County Amateur League miss out on semi-final berth

4:30pm Monday 27th January 2014

By Philip Rhodes

The West Riding County Amateur League representative team were denied a place in the FA Inter-League Cup semi-finals as they lost 3-1 to their Isle of Man counterparts.

Yet there was no disgrace in defeat on a blustery day at the Manx national stadium as the home goalkeeper emerged with the man of the match award.

The hosts dominated the first 25 minutes of the game with the wind at their backs and deservedly took the lead when a speculative shot by Frank Jones was blown high over County Amateur League keeper Graham McLachlan.

Scott Eastwood, of Ovenden West Riding, grabbed an equaliser within five minutes from a close-range shot, only for Ciaran McNulty to restore the home side’s lead towards the end of the half.

The County Amateurs took advantage of having the breeze in their favour after the interval to pepper the Isle of Man goal but they were continually foiled by keeper Max Thomas.

And with the visitors committing players forward in search of an equaliser, they were caught on the break in the closing seconds as Chris Bass crossed from the left and Jones added his second goal.

There was not much domestic action for County Amateur League clubs at the weekend as heavy rain early on Saturday afternoon caused the postponement of all but four of the scheduled games.

This included the West Riding County FA Challenge Cup tie between Steeton and Oxenhope Recreation for a third time.

The only Premier Division match to survive ended in disappointment for Gareth Jones of Halifax Irish as he scored four times, only for the game against high-flying Littletown to end in a 4-4 draw.

Jones bagged a first-half hat-trick but the third-bottom home side were denied by replies from Liam Fox (2), Kyle Douglas and Luke McCarran.

Mid-table Campion Reserves went down 4-1 at home to third-placed Lower Hopton in Division One.

Usmann Hussain netted the consolation in reply to strikes by Liam Walsh, Leon Henry, Luke Peacock and Liam Reilly.

Division Two leaders Dudley Hill Rangers extended their cushion at the summit to ten points with a 6-1 win at Tyersal Reserves, who are sixth.

Dominic Staunton and Roman Zurik supplied two goals apiece, backed up by Chris Gibbons and Danny Softley.

Second-placed DRAM Community suffered a double blow as they saw Dudley Hill pull further clear while crashing out of the Division Two Cup quarter-finals 2-1 to Kirkburton Reserves.

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