Presentation Dinner at Edgeley Park marks end of L & C season

The curtain came down on another compelling L & C season with the Presentation Dinner held at the home of National League Champions Stockport County.

It was a fitting conclusion to the league’s 113th season and was a welcome return of the presentation evening after the covid-enforced absence.

There were nearly 200 people in attendance at Edgeley Park, where the league’s successful teams received their trophies and medals to celebrate their outstanding achievements throughout the season in league and cup competition.

Entertainment came in the form of guest speaker Jon ‘The Beast’ Parkin, who provided a colourful glimpse from his career which saw him score 164 goals including 45 in 199 appearances at Championship level for Hull, Stoke, Preston and Cardiff.

The evening was coolly led by MC John Melia with some excellent refreshments followed by a welcome to clubs, players and distinguished guests by league chairman Mike Yates. This was followed with a toast to the L & C by LAL chairman Simon Lord and an outline of the season from the League President Tim Roebuck (Abacus Media FC).

Special awards went to Tameside’s Peter Darby for Referee of the Year, Phil Savill of Bury Ams who was awarded Secretary of the Year, Abacus Media won the Fair Play award, and finally an award for retiring L & C Secretary Brian Davies for his 14 years of stellar service in the role.

Jon Parkin was next up with his enjoyable entertainment and the evening was concluded with the presentation of the trophies to the successful teams beginning with the cup winners who had already received their trophies and medals at the finals.

The league winners were:

Premier Division: De La Salle Reds, runners-up Moston Brook

Division One: Chadderton Cott, runners up Shaw Athletic

Division Two: Irlam Tiger Rangers, runners up Hattersley

Division Three: Village Manchester, runners up Chadderton Park,

Division A: Kartel Sports, runners-up North Walkden reserves,

Division B: Aldermere reserves, runners-up Heaton Mersey,

Division C: Mellor reserves, runners-up Dukinfield Athletic,

Division D: Whalley Range A, runners-up Bury Ams A.

The final trophy was the SE Woollam Trophy for the club with the top points total from their top two teams and it went to Irlam Tigers.

Tigers clinch Division Two title

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The action-packed season is drawing to a close and Irlam Tiger Rangers capped a fine end to the season as they held off Hattersley to capture the Division Two title.

Hattersley had led the division for a large portion of the season but a strong finish by Irlam had seen them overtake the leaders and they went into the last game of the season knowing a win over Hattersley would confirm them champions.

Irlam showed their intent as the raced into an early lead with a brace from striker Karl Cassell giving them a 2-0 lead they held on comfortably to the break.

The outstanding Sean Dawson extended the Irlam lead on 60 minutes but Hattersley kept in the frame as they reduced the arrears with a spot kick.

Irlam were not to be denied however and Dawson sealed the win with another clinical finish to set up plenty of celebrations.

The other game in the division saw Wythenshawe Wanderers ease to a 5-1 win at Newton and in midweek there were wins for Eccles United by 3-0 at Mellor and Sale Ams defeated South Manchester 5-1.

With the Division Three title won by Village Manchester, there were just two games and the local derby between, AFC Stockport and Stoconians ended in a 1-1 deadlock and Woodhouses won 3-1 at Abacus Media reserves.

It’s still all to play for in Division A with three teams in the hunt for the title.
Kartel Sports have a slender one-point lead after a close 2-1 win over AFC Oldham reserves keeps them in front with a vital game in hand.

However, North Walkden reserves are still well placed to capitalise on any slip-up after two clinical wins in the space of three days – a convincing 5-0 win at Greater Manchester on Thursday which they followed up by easing to a 3-0 win at basement boys Trafford United reserves.
Lurking just behind the top two are Salford Storm who kept in the hunt with a 2-0 win over in-form Santos.

With the top two slots in Division B decided there was just one game played in the division and it was a real thriller with Spurley Hey winning by the odd goal in nine at Flixton JFC.

Mellor reserves are the Division C champions having completed their fixtures with a 5-0 midweek win at Eccles United reserves but there were plenty of other games and goals galore in the division.

Govan Athletic Development warmed up for their forthcoming Hellawell Shield final with a 6-3 win over Village Manchester reserves, AFC Stockport Warriors also hit six at Salford Storm reserves and Staly Lions enjoyed a 4-0 win at Bury Ams reserves.

Much closer in the other midweek game with Bury Ams beating Urmston Town Vale 1-0.

