Salford ride the storm to first cup final in Hellawell Shield
MORE awful weather took another big toll on a busy fixture schedule despite several teams making sensible late switches to artificial pitches to get their games in.
The first domestic cup semi-final of the season saw new boys Salford Storm reserves take on Old Stretfordians thirds at the excellent Astley Sports Village in Dukinfield in the Hellawell Shield.
It proved to be a fantastic game that went to the wire of a penalty shoot-out.
Strets took an early lead as Mark Clewes took advantage of a defensive error to fire his team into the lead and after a ding dong game with thrills at either end it ended 3-3 at the end of normal time.
The penalty shoot out went the same way at 3-3 before Storm kept their nerve to win 4-3 to book their place in their first-ever L and C final.
The other cup game to beat the weather saw Chadderton Cott pull off a great giant killing victory as the division B side beat division A leaders Wythenshawe Wanderers with an emphatic 3-0 scoreline.
Midweek had seen Milton’s Lancashire Amateur Cup semi-final postponed but they enjoyed their second Premier division win of the season scoring the only goal of their game with high-flying Waterloo.
The win lifts them off the foot of the table ahead of Trafford United who went down 6-2 at Dom Doyle.
South Manchester also stay in the danger zone as they lost out 3-1 to Mellor.
With runaway leaders Whalley Range having their game postponed reigning champions Rochdalians closed the gap at the top to 11 points with a game in hand as they scored the only goal of their game at Salford Vics.
Division one saw the top two playing each other in a tense local derby which ended with honours even at 2-2 between AFC Oldham and Radclyffe.
The point keeps Radclyffe one point clear of Oldham who have a vital game in hand.
It was also close at Chorltonians who stay in third spot after a nerve-jangling 5-4 win over Urmston Town.
It’s looking good for North Walkden in division two as they closed the gap on leaders Dukinfield Athletic with a hard-earned 3-2 win over Stoconians.
North trail Athletic by four points but have a massive five games in hand.
Hadfield Athletic moved above Stoconians on goal difference after a clinical 4-0 win at Chorltonians reserves and Oldham Vics kept up their recent resurgence with a big 8-1 win at Santos.
Just two games played in division three with Signol Athletic moving to within four points of leaders Chadderton Cott with a game in hand.
Chris Carroll was the shooting star for Athletic with a hat-trick and James Grantham netted the Salford Vics consolation.
No problems either for Abacus Media reserves in a comfortable 5-1 win hosting Aldermere.
League action in division A saw Trafford United reserves have one of their best displays of the season rewarded with a welcome 6-3 win over Salford Storm.
The other game had Waterloo reserves cruising to a 4-1 win at Rochdale Galaxy.
The two league games in division B featured the top two teams who both posted victories. Parrs Wood Celtic had a gritty 2-1 win over AFC Oldham thirds to stay two points clear of Moston Brook thirds with two games in hand as Brook eased to a 5-2 win over Stoconians thirds.
Remarkably three games were played in Division C and the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ had leaders Irlam Tiger Rangers tearing Staly Lions apart 7-1.
Oldham Vics seconds made it a double for the club as they won 5-2 at Moston Brook fourths and mid-table action had Stoconians fourths winning 4-2 over Govan Athletic.
Pics- action from 1 Chorltonians v Urmston (Urmston in yellow), 2 Chorltonians reserves v Hadfield (Hadfield in blue), 3 Signol Athletic v Salford Vics reserves (Vics in green and white), 4 Salford Storm reserves v Old Strets thirds (Strets in red and black)