutsy Didsbury reserves.

New Premier Division champions crowned

DE La Salle Reds are the new L & C Premier League champions after notching an emphatic 5-0 win over Abacus Media in their final game of the season.

They went into the fixture with the pressure of knowing only a victory would see them overhaul leaders Moston Brook who had a massive goal difference advantage but, just as last week when the pressure was on to win, De La Salle showed no signs of nerve and cruised to victory.

They now face Moston Brook in the Rhodes Cup final as they look to secure the double.

It promises to be a great cup final at Hyde United on Saturday May 7 kick off at 2.30 pm – the first time that the Rhodes Cup has been on a Saturday afternoon for many years.

Action in Division One was concentrated on the Harry Jack Cup and Didsbury moved into the semi-final after winning their tie with Old Stretfordians on a 5-4 aggregate.

The first leg had seen Didsbury enjoy a 3-1 win and in a great game Strets put in a great effort to win 3-2 with strikes from Kyle O’Glesby and Simon O’Connor (two) but just ran out of steam as Didsbury hung with great defending and they will meet Signol Athletic in the semi-final.

The other game saw Bury Ams take the first step to the last four,where Chadderton Cott await the winner, as they beat Shaw Athletic 3-2 in another tense tie.

Plenty of action in Division Two where midweek games saw Irlam Tiger Rangers win their local derby with Eccles United 2-1 and Sale Amateurs and Baguley Athletic drew 1-1.

Baguley and Sale played the return fixture three days later at the excellent Manchester Health Academy facility and it proved to be a real thriller..

Sale had the bare bones of 11 players and were soon reduced to ten by another injury.

Baguley took advantage with goals from Boyne and Hendley seemingly setting them on the way to a routine win.

But Sale showed terrific spirit as strikes from Asha Brady and Casim Waite-Jackson (two) took them into a remarkable 3-2 lead.

Baguley mounted the pressure as Sale tired and grabbed a point with a late equaliser.

The other games saw Irlam Tiger Rangers move clear at the top with tight 2-1 win over Stretford Paddock reserves and Newton battled hard for a point in a 1-1 deadlock with Eccles United.

There were no games in Division Three but the title race gathered pace in Division A.

Kartel Sports showed their intent as they followed up a 3-1 win over AFC Oldham Reserves with a 4-1 win over Santos, who were on a hot winning streak.

There were no goals at the break but Kartel took the lead on 46 minutes and added two more before Alex Taylor netted the Santos consolation with Kartel adding a late fourth.

Kartel are now three points behind leaders Salford Storm with a game in hand and superior goal difference.

There were goals galore in the other game with Salford Vics reserves beating Trafford United reserves 5-3.

Although the title race in Division B has been decided, there was plenty of action and entertainment.

Spurley Hey played twice in the space of a week, which saw them lose a midweek thriller to Flixton JFC 4-3, before coming up on the right side of an enthralling contest to edge AFC Oldham thirds 6-5.

Flixton’s midweek exertions told, as they went down 3-1 against Hillgate.

It’s still all to play for in Divison C as the top two were in action and both failed to win.

Long-time leaders Dukinfield Athletic lost out 2-1 hosting Eccles United reserves in their final game but second-placed Mellor reserves failed to take full advantage as they shared six goals with Salford Storm reserves.

Mellor are now seven points adrift of Dukinfield with three games in hand.

In midweek Mellor enjoyed a fine 3-1 win over Bury Ams reserves and their title hopes remain in their own hands.

More midweek action saw Govan Athletic Development beat Eccles United reserves 7-2 and Altrincham Hale hammer Stoconians reserves 5-1

The other game in the division was a topsy turvy thriller as Bury Ams reserves won 6-5 at Village Manchester reserves.

In Division D the main game was the Hellawell Shield semi-final between Moston Brook fourths and Altrincham Hale reserves.

Brook emerged with a 3-1 win with goals from Ross, Mills and Roberts topping the strike from Altrincham Hale from Mark Turnbull to book their final slot against Govan Athletic Development at West Didsbury and Chorlton on Thursday May 12.

League action saw Milltown beat AFC Oldham fourths 5-4 to lift themselves into fourth spot.

Title races going down to the wire

THERE were some vital matches involving races for divisional titles and cup semi-finals on an exciting day as the season reaches a dramatic finale.