In Division D, a cobbled together Salford Vics dev team enjoyed a proper end of the season game against Milltown with Vincent Omeje scoring four in a topsy turvy encounter in which both teams performed well going forward, aided by some unconvincing defending that aided the 8-5 win for Vics.

The game was played in a brilliant spirit and with proper shooting boots it could have been 20 all!

The spirit was matched in the other game played in the semi-final of the Harry Jack Cup.

Chadderton Cott made it through to the final winning a top-class thriller with Bury Ams by 4-2 to book their final slot against Signol Athletic.

L & C win John Howard Trophy and Village Manchester dramatically secure title

The L & C and the LAL have been playing representative matches against each other since 1921 and that latest one at the Lancashire FA ground in Leyland was a special occasion as the team played for the John Howard Trophy one hundred years on.

John played a great part in the history of the L & C for over 60 years in many roles before his death in 2021 and was a true legend of the L & C and amateur soccer.

It was the first game between the leagues for three years due to Covid restrictions and the L & C put on a great display of team work, attractive football and team spirit to run out worthy 3-1 winners and do themselves, the team managers, their clubs and the league great credit with the quality of their play against spirited opposition from the LAL.

It was even-steven for the first 35 minutes before the LAL broke the deadlock with a great finish from 25 yards.

The L & C upped their game to create plenty of chances and got their reward just before the break with a penalty converted by the outstanding Jack Ward (Moston Brook).

They kept up the momentum in the second half with the seamless introduction of substitutes, who maintained the high standard, and one of them, Sheldon Casey (Shaw Athletic), gave the L & C a deserved lead with a clinical finish after a sublime assist by Ward.

The clinching third goal came on 74 minutes from Connor Berry (Moston Brook) after another assist from the impressive Ward.

More chances were created while at the other end, Jack Bostock (Moston Brook) superbly marshalled the defence as the team ran out deserving winners of the coveted John Howard Trophy.

The clubs providing players for the team were Moston Brook, Stretford Paddock, Abacus Media and Shaw Athletic managed by Dave Haughton and Mike Treanor with all of the players enjoying the experience of playing for the league and providing a great display of their talent.

There was limited but important action in the league programme with many teams now having completed their season.

Both the Premier and Division One teams have completed their league fixtures but sides in the latter are competing for the Harry Jack Cup.

Semi-final action saw Signol Athletic go through to the final with a hard-earned win 2-0 win over Didsbury.

The other game saw Bury Ams enjoy a comfortable 5-1 win over Shaw Athletic.

The battle for the Division Two title is still wide open as Hattersley beat Stretford Paddock reserves 7-4 to keep in touch with leaders Irlam Tiger Rangers.

Baguley Athletic are third after a comfortable 5-0 win at Newton and also shared the spoils 1-1 in a midweek local derby with Wythenshawe Wanderers.

Newton lost a much closer midweek game at Eccles United 1-0.

The other Saturday game saw Mellor win 4-2 at Bedians.

The Division Three title was decided in dramatic fashion as Village Manchester visited Aldermere knowing that they to win by nine clear goals to overtake long-time leaders Chadderton Park.

Village were on fire from the kick-off led by Ed Asaman who netted four times with Chris Telling, Dec Moran, George Mardoukoutas and Jack Hayes also on target to see them leading 8-0 with six minutes left to play.

An over-anxious Village missed two gilt-edged chances before their nerves were settled by a strike from Dan Hodgson and their joyful day was completed as Ed Asaman completed a 10-0 rout to set up wild celebrations.

The other game in the division was a much more serene affair with neither Hooley Bridge Celtic nor Salford Albion able to hit the target.

Kartel SC moved the top of Division A with a midweek 4-1 win over Milnrow Firgrovia but Salford Storm are hot on their heels with a 2-0 derby win at Salford Vics reserves.

Storm showed their intent with an emphatic 7-1 win at Stretford Paddock Development who shared four goals with AFC Oldham reserves in midweek.

Santos got back on the winning trail with a 3-0 derby win at Milton reserves.

They took the lead with a first-half strike from Ben Marshall and Ciaran Finegan and Tom Slater added two more after the break.

Heaton Mersey have enjoyed a great second half to the season in Division B, after losing their serial draw tag, and completed it with a fine 7-1 win at Greater Manchester FC reserves to clinch the runners-up spot behind Aldermere reserves.

The other games saw Hillgate win 4-3 at Parrs Wood Celtic and AFC Oldham thirds enjoyed a 4-1 win at Flixton JFC.

