De La Salle edge heavyweight Rhodes Cup clash

IT was a day of domestic cup catch-up as the weather was finally pleasant to allow a virtually full fixture list to take place on dry grass pitches.

The top game was in the blue riband Rhodes Cup, for teams in the Premier Division and Division One, and it saw two of the top flight title hunters enjoy a quality game in the semi-final.

De La Salle have a slight edge in three three-horse title race and they took on Stretford Paddock in what was always going to be a tight contest.

De La Salle netted twice in their first half through Connor Lamb and Jonathan Dunne and although Paddock did all they could to get back on terms De La Salle showed great defensive qualities to book their final date as they kept a great clean sheet.

There were two other matches in the Rhodes Cup and Premier Division leaders Moston Brook kept up their impressive run of form with a 3-0 win at Rochdalians.

This booked them a semi-final date with giant-killers Irlam Tigers who pulled off a sensational 6-1 win over Manchester Challenge Cup finalists Abacus Media.

There were two games in the Wray Cup for teams in divisions two and three and Baguley Athletic shook off their Manchester Amateur Cup semi-final heartache with a 4-2 win over Elton Lib Hargreaves.

Baguley were given a flying start with a second-minute rocket from Ash Leather and although Elton put in a great effort at both ends of the pitch they could not prevent Baguley posting a 4-2 win.

The other game was a very even contest at Division Two Sale Amateurs who beat Division Three leaders Chadderton Park 2-1.

Just one game in the Whitehead Cup, contested by Division A and B teams, and there was a comfortable win for North Walkden reserves who sauntered to a 5-0 win over Stretford Paddock Development.  

Division One action saw Didsbury pull off one of their best wins of the season as they walloped fellow strugglers Old Stretfordians 7-2

There was just one goal in the other game and it came from Signol Athletic at Bury Ams to keep in touch with leaders Chadderton Cott.

There were four games in the hotly contested Division Two and leaders Hattersley maintained their 10-point lead with a 4-1 win at Manchester Amateur Cup finalists Eccles United with the goals shared by Andrew Mottershead, Jordan McCann, Rob Sadler and Declan Ince.

Irlam Tiger Rangers have five games in hand over the leaders and they showed their intent to keep in the title race with a 3-1 win at Stretford Paddock reserves.

Wythenshawe Wanderers are also in the frame but they dropped points as they were held to a 3-3 draw by improving Bedians in an excellent local derby.

After Bedians had taken the lead a penalty from Matty German drew Wanderers level with the teams then sharing four goals in an end-to-end contest.

Newton shrugged off some recent indifferent form and rose from the foot of the table with a thrilling 5-3 win over Mellor.

The two games in Division Three were between the bottom four teams and they produced wins for Abacus Media reserves by 3-0 over Stoconians and Woodhouses JFC by 4-2 at Aldermere.

The top two teams in Division A were out of action but there were some close games led by a 0-0 draw between Kartel and Salford Storm and Salford Vics reserves shared two goals with AFC Oldham reserves.

Milton reserves edged a 3-2 win at Greater Manchester who were made to regret many missed chances during a game they often dominated.

Santos kept up their recent hot streak with a 4-2 win at Moston Brook reserves and Trafford United reserves had few problems in a 4-0 victory over Milnrow Firgrovia.

Division B champions Aldermere were without a fixture and Heaton Mersey kept up their run of form with a 3-1 win at Old Strets reserves to keep well clear of the pack in second place.

Spurley Hey belied their lowly position as they held high-flying Greater Manchester reserves to a 2-2 draw and in the other two games AFC Oldham thirds beat Hillgate 3-2 and Moston Brook thirds won their local derby at Oldham Saints by 6-3.

Division C is always the busiest in the league and staged a full programme of games with leaders Dukinfield Athletic putting on an efficient performance to win 2-0 at Village Manchester reserves to extend their lead over Mellor reserves to 16 points.

Athletic’s derby rivals Staly Lions suffered an upset in their chase of the top two as they went down 2-0 hosting Govan Athletic Development.

AFC Stockport Warriors were top scorers with a 6-0 win at Chadderton Park reserves and the six-hit was replicated by Urmston Town Vale against Stoconians reserves.

Bury Ams reserves also kept a clean sheet in a 3-0 win over Eccles United reserves and Altrincham Hale grafted hard for a 2-1 win at Salford Storm reserves.

Just two games played in Division D and Whalley Range moved level on points with leaders Moston Brook fourths with a clinical 3-0 win over Irlam Tiger thirds and Range also have a vital game in hand.

The other match saw the spoils shared as Salford Vics Development drew 1-1 with AFC Oldham fourths.