The Premier Division title is now in the hands of De La Salle Reds as a hard-earned 2-0 derby win over Salford Vics moved them to within two points of leaders Moston Brook.

A win in their final game against Abacus Media will secure the title for De La Salle and they will be looking to make it a double as they take on Moston Brook in the Rhodes Cup final at Hyde United on Saturday May 7.

The other game in the Premier division saw Rochdalians beat Abacus Media 2-0 in another local derby.

The Division One league programme was completed at Irlam Tigers who lost out 2-1 to Shaw Athletic.

In the Harry Jack Cup for teams in Division One, Didsbury and Old Stretfordians battled out a close contest with the smart finishing from Didsbury led by a double from the predatory Aaron Rodger taking them to a 4-1 win.

Division Two is far from decided especially with night games still in the mix. Long-time leaders Hattersley have seen their lead reduced and following teams have games in hand.

In midweek Eccles United eased to a 5-1 win over South Manchester and the only Saturday league game saw Stretford Paddock reserves cruising to a 4-1 win over Sale Ams.

The big game between sides in this division came in the Wray Cup semi-final between Baguley Athletic and Eccles United who had both enjoyed successful campaigns in the Manchester Amateur Cup.

Baguley always had the edge and clinical finishing by Ben Boyne (two) and Lee Hendley took them through to the final where they will play Hattersley at Wythenshawe Ams on May 3.

In Division Three it is all down to the final game of the season between Village Manchester and Aldermere but only a huge win for Village can see them overtake leaders Chadderton Park on goal difference.

Village kept in the race with a 3-1 win at Woodhouses and the other game in the division saw Stoconians beat Elton Lib Hargreaves 3-1 to keep up their recent run of good form.

With North Walkden reserves in Whitehead Cup action, Salford Storm took advantage with a 5-2 win over Milnrow Firgrovia moving them a point clear at the top of Division A with a game in hand.

Milton reserves also beat Stretford Paddock Development 5-2 but the other games were close affairs.

Santos kept up their hot streak of form with a 20th-minute strike from Ryan McConlie securing a 1-0 win over Trafford United reserves.

Great Manchester FC drew 1-1 with AFC Oldham reserves and Moston Brook reserves shared four goals with Kartel Sports who can still have a big say in the title race.

North Walkden reserves still have a league and cup double firmly in their sights as they cruised into the Whitehead Cup final with a 4-0 semi win over Hillgate featuring goals from Mark Trent, Aiden Hassall and Steve Binns.

They will play Kartel in the final at West Didsbury and Chorlton on May 10.

In Division B, champions Aldermere reserves completed their superb season with a 2-2 derby draw against Old Strets reserves.

Heaton Mersey have enjoyed a great second half to their season  and they virtually confirmed their runners-up berth with a convincing 6-2 win at AFC Oldham reserves and Flixton JFC also hit six with a 6-3 win at Oldham Saints.

It’s still all to play for in Division C with Mellor reserves chasing down long-time leaders Dukinfield Athletic.

A big 8-2 win over Urmston Town Vale moved Mellor to within 11 points of Dukinfield with games in hand.

The other league games saw Eccles United reserves beat AFC Stockport Warriors 2-0 and Altrincham Hale had an emphatic 5-1 win over Bury Ams reserves.

Midweek action had Salford Storm reserves sharing eight goals with Eccles United reserves and Bury Ams reserves easing to a 2-0 win over Village Manchester reserves.

In the Hellawell Shield semi-final it went right to the death as Govan Athletic Development scored the only goal of their game against Bury Ams A.

They await the result of the other semi between Moston Brook fourths and Altrincham Hale reserves to see who they will play at West Didsbury and Chorlton on May 12.

It was all to play for in Division D as leaders Whalley Range hosted Moston Brook fourths.

The star of the show in a hard-fought contest was Range’s legendary striker Nick Doyle who bagged a hat-trick to see his team across the line with Mark Terris providing the Brook consolation.

The only other game in the division saw a rare midweek goalless blank between Irlam Tigers A and Salford Vics Development.

Premier Division still in De La Salle hands

THERE was a full mix of cup and league games with teams again able to enjoy fine weather and dry pitches with plenty to play for across the eight divisions.

In the Premier Division there was just one game affecting the title race with Stretford Paddock completing their league programme with a big 8-0 win at Manchester Polonia to move into second place behind Moston Brook, who have also finished their league programme.