It’s going down to the wire in the race for the Division C title as a big 8-1 win for Mellor reserves at Village Manchester reserves put them a point behind Dukinfield Athletic with a game to play.

It was much closer in the other games in the division with midweek draws between Salford Storm reserves Bury Ams reserves 2-2, and Altrincham Hale and AFC Stockport Warriors 3-3 and Warriors winning their Saturday game by 2-1 in a local derby with Stoconians reserves.

In Division D Bury Ams thirds closed the gap on second-placed Moston Brook fourths with a comfortable 3-0 win over Salford Vics Development.

The final game of the day saw Altrincham Hale reserves draw 1-1 with a gutsy Didsbury reserves.

New Premier Division champions crowned

DE La Salle Reds are the new L & C Premier League champions after notching an emphatic 5-0 win over Abacus Media in their final game of the season.

They went into the fixture with the pressure of knowing only a victory would see them overhaul leaders Moston Brook who had a massive goal difference advantage but, just as last week when the pressure was on to win, De La Salle showed no signs of nerve and cruised to victory.

They now face Moston Brook in the Rhodes Cup final as they look to secure the double.

It promises to be a great cup final at Hyde United on Saturday May 7 kick off at 2.30 pm – the first time that the Rhodes Cup has been on a Saturday afternoon for many years.

Action in Division One was concentrated on the Harry Jack Cup and Didsbury moved into the semi-final after winning their tie with Old Stretfordians on a 5-4 aggregate.

The first leg had seen Didsbury enjoy a 3-1 win and in a great game Strets put in a great effort to win 3-2 with strikes from Kyle O’Glesby and Simon O’Connor (two) but just ran out of steam as Didsbury hung with great defending and they will meet Signol Athletic in the semi-final.

The other game saw Bury Ams take the first step to the last four,where Chadderton Cott await the winner, as they beat Shaw Athletic 3-2 in another tense tie.

Plenty of action in Division Two where midweek games saw Irlam Tiger Rangers win their local derby with Eccles United 2-1 and Sale Amateurs and Baguley Athletic drew 1-1.

Baguley and Sale played the return fixture three days later at the excellent Manchester Health Academy facility and it proved to be a real thriller..

Sale had the bare bones of 11 players and were soon reduced to ten by another injury.

Baguley took advantage with goals from Boyne and Hendley seemingly setting them on the way to a routine win.

But Sale showed terrific spirit as strikes from Asha Brady and Casim Waite-Jackson (two) took them into a remarkable 3-2 lead.

Baguley mounted the pressure as Sale tired and grabbed a point with a late equaliser.

The other games saw Irlam Tiger Rangers move clear at the top with tight 2-1 win over Stretford Paddock reserves and Newton battled hard for a point in a 1-1 deadlock with Eccles United.

There were no games in Division Three but the title race gathered pace in Division A.

Kartel Sports showed their intent as they followed up a 3-1 win over AFC Oldham Reserves with a 4-1 win over Santos, who were on a hot winning streak.

There were no goals at the break but Kartel took the lead on 46 minutes and added two more before Alex Taylor netted the Santos consolation with Kartel adding a late fourth.

Kartel are now three points behind leaders Salford Storm with a game in hand and superior goal difference.

There were goals galore in the other game with Salford Vics reserves beating Trafford United reserves 5-3.

Although the title race in Division B has been decided, there was plenty of action and entertainment.

Spurley Hey played twice in the space of a week, which saw them lose a midweek thriller to Flixton JFC 4-3, before coming up on the right side of an enthralling contest to edge AFC Oldham thirds 6-5.

Flixton’s midweek exertions told, as they went down 3-1 against Hillgate.

It’s still all to play for in Divison C as the top two were in action and both failed to win.

Long-time leaders Dukinfield Athletic lost out 2-1 hosting Eccles United reserves in their final game but second-placed Mellor reserves failed to take full advantage as they shared six goals with Salford Storm reserves.

Mellor are now seven points adrift of Dukinfield with three games in hand.

In midweek Mellor enjoyed a fine 3-1 win over Bury Ams reserves and their title hopes remain in their own hands.

More midweek action saw Govan Athletic Development beat Eccles United reserves 7-2 and Altrincham Hale hammer Stoconians reserves 5-1

The other game in the division was a topsy turvy thriller as Bury Ams reserves won 6-5 at Village Manchester reserves.

In Division D the main game was the Hellawell Shield semi-final between Moston Brook fourths and Altrincham Hale reserves.

