Change at the top af­ter Whal­ley win

Stockport Express - - Sports - LAN­CASHIRE AND CHESHIRE AFL

AC­TION re­sumed in the sec­ond half of the L and C sea­son with vir­tu­ally a full pro­gramme of league games and just one de­layed cup tie.

The cup match was in the White­head Cup and El­ton Lib Har­g­reaves showed why they are fly­ing high at the top of divi­sion A as they en­joyed a com­fort­able 4-0 win at divi­sion B high-fliers Parrs Wood Celtic sec­onds.

The win takes them through to the last eight where they await the win­ners of the tie be­tween Rochdale Galaxy and Chad­der­ton Cott sec­onds.

The top game of the day was at Whal­ley Range where the home team took on long-time Premier divi­sion lead­ers Rochdalians.

In a game of ex­cel­lent qual­ity the first half ended locked at 0-0 as both sides missed chances.

Then Range struck twice in five min­utes with Danny Hef­fer­nan bag­ging a brace to put his team in charge.

But Rochdalians showed their bat­tling qual­i­ties as a close-range header from Scott Ho­p­ley re­duced the ar­rears.

Range re­stored their two-goal ad­van­tage with a clin­i­cal fin­ish from Tim Kin­sella and although Rochdalians again hit the tar­get with an­other header from Adam Sweeney Range held on to go ahead of Rochdalians by two points. Rochdalians still have the ti­tle in their own hands as they have three games in hand of their ri­vals.

The re­cent good run of Sal­ford Vics was ended when they lost out to Manch­ester Chal­lenge Cup fi­nal­ists Aba­cus Me­dia by the odd goal in five. Water­loo took ad­van­tage of the Vics de­feat to over­take them with a 3-1 win at Traf­ford United and a 3-1 win by Mellor saw them move into the chas­ing pack.

South Manch­ester are also in the mix af­ter a com­fort­able 8-3 win at Old Ash­to­ni­ans.

The top teams in divi­sion one kept their sta­tus as they all en­joyed big wins.

Lead­ers Dom Doyle dis­posed of Old­ham Vics 7-2 but Parrs Wood Celtic kept in touch as they too kept up their hot run with a 6-1 derby win at Didsbury.

Celtic made an early show of their in­tent with strikes from Char­lie McDonald, Aaron Min­shull and Pat Davin in the first 25 min­utes to have them firmly in con­trol.

Ir­lam Tigers were also hot in a 5-1 win over Mos­ton Brook and Chorl­to­ni­ans were em­phatic 8-1 vic­tors at Sto­co­ni­ans.

The other game in the divi­sion was a much more even af­fair as Swin­ton and AFC Old­ham shared six goals.

It’s tight at the top of divi­sion two with just two points sep­a­rat­ing the top three teams.

Manch­ester Polo­nia still rule the roost af­ter a hard-earned 2-1 win at Urm­ston Town but only on goal dif­fer­ence from New­ton who en­joyed a com­fort­able 4-1 win at Spur­ley Hey.

It was also close in the other games with Be­di­ans win­ning 2-1 at San­tos and Rochdalians sec­onds beat Mellor sec­onds 4-2.

The local derby at South Manch­ester sec­onds saw them share six goals with Chorl­to­ni­ans sec­onds with Josh Harper, Nathan Cox and Cal­lum Clowes on tar­get for South.

Duk­in­field Ath­letic main­tained their five­point lead at the top of divi­sion three as they went nap with a 5-0 vic­tory over Al­der­mere.

Sto­co­ni­ans sec­onds stay in touch with a 2-0 win at Mellor sec­onds but Sig­nol Ath­letic lost ground as they went down 5-2 host­ing Sal­ford Vics sec­onds.

Rad­clyffe have plenty of games in hand on the lead­ing teams and a 2-0 win at Aba­cus Me­dia sec­onds sees them firmly in the ti­tle hunt.

Mellor thirds beat Chad­der­ton Park 3-1 and the base­ment bat­tle at Heaton Mersey ended with honours even in a 2-2 dead­lock with Vil­lage Manch­ester.

With divi­sion A’s run­away lead­ers El­ton Lib Har­g­reaves in cup ac­tion it gave their ti­tle ri­vals a chance to close them down and Mos­ton Brook sec­onds re­duced the points deficit to eight with an ef­fi­cient3-1 win at Flix­ton.

AFC Old­ham sec­onds dented the hopes of Rochdale Galaxy with an ex­cit­ing 5-3 win.

Sig­nol Ath­letic’s young sec­ond team were in good form with a 5-0 win at Chorl­to­ni­ans Villa.

In freez­ing con­di­tions on a tricky pitch Uni­corn got 2019 off to a flyer with their big­gest win of the sea­son.

The cen­tre halves Ash­ley Jones and Sam Storey both notched with iden­tikit head­ers from corners and then both keep­ers pulled off great saves to keep the half time score at 2-0.

With tem­per­a­tures on the pitch warm­ing up Ra­mone Wil­liams coolly tapped in the third af­ter an­other good save from the Duk­in­field stop­per.

Duk­in­field’s striker was on hand to re­duce the ar­rears af­ter a few ri­cho­chets in the box be­fore James Stead­man rammed the ball into the roof of the net to steady Uni­corn’s nerves.

Sam Storey smashed in a goal of the sea­son contender from 35 yards af­ter win­ning the ball on the half way line.

Ben McKie capped off a great team move with an­other cracker from the edge of the box to end a good day for Uni­corn.

The bat­tle for the top spot in divi­sion B con­tin­ues at a hot pace with two teams, level on points, setting the pace.

Chad­der­ton Cott sec­onds are top dogs and im­proved their goal dif­fer­ence with a big 10-2 win over Mos­ton Brook thirds but AFC Stock­port were also in good form win­ning 4-2 at Hoo­ley Bridge Celtic sec­onds and have two vi­tal games in hand over their ti­tle ri­vals.

Old Stret­for­dians sec­onds slipped off top spot af­ter a shock 2-1 de­feat at Hill­gate and are now two points adrift of the top two.

Bury Ams sec­onds were in sev­enth heaven af­ter a clin­i­cal 7-0 de­feat of Staly Lions and the other game saw AFC Old­ham thirds despatch Chorl­to­ni­ans Ath­letic 4-2.

In divi­sion D it was 10/10 for un­stop­pable lead­ers Deans who had to work hard for a 2-0 win at a de­ter­mined Chad­der­ton Park sec­onds.

The vic­tory keeps Deans six points clear of Old Strets thirds who were 5-2 win­ners at Go­van Ath­letic.

Holling­worth sec­onds moved above Go­van into third spot af­ter a 7-0 win over Sto­co­ni­ans fourths.

●●Ac­tion from Heaton Mersey’s clash against Vil­lage (in blue)

●●Ac­tion from Heaton Mersey’s clash against Vil­lage (in blue)

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