The race now depends on the final two games of De La Salle Reds who if they win them can overhaul Moston Brook and take the title.

The other two games in the division saw Abacus Media win 5-1 hosting Salford Vics and North Walkden eased to a 4-2 win at Rochdalians.

There was the first game in the new Harry Jack Cup for teams in the Division One with group games followed by semi-finals and final.

Signol Athletic showed their intent with a 4-1 win over Trafford United.

League action produced the same score for Shaw Athletic at Didsbury with Jordan Bates bagging the Didsbury consolation.

In the Wray Cup, there were two close encounters which both ended in 2-0 wins for Division Two leaders Hattersley against Sale Ams and Eccles United against Stoconians.

Plenty of goals in the Division Two league fixtures with Newton enjoying their biggest win of the season by 8-2 over South Manchester and Baguley Athletic who were in seventh heaven after accounting for Stretford Paddock reserves by 7-0.

Just one game in Division Three and a crushing 10-0 win for AFC Stockport at Aldermere saw them move into second place on goal difference over non-playing Village Manchester.

The top two in Division A were not in action and Salford Vics reserves missed a chance to overtake second placed Salford Storm as they were beaten 4-2 at Milton reserves.

The other games had Stretford Paddock Development enjoying a 6-0 romp over Trafford United reserves while Moston Brook reserves had to graft hard for a 2-1 at Milnrow Firgrovia.

No games for the leading teams in Division B but there were three tight and entertaining tussles with a thrilling local derby seeing Old Stretfordians reserves sharing four goals with Flixton JFC.

Greater Manchester reserves edged a 3-2 win over AFC Oldham thirds and the same scoreline was repeated by Parrs Wood Celtic hosting Spurley Hey.

The Hellawell Shield match between Bury Ams thirds and Salford Storm produced an excellent game with Bury providing a sharp cutting edge in a 5-1 win.

In Division C, Dukinfield Athletic still have a big lead but Mellor reserves, with four games in hand, closed the gap to 11 points after an efficient 3-0 win over Staly Lions.

A foot-of-the table game saw Stoconians reserves move out of the basement slot with a close 3-2 win at Chadderton Park reserves.

It was close at Village Manchester reserves with visiting Eccles United reserves winning 2-0 in an excellent game with plenty of free-flowing football.

The other game was a great advert for the league with Govan Athletic Development and Altrincham Hale playing their game with great sporting attitude, total respect and some neat football with doubles from Sam Drinkwater and Sam Caine giving Altrincham Hale a 4-0 win.

Finally in Division D, Moston Brook fourths kept their hopes of a league and cup double burning with a 6-0 win over Bury Ams reserves in the Hellawell Shield and plenty of goals also from Milltown as they won their league game against Didsbury reserves by 7-2.

Eccles United suffer cup heartache

The L & C fixtures opened on Friday night – the Manchester Amateur Cup trophy eluded Eccles United who were unlucky against AFC Middleton, suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat. In the second half in particular Eccles had several good chances and near misses, but it wasn’t to be, Middleton’s early goal just got them through.

In the Wray Cup Sale Amateurs won by 3-2 over Irlam Tiger Rangers, who had Karl Cassell and Jarrod Cassell on the scoresheet. Sale’s goals were from Duane Cook, and substitute William Sarwar scoring twice, taking them through to the semi-final.

Kartel Sports are in the final of the Whitehead Cup after their semi-final victory over Milton Reserves. After an even opening 15 minutes, Kartel began making chances through fast attacking play, Ben Wild with 2 and Matt O’Shea building a commanding 3-0 lead by half time. Sub Tom Buckley pulled one back for Milton early in the second period, but immediately Wild broke from the halfway line and completed his hat-trick with a shot into the corner. Phil Noon reduced the arrears with a penalty, but the late efforts were not enough to dislodge a determined Kartel. Also, in the Whitehead Cup an 85th minute winner at Heaton Mersey saw North Walkden reserves through to meet Hillgate in the semi-final.

The Hellawell Shield quarter final tie saw Altrincham Hale reserves claim a place in the semi-final with a narrow 5-4 victory over Eccles United reserves,

In the Premier Division, undefeated De La Salle registered what could be their most significant victory of the campaign, edging out Rochdalians 3-2, a result that keeps the destination of the title in their hands with two games remaining.

