WITH the arrival of March the weather at last relented and allowed a full fixture list to take place.
The league’s amazing fixture secretary Mal Kershaw was delighted with this and has now accomplished a minor miracle of planning the fixtures until the end of the season.
Rhodes Cup sponsored by GP Property Management
The premier cup competition for the Rhodes Cup saw three fixtures played and two teams reached the semi-finals.
Chadderton Cott, leaders of Division Three, pulled off the shock result of the day as they blunted free-scoring North Walkden and secured an impressive 2-0 win.
The other two ties both involved Premier Division clubs and there were routine wins for reigning champions Rochdalians who cruised to a 6-1 win against Mellor and high-flying Waterloo won 4-1 at South Manchester to make the last four.
The Whitehead Cup semi-final between Moston Brook reserves and Chadderton Cott reserves went into a penalty shoot-out after ending locked at 1-1 at full-time.
Both goals came in the first half with Matt Kelly drawing Brook level just before the break.
The penalty shoot was won 4-2 by Brook who now await the winners of the semi-final between Salford Storm and Parrs Wood Celtic.
The other cup match was in the Hellawell Shield and Hillgate made it through to the last four with a 3-1 win over Altrincham Hale where they will play Moston Brook thirds in the semi-final.
Premier Division action was limited to just three games and runaway leaders Whalley Range are within one win of clinching the title after winning 6-3 at Abacus Media.
The other two games saw comfortable wins for High Lane by 5-1 over Lancashire Cup semi-finalists Milton and Dom Doyle who won 6-3 at Trafford United.
It’s still all to play for in Division One as the top two teams both posted victories.
AFC Oldham stay top by a point with a 3-1 win at Urmston Town but Radclyffe are on their shirt tails as they cruised to a 4-0 win over Newton.
Irlam Tigers, with a huge backlog of games in hand, remain in the mix as they won 5-1 at Signol Athletic OB and the other game had Manchester Polonia beating Chorltonians 2-0.
The top game in Division Two saw the top two teams in action and Hadfield Athletic kept in the title hunt beating leaders Dukinfield Athletic 2-0 to move to within three points of Dukky with five games in hand.
Stoconians also have games in hand but they dropped two vital points as they shared six goals with Mellor Reserves.
South Manchester reserves won 4-1 at Santos and the game between Bedians and Oldham Vics was abandoned with Bedians leading 5-3 with the Vics goals coming from Drew Bowyer, Arron McKenna and Jacob Davies.
Division Three leaders Chadderton Cott were in cup action but the chasing pack were unable to make much of a dent in their lead.
Second-placed Signol Athletic JFC were held 2-2 by basement team Milton reserves and Chadderton Park went down 3-2 at Hooley Bridge Celtic.
Village Manchester shared four goals with Elton Lib Hargreaves and there were 5-2 wins for Abacus Media reserves at Aldermere and Stoconians reserves hosting Denton Town reserves.
Division A saw Mellor thirds take over top spot from AFC Stockport by a point.
Mellor had a big 8-0 win at Dukinfield Athletic reserves as AFC Stockport were held to a 2-2 draw by Trafford United reserves.
Old Stretfordians reserves’ title hopes took a dip as they drew 2-2 with Rochdale Galaxy and now just two points separate the top four teams in the division.
The other game produced a comfortable 5-0 win for Salford Storm at AFC Oldham reserves.
Plenty of action in Division B and leaders Parrs Wood Celtic stay four points clear with a 4-1 win over Stoconians thirds.
AFC Oldham thirds moved up into third spot with a 6-2 cruise at Chorltonians Athletic and Bury Ams reserves were 4-2 victors over Heaton Mersey.
It was close in the other games with Flixton JFC winning their local derby with Old Strets thirds with the only goal of the game and there was1-1 draw between Moston Brook thirds and Spurley Hey reserves.
Irlam Tiger Rangers roared ten points clear in Division C as they won their local derby at Salford Storm reserves by 5-1.
Chadderton Park reserves lost ground on the leaders with a 2-0 reverse hosting AFC Stockport Warriors.
Stoconians fourths and Staly Lions shared six goals in an entertaining encounter and Whalley Range seconds could only fire blanks as they lost out 2-0 hosting Oldhan Vics reserves.