League ready for an exciting second half to the season

The Lancashire and Cheshire AFL is enjoying its 110th season which will conclude with a special celebration dinner in May.

Before then there is plenty to play for with keen competition in each of the eight Divisions and four domestic cup competitions.

Also some of the league’s teams have reached the latter stages of County Cup competition with Abacus Media looking forward to playing in the final of the Manchester Challenge Cup.

Irlam Tigers and Parrs Wood Celtic have reached the last eight of the Manchester Amateur Cup and AFC Stockport. Mellor and High Lane are through to the semi-finals of the Stockport Senior Cup.

The excellent weather enjoyed in the first half of the season has brought a big smile to the face of fixture secretary Mal Kershaw with his programme well on schedule in league and cup competitions.

To avoid postponements in the second half of the season the league has secured bookings at the 3G pitches at Wright Robinson and Cardinal Langley for clubs took take advantage of if their pitches become unfit for use.

The league is also pleased that they have been able to cover all but a handful of games with referees.

Plans are also afoot to book prestigious venues for the four domestic cup competition finals and pick a representative league team to take on the LAL in the annual match for the John Howard Trophy.

Premier Division

In the Premier Division Rochdalians have dominated the season so far and enjoyed a good run in the Lancashire Amateur Cup.

Their main title rivals at the start of the New Year are Whalley Range who have recovered well from a slow start to the season and are now within a point of the leaders who have three games in hand.

The two face each other in a real six-pointer this Saturday at Range which is undoubtedly the ‘Match of the Day’

Salford Victoria have also been in hot form with several good wins and have moved into third spot ahead of Waterloo who made a blistering start to their first season in the top flight.

But all teams recognise that there are no easy games at this level and complacency will not be rewarded.

 

Division One

It is neck and neck at the top of Division One with Dom Doyle, promoted through two divisions after a great first season in the league, one of the few unbeaten teams in the league in the lead.

But a revived Parrs Wood Celtic have been scoring goals for fun in recent weeks to have a great goal difference of 47 and are just a point behind Dom Doyle on an even number of games.

Irlam Tigers and Chorltonians stay in the mix should the top two slip up and Moston Brook, enjoying one of their best seasons for some years also in the chase.

 

DivisionTwo

It’s also tight in Division Two with the new Whalley Range Reserves a point clear of Manchester Polonia and Newton who have games in hand on the top two.

Urmston Town, in their first season in the league have made a mixed start but when they hit form they have looked very promising.

 

Division Three

Dukinfield Athletic have a healthy four-point lead at the top of Division Three from Signol Athletic and five from Stoconians Reserves but Chadderton Park and Radclyffe also present a big threat to the top three with plenty of games in hand and just one defeat apiece so far as their league fixtures have been reduced by cup exploits.

 

Division A

Elton Lib Hargreaves have almost a perfect record as they top Division A by ten points with just one drawn game and no defeats to date.

Chadderton Cott are also unbeaten this season and have two games in hand to close the gap on the leaders to four points.

New boys Unicorn Athletic and Flixton have had mixed fortunes as they adjust to life at this level but have been noted for the attractive football played by their young teams.

 

Division B

The battle for the Division B title looks set to go to the final matches with just four points separating the top four teams.

The current leaders are Old Stretfordians Reserves who have a point and a game in hand over AFC Stockport and Chadderton Cott Reserves and Parrs Wood Celtic Reserves are also firmly in the mix with games in hand as they look to close a three-point gap.

 

Division C

Deans FC will take some catching as they are six points clear at the top of Division C with a game or two in hand on their nearest rivals and they are the other club in the league with an unbeaten record.

Their nearest rivals are Old Stretfordians 3rds, Govan Athletic, Chadderton Park Reserves and Hollingworth Reserves.

 

Rhodes Cup

The Rhodes Cup for teams in the Premier Division and Division One plus the first teams of clubs in lower divisions, sees Rochdalians looking for a league and cup double as they have reached the last eight where they play the winners of South Manchester and AFC Oldham.