Brook emerged with a 3-1 win with goals from Ross, Mills and Roberts topping the strike from Altrincham Hale from Mark Turnbull to book their final slot against Govan Athletic Development at West Didsbury and Chorlton on Thursday May 12.

League action saw Milltown beat AFC Oldham fourths 5-4 to lift themselves into fourth spot.

Title races going down to the wire

THERE were some vital matches involving races for divisional titles and cup semi-finals on an exciting day as the season reaches a dramatic finale.

The Premier Division title is now in the hands of De La Salle Reds as a hard-earned 2-0 derby win over Salford Vics moved them to within two points of leaders Moston Brook.

A win in their final game against Abacus Media will secure the title for De La Salle and they will be looking to make it a double as they take on Moston Brook in the Rhodes Cup final at Hyde United on Saturday May 7.

The other game in the Premier division saw Rochdalians beat Abacus Media 2-0 in another local derby.

The Division One league programme was completed at Irlam Tigers who lost out 2-1 to Shaw Athletic.

In the Harry Jack Cup for teams in Division One, Didsbury and Old Stretfordians battled out a close contest with the smart finishing from Didsbury led by a double from the predatory Aaron Rodger taking them to a 4-1 win.

Division Two is far from decided especially with night games still in the mix. Long-time leaders Hattersley have seen their lead reduced and following teams have games in hand.

In midweek Eccles United eased to a 5-1 win over South Manchester and the only Saturday league game saw Stretford Paddock reserves cruising to a 4-1 win over Sale Ams.

The big game between sides in this division came in the Wray Cup semi-final between Baguley Athletic and Eccles United who had both enjoyed successful campaigns in the Manchester Amateur Cup.

Baguley always had the edge and clinical finishing by Ben Boyne (two) and Lee Hendley took them through to the final where they will play Hattersley at Wythenshawe Ams on May 3.

In Division Three it is all down to the final game of the season between Village Manchester and Aldermere but only a huge win for Village can see them overtake leaders Chadderton Park on goal difference.

Village kept in the race with a 3-1 win at Woodhouses and the other game in the division saw Stoconians beat Elton Lib Hargreaves 3-1 to keep up their recent run of good form.

With North Walkden reserves in Whitehead Cup action, Salford Storm took advantage with a 5-2 win over Milnrow Firgrovia moving them a point clear at the top of Division A with a game in hand.

Milton reserves also beat Stretford Paddock Development 5-2 but the other games were close affairs.

Santos kept up their hot streak of form with a 20th-minute strike from Ryan McConlie securing a 1-0 win over Trafford United reserves.

Great Manchester FC drew 1-1 with AFC Oldham reserves and Moston Brook reserves shared four goals with Kartel Sports who can still have a big say in the title race.

North Walkden reserves still have a league and cup double firmly in their sights as they cruised into the Whitehead Cup final with a 4-0 semi win over Hillgate featuring goals from Mark Trent, Aiden Hassall and Steve Binns.

They will play Kartel in the final at West Didsbury and Chorlton on May 10.

In Division B, champions Aldermere reserves completed their superb season with a 2-2 derby draw against Old Strets reserves.

Heaton Mersey have enjoyed a great second half to their season  and they virtually confirmed their runners-up berth with a convincing 6-2 win at AFC Oldham reserves and Flixton JFC also hit six with a 6-3 win at Oldham Saints.

It’s still all to play for in Division C with Mellor reserves chasing down long-time leaders Dukinfield Athletic.

A big 8-2 win over Urmston Town Vale moved Mellor to within 11 points of Dukinfield with games in hand.

The other league games saw Eccles United reserves beat AFC Stockport Warriors 2-0 and Altrincham Hale had an emphatic 5-1 win over Bury Ams reserves.

Midweek action had Salford Storm reserves sharing eight goals with Eccles United reserves and Bury Ams reserves easing to a 2-0 win over Village Manchester reserves.

In the Hellawell Shield semi-final it went right to the death as Govan Athletic Development scored the only goal of their game against Bury Ams A.

They await the result of the other semi between Moston Brook fourths and Altrincham Hale reserves to see who they will play at West Didsbury and Chorlton on May 12.

It was all to play for in Division D as leaders Whalley Range hosted Moston Brook fourths.

The star of the show in a hard-fought contest was Range’s legendary striker Nick Doyle who bagged a hat-trick to see his team across the line with Mark Terris providing the Brook consolation.

