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Annual battle of the Leagues
5:00pm Wednesday 23rd April 2014 in Sport
The 56th annual match between the Yorkshire Amateur League and the Amateur Football Combination (AFC) of London will take place at Old Earth on Saturday (2pm) – the home of Huddersfield Amateur FC.
The AFC has a base of nearly 100 clubs and 350 teams and is arguably the largest adult league in Europe. The Yorkshire Amateur League (YAL) has a mere 46 clubs with 91 teams.
The teams compete for the Jerry Hildersley Trophy, with the competition conducted in the same way as the Ashes. Thus a draw will be insufficient for the YAL to regain the Trophy this week. YAL must win, with the Amateur Football Combination protective of the Trophy they retained last season 2-1 in Redbridge.
The YAL have had great success in 2013/14. They won the Leeds & District Inter-League Cup and defeated both the Northampton Combination League and the Bedford County League in the FA National Inter League Trophy before losing to the now finalists the Isle of Man 3-2 at West Riding CFA Headquarters in Fleet Lane, with the winning goal coming in the 119th minute.
The only blot on the season was the defeat inflicted by The York Minster Engineering League who beat the YAL 3-2 and that enabled The York League to regain the Ernie Fairclough Memorial Trophy.
On the other hand, the AFC have had a mixed season. They lost in the first round of the FA Inter-League Cup to the Surrey Elite Intermediate League 2-1 but forged an impressive 2-0 victory over Cambridge University and crushed the London Legal League 10-0.