Oddfellows Celtic shock sets up final fling against Salthorn WMC (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Oddfellows Celtic shock sets up final fling against Salthorn WMC
Paul Bell celebrates after scoring for Salthorn WMC during their semi-final victory over Sporting Pudsey
Salthorn WMC will tackle Oddfellows Celtic in the Intermediate Cup final after enjoying contrasting last-four wins in the GOALS-sponsored Bradford Sunday Alliance League competition.
Division 2B team Salthorn came from two goals down to see off 2A counterparts Sporting Pudsey 5-2, while Division 2A high-fliers Oddfellows pulled off an upset by edging out 1A leaders Bolton Woods Socials 1-0.
Adam Shaw showed tremendous early form for Pudsey as his free-kick set up the headed opening goal for defender Jack Peat before crossing for Matthew Good to double the advantage.
But the influential Good picked up an injury after 25 minutes and Salthorn gradually turned the tables, starting with an own goal before Michael Ferguson restored parity following a goalline scramble.
Paul Bell nudged the Bradford side in front for the first time three minutes into the second half and man of the match Andrew Fieldhouse then took over to add the final two goals.
Pudsey had late chances through Danny Cook and Thomas Jones as they looked to mount a comeback but Salthorn withstood the pressure to secure a second final berth in two weeks to add to their Bradford & District FA Sunday Cup progress.
The other semi-final, taking place on an adjoining pitch at Rawdon Meadows, was a much tighter affair but Oddfellows nicked it against a Socials side who have also already clinched promotion.
Richard Brame was a rock in a well-drilled defence for Celtic and this allowed Scott Higgins, who had previously started every match, to come off the bench and grab the glory by netting the winning goal midway through the second half.
There was also plenty of important league matches over the weekend – including at Manningham in Division One as leaders Buttershaw Celtic won a thriller 4-3 to seal promotion to the top section for the first time in their ten-year history.
The hosts took an early lead but Buttershaw hit back to equalise with a Michael Nicholson header and took the lead through John Singh just after the interval.
Manningham soon drew level again but substitute Paul Blake scored with his first touch and Lee Smith added the fourth goal to effectively end the contest.
Buttershaw White Star maintained their unbeaten Premier Division title challenge with a 1-0 win that lifted them above opponents Sandy Lane into second place, Adam Barlow netting the decisive goal.
Bowling also hit the woodwork on several occasions but eventually James Crossland (2) and Phil Brogan sealed the points for the defending champions.
Division 1B high-fliers Swaine Green warmed up for their District Cup semi-final against Buttershaw White Star with a 4-0 win at Beldon Sports, which included an Andy Lee brace.
Andy Corker (2) and man of the match Chris Robson scored the goals that mean Eccleshill need just three more points to be mathematically certain of the title.
Eccleshill Punjab are still on course for promotion from Division 3B after beating leaders Park 4-1 to move within a point of their opponents.
Taj Basi scored twice, the second goal set up by his man-of-the-match son Kam, with Mohammed Adeel and Mohammed Imran also scoring.