The only other game in the division saw a rare midweek goalless blank between Irlam Tigers A and Salford Vics Development.

Premier Division still in De La Salle hands

THERE was a full mix of cup and league games with teams again able to enjoy fine weather and dry pitches with plenty to play for across the eight divisions.

In the Premier Division there was just one game affecting the title race with Stretford Paddock completing their league programme with a big 8-0 win at Manchester Polonia to move into second place behind Moston Brook, who have also finished their league programme.

The race now depends on the final two games of De La Salle Reds who if they win them can overhaul Moston Brook and take the title.

The other two games in the division saw Abacus Media win 5-1 hosting Salford Vics and North Walkden eased to a 4-2 win at Rochdalians.

There was the first game in the new Harry Jack Cup for teams in the Division One with group games followed by semi-finals and final.

Signol Athletic showed their intent with a 4-1 win over Trafford United.

League action produced the same score for Shaw Athletic at Didsbury with Jordan Bates bagging the Didsbury consolation.

In the Wray Cup, there were two close encounters which both ended in 2-0 wins for Division Two leaders Hattersley against Sale Ams and Eccles United against Stoconians.

Plenty of goals in the Division Two league fixtures with Newton enjoying their biggest win of the season by 8-2 over South Manchester and Baguley Athletic who were in seventh heaven after accounting for Stretford Paddock reserves by 7-0.

Just one game in Division Three and a crushing 10-0 win for AFC Stockport at Aldermere saw them move into second place on goal difference over non-playing Village Manchester.

The top two in Division A were not in action and Salford Vics reserves missed a chance to overtake second placed Salford Storm as they were beaten 4-2 at Milton reserves.

The other games had Stretford Paddock Development enjoying a 6-0 romp over Trafford United reserves while Moston Brook reserves had to graft hard for a 2-1 at Milnrow Firgrovia.

No games for the leading teams in Division B but there were three tight and entertaining tussles with a thrilling local derby seeing Old Stretfordians reserves sharing four goals with Flixton JFC.

Greater Manchester reserves edged a 3-2 win over AFC Oldham thirds and the same scoreline was repeated by Parrs Wood Celtic hosting Spurley Hey.

The Hellawell Shield match between Bury Ams thirds and Salford Storm produced an excellent game with Bury providing a sharp cutting edge in a 5-1 win.

In Division C, Dukinfield Athletic still have a big lead but Mellor reserves, with four games in hand, closed the gap to 11 points after an efficient 3-0 win over Staly Lions.

A foot-of-the table game saw Stoconians reserves move out of the basement slot with a close 3-2 win at Chadderton Park reserves.

It was close at Village Manchester reserves with visiting Eccles United reserves winning 2-0 in an excellent game with plenty of free-flowing football.

The other game was a great advert for the league with Govan Athletic Development and Altrincham Hale playing their game with great sporting attitude, total respect and some neat football with doubles from Sam Drinkwater and Sam Caine giving Altrincham Hale a 4-0 win.

Finally in Division D, Moston Brook fourths kept their hopes of a league and cup double burning with a 6-0 win over Bury Ams reserves in the Hellawell Shield and plenty of goals also from Milltown as they won their league game against Didsbury reserves by 7-2.

Eccles United suffer cup heartache

The L & C fixtures opened on Friday night – the Manchester Amateur Cup trophy eluded Eccles United who were unlucky against AFC Middleton, suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat. In the second half in particular Eccles had several good chances and near misses, but it wasn’t to be, Middleton’s early goal just got them through.

In the Wray Cup Sale Amateurs won by 3-2 over Irlam Tiger Rangers, who had Karl Cassell and Jarrod Cassell on the scoresheet. Sale’s goals were from Duane Cook, and substitute William Sarwar scoring twice, taking them through to the semi-final.

Kartel Sports are in the final of the Whitehead Cup after their semi-final victory over Milton Reserves. After an even opening 15 minutes, Kartel began making chances through fast attacking play, Ben Wild with 2 and Matt O’Shea building a commanding 3-0 lead by half time. Sub Tom Buckley pulled one back for Milton early in the second period, but immediately Wild broke from the halfway line and completed his hat-trick with a shot into the corner. Phil Noon reduced the arrears with a penalty, but the late efforts were not enough to dislodge a determined Kartel. Also, in the Whitehead Cup an 85th minute winner at Heaton Mersey saw North Walkden reserves through to meet Hillgate in the semi-final.