Village Manchester have not enjoyed the best of seasons in Division Three but they pulled off one of the giant-killing wins of the competition taking out Waterloo and now face another top Premier team in Salford Victoria as they look to make the last four.

More giant-killing came from Chadderton Cott who beat cup holders High Lane and near neighbours Radclyffe who overcame Trafford United.

They both face Premier Division opponents as they look to extend their glorious cup runs.

The other round two ties to be decided sees Chorltonians and Whalley Range in a local derby and Dukinfield Athletic host Old Stretfordians.

 

Wray Cup

In the Wray Cup for teams in Divisions Two and three Chadderton Park are through to the semi-finals with a win over Whalley Range Reserves.

Through to the quarter finals are Signol Athletic, Radclyffe and Rochdalians Reserves and other teams in round one action looking to join them are Village Manchester, Stoconians Reserves, Chorltonians Reserves, Urmston Town, Mellor Reserves and Dukinfield Athletic.

 

Whitehead Cup

There are still plenty of games to play for teams in Divisions A and B in the Whitehead Cup.

Stoconians 3rds, Chorltonians Villa, Dukinfield Athletic Reserves are the only teams to reach the last eight and looking to join them are Parrs Wood Celtic Reserves, Elton Lib Hargreaves, Rochdale Galaxy, Chadderton Cott, AFC Stockport, AFC Oldham Reserves, Hooley Bridge Celtic Reserves, Unicorn Athletic and Didsbury Reserves.

 

Hellawell Shield

The Hellawell Shield is for teams in Division C and in the mix for the final are Chadderton Park Reserves, Bury Ams 3rds, Irlam Tigers Reserves and Hollingworth Reserves.

 

Pics – action from 1 Rochdalians v High Lane (Rochdalians in blue), 2 Chorltonians v Dom Doyle (Dom Doyle in red and white), 3 Whalley Range Reserves v Spurley Hey 9Range in red and black

 

Have a Great New Year!!!

 

Kind Regards

Graham Ellis

Assistant League Secretary (amongst other roles)

Match Reports 15th Dec

Lancashire and Cheshire AFL

Rhodes Cup thrillers defy Deirdre

Despite the doom-laden threat of Storm Deirdre, the league managed to get away with very few postponements to a busy programme prior to the festive break.

The bulk of the fixtures featured domestic cup competitions and the Rhodes Cup provided plenty of drama and upsets in a day of frantic action.

Rhodes Cup

Two clubs from the lower Divisions provided the big giant-killing acts as they took out Premier Division teams.

Village Manchester have made a poor start in Division Three with one of their few highlights being a win over Division Two Bedians in the first round.

This gave them a tie at Premier Division high-fliers Waterloo in round two and they were delighted to be level at 2-2 at the break.

But this joy was surpassed in the second half as they scored the only goal to book a quarter-final tie at another Premier top team in Salford Victoria.

Radclyffe, also from Division Three, have followed a similar path to Village as they took out Division Two club Hollingworth in round one.

They were rewarded with a visit to Premier Division Trafford United where superb defending saw them keep an immaculate clean sheet to win 2-0 to earn a last eight tie at Old Stretfordians.

Dom Doyle have been flying high in Division One to look a good bet for Premier Division soccer next season.

They entertained Premier Division leaders Rochdalians and scored five times to breach the normally rock-solid Rochdalians defence, but is wasn’t enough, as Rochdalians struck seven times at the other end for a whirlwind win.

AFC Stockport also battled hard, the Division B side ended at 1-1 at Division one high-fliers Chorltonians, but a tense penalty shoot-out went the way of Chorltonians by 8-7.

It was also close at Irlam Tigers who lost to the only goal of their game with Mellor.

Salford Victoria eased past gallant and rapidly improving Ashtonians 5-0 in an all-Premier Division clash. First half goals from Dale McAndrew, Josh Lawman and Joe Axon were added by second half substitutes Keenen Switzer and with the last kick of the game Connor Neil.

This was a really good game played in the right spirit and well refereed by Alan Siviori in dreadful conditions with the wind chill making it feel like -5deg and continual freezing rain.

