Hambleton League: Sportsmans hold on to reach county cup final

SPORTSMANS FC reached the final of the North Riding County Cup last Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Henleys Athletic.

Scott McNichol gave Sporties a third minute lead and they looked in control five minutes before the break when Andy Ramsbottom made it 2-0. But Henleys pulled a goal back right at the start of the second half and it led to a thrilling conclusion, although Sporties held on to reach the final.

In Division One, Robert Thompsons’ fading title hopes are all but over after they were beaten 3-1 at Stokeley SC. A first-half brace from Mickey James looked to have put the hosts in control but Stu Rose chipped Thompsons back into it, five minuets after the restart. However, any hope of a comeback was over when Callum Cuthbert made it 3-1, 20 minutes from time. Elsewhere, Blue Star thrashed struggling Kildale 9-0 to move into the top three.

Division Two leaders AFC Beckside were beaten 5-1 at Three Coopers. Stu Adams gave the hosts an early lead and the match was over by the break as Jack Reynard and Ryan Jones made it 3-0. With 20 minutes left, Gav Brown did pull one back for the leaders, but Johnny Reyner and Jones, with his second, sealed the points in the closing stages.

Ainderby SC are fourth as goals in each half from Will Stevenson and Sam Logan were enough to give them a 2-1 victory at bottom side Streetlam Farmers, who are now all but relegated.

Catterick Village warmed up for their Bob Seymour Trophy cup final appearance with a 4- 2 home win over Osmotherley Rangers. Adam Hodgkinson and Rob Lister both scored twice while Rich Thompson grabbed a brace for Rangers, who remain third bottom.

Osmotherley FC and Cowtons shared four goals. Tom Armstrong and Mark Sims gave Cowtons a 2-0 half time advantage but Matty Croft and Lee Holtby – both created by James Harrison – scored after the break to give Ossie a point.

Golden Lion, Romanby, increased their survival hopes with a 3-0 victory over fading Topcliffe. After a goalless first half, Craig Chandler and Iain Summerson quickly put the Lion in control, while Peter Thompson completed the scoring nine minutes from time.

With Division Three leaders Brompton FC not in action, Bar One were able to cut the gap at the top to five points with a 3-2 win at Masons Arms. Ben Warmington and Roy Smith gave Masons a shock 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes but Ben Wood scored twice before the break to bring Bar level. Dean Hill then won it 10 minutes into the second period.

Farmers Arms, Scorton, brought the curtain down on their season with an 8-3 success at bottom side Northern Dons. Adam Simpson led the way with a hat-trick while Lee White and Eddy Codd both struck twice. Ben McGarrell completed the scoring for the Farmers who could finish third if the chasing pack all drop points in the run-in.

The Standard came from behind to grab a 2-2 draw with visitors Knayton. Defeat for either side would have put their promotion hopes at risk but Knayton looked set for victory thanks to goals either side of the break from John Henry and Martin Kendall. But a penalty from Dan Waind 15 minutes from time put the hosts right back into it and Matt Hutchinson grabbed a dramatic 88th minute equaliser to keep the hosts 11 points off the top three with four games to play.

County Arms cannot finish lower than tenth after goals from Chris Foster, Dan Nicholson and Liam Stockill gave them a 3-2 victory at Vale of York, while Jolly Minister will finish second-from-bottom despite ending their campaign with a 1-0 win at GLR Romanby.

Jordan Porter headed the only goal of a tight game seven minutes from time.

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