The Hellawell Shield quarter final tie saw Altrincham Hale reserves claim a place in the semi-final with a narrow 5-4 victory over Eccles United reserves,

In the Premier Division, undefeated De La Salle registered what could be their most significant victory of the campaign, edging out Rochdalians 3-2, a result that keeps the destination of the title in their hands with two games remaining.

Nothing other than a win would have sufficed as leaders Moston Brook First trounced Manchester Polonia 10-2. They are five points clear after completing their league programme, but De La Salle have two games remaining and know maximum points will secure silverware.

Stretford Paddock FC First Team are certain to finish in the top three after an encouraging first season in the top flight. They rounded off their home fixtures with a scintillating 8-3 win over Abacus Media. Despite going behind, they never looked in doubt and went into the break 3-1 up, before running away with the game thanks, in no small part to a Kieron Molloy hat-trick.

Second-place Irlam Tiger FC saw their Division One title hopes go up in smoke after losing 3-1 at home to Bury Amateur AFC Firsts. Shaw Athletic gave themselves a chance of finishing above Signol Athletic JFC Firstsafter a hard-fought 3-2 win that puts their vanquished opponents within touching distance. A Warren Collier double helped Old Stretfordians First round off a challenging campaign with a convincing 4-1 win over Didsbury FC Firsts.

Division Two leaders Hattersley Firsts maintained their title hopes with a vital 4-3 victory over South Manchester Firsts, thanks to a Rob Swallow brace, along with strikes from Declan Hince and Matthew Soares. They are 10 points clear of Irlam Tiger Rangers but, having played five more games, will be relying on results elsewhere.

Third-place Wythenshawe Wanderers were defeated 4-1 by Baguley Athletic, who now look well set to leapfrog their opponents, with games in hand to accrue the points. The big battle at the bottom saw Newton leapfrog Bedians AFC thanks to a 1-0 win that puts the defeated side at real risk of the drop, having played four games more than their victorious opponents who are two points ahead. In the division’s other game, Mellor Firsts ran out comfortable 5-2 winners at Stretford Paddock FC reserves.

In Division Three, Village Manchester FC Firsts notched four goals in a comfortable 4-1 away win over Hooley Bridge Celtic, a result matched by Stoconians Firsts, who went to bottom club Aldermere AFC Firsts and won by the same score. Leaders Chadderton Park Sports Club won even more emphatically with a pulverising 8-1 away win at Abacus Media Reserves which saw Kade Thomas Howarth net five of the goals.

The other game in the division this weekend also saw nine goals scored, and more away supremacy, as Salford Albion FC ran out 6-3 winners over Woodhouses Juniors FC.

It’s still all to play for in Division A, with the top five separated by six points. Leaders North Walkden reserves were in cup action and two of the chasing pack took advantage. Salford Storm FC ran out 4-1 winners at Moston Brook reserves thanks to a brace in each half. George Law scored two of the goals – one in each half – with Joe McGee and Jack McGee both on the scoresheet. They are two points behind the leaders with two games in hand.

Salford Victoria reserves are on the same points as Salford Storm, albeit having played three more games. But they did their chances no harm with a pulsating 7-5 win over Greater Manchester FC that saw Robert Payne notch an important treble. It’s looking bleak for basement boys Trafford United seconds, who lost their 16th game of the season, going down 3-0 to AFC Oldham Seconds.

Division B champions Aldermere AFC reserves continued to be professional despite having an unassailable lead at the summit, edging out Flixton Juniors Firsts 3-2. Greater Manchester FC Seconds made it 10 wins for the season with a 4-1 win over Hillgate Firsts and could still finish second in the division. Old Stretfordians Seconds are a place further back after easing past Spurley Hey Firsts 3-0.

Mellor Reserves kept their faint Division C title hopes alive with a routine 2-0 win over AFC Stockport Warriors, taking full advantage of a rare slip from runaway leaders Dukinfield Athletic who were held to a 1-1 draw by Village Manchester FC Seconds. Mellor reserves have six games in hand but the leaders hold a daunting 17-point lead. It is still in Mellor’s hands though, as winning all games would secure the league. Elsewhere in the division, Salford Storm FC reserves took all three points after Sam Wells helped them to a 2-1 win over Govan Athletic Development.

Whalley Range (Manchester) A Team have the destination of Division D in their own hands with a game remaining. Nicholas Doyle’s hat-trick helped them to a 4-1 win at AFC Oldham Fourths, a result that maintains their three-point lead at the summit. Moston Brook Fourths kept the pressure on though with a resounding 5-2 win at Didsbury reserves and are ready to pounce going into the final round of the season. A point for the leaders will be enough to secure glory.

