Dramatic finale to group competitions as quarter final line-up takes shape

DESPITE some torrential rain prior to the games the bulk of the remaining group fixtures in the four cup competition were able to take place.

They provided some dramatic games, some late twists and plenty of goals to set up some fascinating quarter-final ties this coming Saturday. 

There are still a few midweek fixtures to be completed but the bulk of the quarter-final ties have been decided.

For Group A of the Rhodes Cup for teams in the Premier and Division One, there were two emphatic wins for Dom Doyle by 8-1 over Bury Ams and Rochdalians by 3-0 at Irlam Tigers  to put them both well clear of the pack with Rochdalians enjoying an impressive 100 per cent record in their group.

Group B also saw two convincing winners in Moston Brook who completed a pleasing competition with a 2-0 win at Didsbury seeing them three points clear of De La Salle who had already completed their fixtures.

The other game played in the group was a real thriller with AFC Oldham winning by the odd goal in seven against Lancashire Amateur Cup finalists Milton.

It was all to play for in Group C with three teams looking to qualify and Mellor showed their intent as they walloped South Manchester 8-0 to take top spot.

The other game was a real nerve jangler with Salford Vics sharing eight goals with Urmston Town to go through on goal difference. Providing the firepower for Vics were Luke Norris (three) and a superb free kick from Ben Green.

It was all to play for in Group D with four teams in the mix and a 5-2 win for North Walkden saw them overtake long-time leaders Manchester Polonia.

A 2-0 win with some great defending by Stretford Paddock at Abacus Media saw them come through to take top spot in the group and eliminate Polonia.

The dead rubber game in the group had Signol Old Boys win their local derby with High Lane after coming back from 2-1 down at the break to win 3-2.

In the Wray Cup for teams in Division Two and Three, the big game in Group A was at Bedians against Wythenshawe Wanderers. 

The Wanderers had lost their previous game against Hattersley but began in terrific style to quickly establish a big 5-1 lead.

It was much more even after that with Wanderers going through 7-3 with their goals provided by Mike Sherrington (three), W Thompson, C Sherrington and Jordan Fry who also set up an own goal.

Getting deserved consolations for Bedians were Joe Mensah, with two intelligent finishes, and Chris Heywood.

Hattersley booked their place with a crushing 12-4 win over Stoconians.

The top game in Group B was a fantastic advert for the league as Sale Ams lost out 3-2 to Signol Athletic who had a goal of the season from Chris Carroll with a 40-yard screamer to take his team into top spot from Sale who still progressed.

There was a terrific game between Village Manchester and Elton Lib Hargreaves who showed their intent to enjoy their football with Village emerging breathless with 5-4 win.

Village led 3-1 at the break but Elton kept chipping away to keep the game wide open until the end.

Netting for Village were Georgio Mourdoukoutas, Fernando Martins and Rafe Onley with Ryan Wilkes (two), Jack Galbraith and an own goal replying for Elton.

Group C saw Shaw Athletic into the last eight as they were on fire in a big 9-1 win over Woodhouses and also in Group C Santos picked up their first point in a 3-3 draw at Old Stretfordians.

In Group D Mellor seconds and Aldermere go through. 

Mellor had few problems in a 6-0 win over Stoconians reserves while Aldermere picked up the point they needed in a 1-1 deadlock at Hooley Bridge Celtic.

The Whitehead Cup for teams in Division A and B saw AFC Stockport and Flixton JFC progress in Group A as the top two shared two goals.

It was tight in Group B with Dukinfield Athletic reserves top of the pile after a 4-2 win at Mellor thirds but Mellor in the runners-up berth

The other two games in the group were close contests with AFC Oldham thirds beating Parrs Wood Celtic 2-1 and Chadderton Cott shared four goals with Spurley Hey.

No problems for the top two in Group C as Salford Albion made it five wins from five as they eased to a 4-2 win over Moston Brook Reserves.

A big 8-1 win for Irlam Tiger Rangers at Old Stretfordians seconds kept them clear of Aldermere reserves who drew 2-2 at Heaton Mersey.

Group D had the top two in opposition and Kartel retained top spot with 5-3 win over Hillgate who were three points clear of Moston Brook thirds who won 2-1 at Milton reserves.

Finally in the Hellawell Shield for teams in Division C and D, AFC Stockport Warrior beat Irlam Tigers A 6-2 to complete a perfect programme and it looks as if they will be joined by Shaw Athletic reserves who still have a game to play.

Group B has Moston Brook fourths going through as they won 2-0 against Bury Ams A in the only game played in the group.

Salford Storm reserves have the chance to overtake them with their game in hand.

The top three in Group C all had their games postponed and the top two Radclyffe reserves and Urmston Town Vale see Radclyffe playing their main rivals Spurley Heys seconds in a vital midweek decider.

An amazing game between the top two in Group D had Staly Lions roaring loud and long as they beat previous leaders Greater Manchester FC 10-5 to draw level on points with a better goal difference taking the Lions to the top of the shop.

The other game in the group had Stoconians fourths winning their first game of the campaign by 2-1 at Didsbury thirds.

L & C fixtures secretary Malc Kershaw, who along with other committee members and competing clubs to set up the cup competition said: “There are some very tasty fixtures coming up the quarter-finals on Saturday. It’s been great to get good feedback from players and managers about the cup format.”