Cup competitions heading for a dramatic finish

MOST teams have now completed two games in their respective cup groups and on a day of great weather and good playing surfaces there were goals galore and many exciting and close games.

All teams are aiming to reach the next stage of the competition by finishing in the top two in their group and it promises to be a thrilling and dramatic finale to the group games in a couple of weeks’ time.

The Rhodes Cup, competed for by teams in the Premier and Division One, has seen some great determination by teams in the latter division against those in the former. 

Group B division leaders Moston Brook are flying high after a convincing 5-2 win at Hadfield to lead the group ahead on goal difference from another Division One side De la Salle who won by the odd goal in five at AFC Oldham.

Didsbury were also delighted with a point in a 2-2 draw at Lancashire Cup finalists Milton, with the predatory Aaron Rodger bagging a brace for Didsbury to keep them well into the mix.

In Group C, Rhodes Cup holders Salford Vics were leading 2-0 against high-flying Mellor with strikes from Matty Bailey and Mickey Lawler when a freak injury to a Mellor player caused the game to be abandoned and will now be replayed.

Leading the group are Division One side Urmston Town who were too hot for Radclyffe to handle in an 8-3 demolition.

South Manchester are in second spot with a hard-earned point in a 2-2 draw at Dukinfield Athletic.

It’s tight at the top of Group D with North Walkden, again from Division One, sharing top spot with High Lane after a convincing 3-0 win at Stretford Paddock.

Abacus Media hit top form in a 5-2 win at Signol OB and High Lane shared four goals with Manchester Polonia.

Group A has seen the fewest number of games played and the only game of the weekend saw Irlam Tigers win 5-2 over Bury Ams to stay level on points with three other teams.

In the Wray Cup for teams in Division Two and Three, Wythenshawe Wanderers kept up their bright start in Group A with comfortable 6-1 win over Abacus Media reserves taking them clear at the top. 

Bedians kept in touch with a thrilling 6-4 win at Stoconians and in another close encounter Hattersley won 2-1 at South Manchester reserves.

Group B sees Sale Ams and Signol JFC locked on six points with Sale enjoying their first half at Village Manchester with strikes from Luke May, Dean Bellamy, Stjohn Clement (two in two minutes) – taking them to an unassailable lead and a 6-1 win.

Signol JFC also had an easy passage with a 5-1 win at Didsbury reserves with George Bell (two), Leon Cheslett and Chris Carroll and Jayvon Morgan netting the Didsbhury consolation.

Elton Lib Hargreaves and Salford Vics reserves shared four goals as Hargreaves bagged a late equaliser.

It’s all to play for in Group C with three teams tied on six points as wins for Shaw Athletic by 2-1 at Old Stretfordians, Woodhouses with the only goal of their game at gutsy Hooley Bridge Celtic and Aldermere by 5-4 in a goalfest at Santos see them level on points with exciting games in prospect against each other to come.

Limited action in Group D with just one game played, and it was a 2-1 win for Chadderton Cott at Stoconians reserves.

Teams in Division A and B are in a very competitive battle for the Whitehead Cup quarter finals in all groups and in Group A Flixton JFC and AFC Stockport share the lead after successive wins with Flixton looking good in a 5-1 win at Bury Ams reserves while AFC Stockport ground out a 1-0 win over Deans.

Chadderton Cott reserves lead Group B by three points after a tight 2-1 win over Dukinfield Athletic reserves.

Tied on three points are Spurley Hey after a resounding 6-1 win at AFC Oldham thirds, and Mellor thirds, who enjoyed a 4-2 win at Parrs Wood Celtic.

It looks like another nerve-jangling finish in Group C as just three points separate the top four teams and Salford Albion lead the way after a big 9-1 win over Old Strets reserves.

Next up on four points are Heaton Mersey and Irlam Tiger Rangers who shared the points in an excellent 1-1 draw.

Aldermere reserves stay in the mix after posting their first win by 5-3 at Moston Brook reserves.

Group D has Hillgate and Kartel both in good form as they share top spot with comfortable victories, Hillgate by 4-0 over AFC Oldham reserves and Kartel with an impressive 3-1 win over Milton reserves.

Moston Brook thirds are in third place as they cruised to a 6-0 win over Salford Storm.

Finally the Hellawell Shield for teams in Division C and D sees Shaw Athletic reserves top of Group A with a 5-2 win over Irlam Tiger A.

They are three points ahead of AFC Stockport Warriors who won their local derby with Stoconians fourths by 5-0 and Deans reserves who edged a breathless 5-4 win over Rochdale Galaxy.

It’s all to play for in Group B with four teams level on three points each.

They are Oldham Vics reserves who beat Bury Ams A 2-0,  and Moston Brook fourths by 2-1 at Govan Athletic. Non-playing Salford Storm stay in the mix.

Radclyffe seconds are flying high in Group C after an emphatic 6-0 win over Whalley Range.

Urmston Town Vale stay two points behind them after a 3-0 win over Village Manchester reserves and Spurley Hey reserves are in the hunt after winning their first game in the group by 3-2 over Altrincham Hale.

In Group D Greater Manchester FC lead the way with a 3-1 win over Bury Aces and Staly Lions moved level on three points with the Aces in a gritty 2-0 win over Didsbury thirds.