The final game in the division provided plenty of entertainment, with Mellor Development and Irlam Tiger A sharing six goals in an eventful afternoon.

League heading for exciting conclusion

It was a comprehensive weekend of league and cup action which saw Hattersley cruise into the next round of the Wray Cup, as the Division Two leaders overwhelmed Mellor 6-2.

Elsewhere in the competition that pits Division Two and Three sides against each other, Stoconians pulled off an upset by defeating Stretford Paddock reserves 3-2.

There were three games in the Whitehead Cup for teams in Divisions A and B and they were all close affairs.

Old Strets reserves took a 1-0 lead at the break, through Adam Simms and Lewis O’Connor doubled the advantage. But Hillgate battled back to take the game to a penalty shoot-out which they won 3-0.

Joining them in the next round are in-form Heaton Mersey who were taken all the way at AFC Oldham thirds before scoring the only goal of a hard-fought encounter.

The other game saw Milton reserves win by 3-1 at Milnrow Firgrovia.

The final cup action was in Division C and D sides in the Hellawell Shield and the tie of the day saw Mellor reserves and Govan Athletic share four derby goals with Govan winning the penalty shoot out by 5-4.

Plenty of goals at Milltown who lost out 6-4 to Salford Storm reserves in an entertaining game. Moston Brook fourths beat Village Manchester reserves 3-0 and the last team through are Bury Ams thirds who won 4-2 at Altrincham Hale.

In the Premier Division, Moston Brook kept up their title challenge with a big win over AFC Oldham and with one game to play are five points clear of De La Salle who have two games in hand.

The other game was a mid-table encounter with North Walkden beating Abacus Media 4-1

Division One leaders Chadderton Cott needed a point from their game at Didsbury to clinch the title but missed their chance as they lost out 2-1 as a battling Didsbury bagged a late winner.

Irlam Tiger are hot on their tail after a 4-0 win over Trafford United and if they win their last two games they will overtake Cott with a superior goal difference.

There were goals galore for the pack hunting down Division Two leaders Hattersley led by Manchester Amateur Cup finalists Eccles United with a 7-0 cruise over Bedians.

Irlam Tiger Rangers have four games in hand on Hattersley and a 3-1 win at Wythenshawe Wanderers keeps them well in the hunt.

Baguley Athletic kept in the mix with a 5-0 win over Newton as did Sale Amateurs with a 5-2 victory at South Manchester.

Not much action in Division Three where Chadderton Park are in need of a win in their last match to be champions. Elton Lib Hargreaves enjoyed a 3-1 win at Radclyffe but lose the points because their opponents have since folded. Abacus Media won their derby with Hooley Bridge Celtic by 6-0.

It’s all to play for in Division A, With leaders North Walkden reserves without a game, the key game saw Kartel SC dent second-place Woodsend Athletic’s hope of closing the gap on the leaders with comprehensive 5-0 win.

Salford Storm had to work hard for a 2-1 win over Stretford Paddock reserves to stay in third spot.

Santos kept up their recent hot run, edging a goal-fest against Salford Vics reserves by 5-4. An early Vics goal was quickly snuffed out with three from Santos’s Ben Marshall including a penalty and Matt Barr on the scoresheet. A second Vics goal on the stroke of half time and two early second half strikes brought the score level. A late Barr strike settled the match much to the relief of Santos at the final whistle. There was also a 4-2 win for Greater Manchester at Trafford United reserves.

In Division B Aldermere Reserves lost out 1-4 to a revitalised GMFC Reserves, and still need three points to secure the title. Parrswood Celtic and Moston Brook third team earned a point each in a 1-1 draw.

Division C leaders Dukinfield Athletic kept up their strong title hopes with a 3-1 win at Bury Amateur reserves to move 19 points clear of Mellor reserves who have plenty of games in hand.

Urmston Town Vale led Staly Lions at the break but the Lions bit back in the second half to earn a point.

The 1-1 score was matched at AFC Stockport Warriors hosting Chadderton Park reserves.

In Division D Whalley Range took a big step to the title with a 9-2 win over Salford Vics Development taking them three points clear of Moston Brook fourths.

The other games brought wins for Mellor Development at AFC Oldham fourths and Altrincham Hale reserves by 2-1 over Irlam Tiger A.

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.