Nothing other than a win would have sufficed as leaders Moston Brook First trounced Manchester Polonia 10-2. They are five points clear after completing their league programme, but De La Salle have two games remaining and know maximum points will secure silverware.

Stretford Paddock FC First Team are certain to finish in the top three after an encouraging first season in the top flight. They rounded off their home fixtures with a scintillating 8-3 win over Abacus Media. Despite going behind, they never looked in doubt and went into the break 3-1 up, before running away with the game thanks, in no small part to a Kieron Molloy hat-trick.

Second-place Irlam Tiger FC saw their Division One title hopes go up in smoke after losing 3-1 at home to Bury Amateur AFC Firsts. Shaw Athletic gave themselves a chance of finishing above Signol Athletic JFC Firstsafter a hard-fought 3-2 win that puts their vanquished opponents within touching distance. A Warren Collier double helped Old Stretfordians First round off a challenging campaign with a convincing 4-1 win over Didsbury FC Firsts.

Division Two leaders Hattersley Firsts maintained their title hopes with a vital 4-3 victory over South Manchester Firsts, thanks to a Rob Swallow brace, along with strikes from Declan Hince and Matthew Soares. They are 10 points clear of Irlam Tiger Rangers but, having played five more games, will be relying on results elsewhere.

Third-place Wythenshawe Wanderers were defeated 4-1 by Baguley Athletic, who now look well set to leapfrog their opponents, with games in hand to accrue the points. The big battle at the bottom saw Newton leapfrog Bedians AFC thanks to a 1-0 win that puts the defeated side at real risk of the drop, having played four games more than their victorious opponents who are two points ahead. In the division’s other game, Mellor Firsts ran out comfortable 5-2 winners at Stretford Paddock FC reserves.

In Division Three, Village Manchester FC Firsts notched four goals in a comfortable 4-1 away win over Hooley Bridge Celtic, a result matched by Stoconians Firsts, who went to bottom club Aldermere AFC Firsts and won by the same score. Leaders Chadderton Park Sports Club won even more emphatically with a pulverising 8-1 away win at Abacus Media Reserves which saw Kade Thomas Howarth net five of the goals.

The other game in the division this weekend also saw nine goals scored, and more away supremacy, as Salford Albion FC ran out 6-3 winners over Woodhouses Juniors FC.

It’s still all to play for in Division A, with the top five separated by six points. Leaders North Walkden reserves were in cup action and two of the chasing pack took advantage. Salford Storm FC ran out 4-1 winners at Moston Brook reserves thanks to a brace in each half. George Law scored two of the goals – one in each half – with Joe McGee and Jack McGee both on the scoresheet. They are two points behind the leaders with two games in hand.

Salford Victoria reserves are on the same points as Salford Storm, albeit having played three more games. But they did their chances no harm with a pulsating 7-5 win over Greater Manchester FC that saw Robert Payne notch an important treble. It’s looking bleak for basement boys Trafford United seconds, who lost their 16th game of the season, going down 3-0 to AFC Oldham Seconds.

Division B champions Aldermere AFC reserves continued to be professional despite having an unassailable lead at the summit, edging out Flixton Juniors Firsts 3-2. Greater Manchester FC Seconds made it 10 wins for the season with a 4-1 win over Hillgate Firsts and could still finish second in the division. Old Stretfordians Seconds are a place further back after easing past Spurley Hey Firsts 3-0.

Mellor Reserves kept their faint Division C title hopes alive with a routine 2-0 win over AFC Stockport Warriors, taking full advantage of a rare slip from runaway leaders Dukinfield Athletic who were held to a 1-1 draw by Village Manchester FC Seconds. Mellor reserves have six games in hand but the leaders hold a daunting 17-point lead. It is still in Mellor’s hands though, as winning all games would secure the league. Elsewhere in the division, Salford Storm FC reserves took all three points after Sam Wells helped them to a 2-1 win over Govan Athletic Development.

Whalley Range (Manchester) A Team have the destination of Division D in their own hands with a game remaining. Nicholas Doyle’s hat-trick helped them to a 4-1 win at AFC Oldham Fourths, a result that maintains their three-point lead at the summit. Moston Brook Fourths kept the pressure on though with a resounding 5-2 win at Didsbury reserves and are ready to pounce going into the final round of the season. A point for the leaders will be enough to secure glory.

The final game in the division provided plenty of entertainment, with Mellor Development and Irlam Tiger A sharing six goals in an eventful afternoon.