There were few problems for Division Three leaders Dukinfield Athletic as they cruised to a 5-0 win at Division one side Unicorn Athletic.

Wray Cup

There were three games in the Wray Cup with Chadderton Park providing an upset as the Division Three side toppled Division Two leaders Whalley Range Reserves 2-1 in a tight contest. It was also close at Bedians as their tie with Mellor ended at 3-3 with Mellor winning the shoot out by 4-3.

The other tie saw Signol Athletic put on a smooth display with a 2-0 win at Milton Reserves.

Whitehead Cup

There were also three matches in the Whitehead Cup with Elton Lib Hargreaves having an easy passage with a big 8-2 win over Staly Lions and Chadderton Cott eased through 4-0 at Flixton.

Chadderton Cott Reserves are also through and join their first team in the next round with a 4-2 win over Hillgate.

Premier Division

There was just one game in the Premier Division with Whalley Range accounting for Milton 4-0.

There was little between the teams in the first half with the only goal coming from Range left back Joe Dixon with a 35-yard thunderbolt ending his seven-year scoring drought.

Then the game was lit up in the second half by the superb skills of Range’s young debutant Charlie Hilton (pictured) who showed some stunning dribbling runs one of which ended with a penalty converted by Tim Kinsella.

Tim added another with a cool finish two minutes later to put Range on easy street as they went on to win 4-0 and move within a point of leaders Rochdalians but have played three games more.

Division One

There were three games in Division One and Parrs Wood Celtic took full advantage of Dom Doyle being in cup action as a big 8-1 win at Moston Brook kept up their great scoring streak and took them to within a point of Dom Doyle on level games played.

The other games produced plenty of goals and wins for Hooley Bridge Celtic by 7-3 at Didsbury and Bury Amateurs who ended Oldham Victoria recent good run in emphatic style winning 8-3.

Division Two

In Division Two Urmston Town kept in touch with the leading pack with a big 10-1 trouncing of Chorltonians Reserves.

It was much closer in the other games with Rochdalians Reserves scoring the only goal of their game at Santos and Spurley Hey shared six goals with Manchester Polonia.

Division Three

Just one game in Division three which ended deadlocked at 1-1 between Stoconians Reserves and Abacus Media Reserves to move Stoconians within a point of the top two.

Division A

It was mainly mid-table action in Division A with some close encounters.

Signol Athletic Reserves had the biggest win by 3-1 over Rochdale Galaxy and in the other two matches Trafford United Reserves beat Spurley Hey Reserves 2-1 and Dukinfield Athletic Reserves edged a 4-3 win against Chorltonians Villa.

Division B

There were also three games in Division B with leaders Old Stretfordians Reserves walloping Didsbury Reserves 6-0, a score matched by Stoconians 3rds at Bury Amateurs Reserves.

Much tighter at Chorltonians Athletic who beat Moston Brook 3rds 2-1.

Division C

In Division C there was a rare goalless draw between Hollingworth Reserves and Govan Athletic but goals galore in the other games.

Runaway leaders Deans cruised to a big 8-0 win over Whalley Range 3rds and stay six points clear of Old Stretfordians 3rds (Pictured) who were also on fire in a 6-2 win over Irlam Tigers Reserves.

Chadderton Park Reserves had a comfortable passage by 5-0 at Stoconians 4ths and Bury Amateurs 3rds went one better beating Moston Brook 4ths 6-0.

A Very Merry Christmas to you all, See you in the New Year!!!

All the best

Graham

Graham Ellis

Assistant League Secretary (amongst other roles)

Lancashire and Cheshire AFL

Introduction to the L & C

Welcome to the Lancashire and Cheshire AFL new website.

Formed in 1909, the league is one of the largest open age Saturday afternoon open age men’s leagues in the country, providing competitive matches in a sporting manner.

The L & C pioneered the Respect Charter in 2002, and in 2007 the FA adopted Respect and the L & C were a Pilot League, and were awarded an FA Bronze Respect award in 2013.

The L & C were among the first Leagues in the country to achieve Charter Standard.