Agony for Baguley in the Manchester Amateur Cup

Baguley Athletic bowed out of the Manchester Amateur Cup after agonisingly losing their semi-final with Middleton on penalties.

The L & C outfit, enjoying their first season in the league, fell two goals behind early on as Middleton flew out of the traps.

But Baguley upped their game with a neat finish from Lee Hendley reducing the arrears before the break.

Their predatory Argentinian striker Paulo Ortiz had a typically clinical finish to take the game into a penalty shoot-out.

But it was not to be as Middleton held their nerve to win the shoot-out by 9-8 to deny Baguley a final against fellow L & C team Eccles United.

There was plenty of domestic cup action with three of the top teams making their way into the next round of the Rhodes Cup, featuring teams from the L & C’s top two divisions.

Manchester Challenge Cup finalists Abacus Media were in a tight contest with Division One champions Chadderton Cott and led with an early strike from Luke Perkin.

Cott showed intent to level before the break but Abacus dominated the second half to ease into the next round by 3-1.

Shaw Athletic also did Division One proud as they held Premier title contenders De La Salle to 1-1 at half-time but it was not enough to prevent a 3-2 win for De La Salle.

Rochdalians also took on another top team in Division One Signol Athletic but showed their enduring class with a comfortable 3-0 win.

The Wray Cup for teams in divisions two and three had plenty of goals, led by high-flying Hattersley who beat South Manchester 10-2 and not far behind were Stretford Paddock reserves with a 6-1 cruise over Woohouses.

Irlam Tiger Rangers were also on song as they won 5-2 at Newton.

There was plenty of action in the Whitehead Cup, contested by Division A and B teams, which featured a thriller at Milton Reserves as they ended normal time level at 5-5 against Moston Brook reserves who led 4-2 at half-time.

The penalty shoot out was equally dramatic as Milton won 8-7.

It was also close in a local derby at Aldermere reserves as they took on Old Stretfordians reserves.

This also ended deadlocked at 2-2 with Strets edging the shoo-out 4-3 to deny Aldermere a league and cup double.
The other three ties were also very tight and Flixton JFC saw visitors Kartel SC win 2-1, AFC Oldham reserves scored the only goal of their game at Greater Manchester reserves and Hillgate won their local derby against Spurley Hey by 2-1.

There were four games in the Hellawell Shield for teams in divisions C and D which saw straightforward wins for Bury Ams reserves by 5-0 at AFC Oldham fourths, Eccles United reserves by 3-0 at Didsbury reserves and Village Manchester reserves who registered a 2-0 win over Urmston Town Vale.

But it needed another penalty shootout at AFC Stockport Warriors after a 2-2 stalemate with Mellor Development who prevailed 5-4 on penalties.

Limited league action meant no games in the Premier division and just two in Division One which featured a relegation battle between Trafford United and Didsbury.

In a game played in excellent spirit Didsbury looked home and dry as a hat-trick from Jonny Todd took them into a comfortable 3-1 lead with 15 minutes to go but in the end they had to hang on to win 4-3 as United came back with a strong finish.

The other game saw Bury Ams pick up some useful points in a 2-0 win at Old Stretfordians.

In Division Two, Wythenshawe Wanderers closed the big lead on Hattersley to eight points with an emphatic 5-1 victory at Mellor.

Just two games in Division Three which did not affect the title race. There were comfortable wins for Elton Lib Hargreaves by 7-0 over Aldermere and Radclyffe by 3-0 over Stoconians.

Busier in Division A with four games played and Santos continued their recent good run of form with their best win of the season by 9-1 over Greater Manchester FC.

On target with doubles for Santos were Liam Churchill, David Clegg and Ben Marshall backed by singles from Tom Barnes, Danny Brierley and Tristan Campbell.

Also in comfort zone were Salford Storm who sauntered to a 4-0 win at AFC Oldham reserves, Trafford United reserves who hammered Milnrow Firgrovia 7-1 and Salford Vics reserves who strolled to a 6-0 triumph over Woodsend Athletic.

In Division B Heaton Mersey tightened their grip on second spot with a 3-1 win at Parrs Wood Celtic and Moston Brook thirds beat Oldham Saints 4-1.

Dukinfield Athletic stay firmly in charge of Division C after a 5-1 win at Chadderton Park reserves and near neighbours Staly Lions won 3-1 at Altrincham Hale.

The solitary Division D game saw Mellor Development edge a five-goal thriller against Salford Vics Development.