Hambleton League: Police back to winning ways after cup setback

First published in Football

DIVISION One leaders Northallerton Police put the disappointment of defeat in the final of the Frank Bainbridge Cup behind them last Sunday as they increased their lead at the top of the table to six points with a 4-2 win over struggling Travaux FC.

Two goals in three minutes midway through the first half put the Police in control. Chris Walker fired home in the 29th minute before Liam Darville made it 2-0 after combining with Walker and Sam Vernalls. Stuart Brown reduced the arrears for Travaux on the hour with a fine free kick but after Darville had struck the crossbar, Vernalls headed home an Ashley McInerney corner to make it 3-1. Substitute Johnny Morris then sealed the points; scoring with his first touch after replacing Richard Schofield.

Travaux had the final word with a 30-yard effort from Pete Hurry but they will be relegated unless they win both of their remaining matches.

Frank Bainbridge Cup winners Sportsmans FC prepared for their County Cup final appearance this week with a 4-2 win at already-relegated Northallerton WMC. Chris Smales and Mikey Stevens both scored for the Workies but Sporties eased to victory with strikes from Colin Anderson, Scott McNichol, and brothers Andy and Aaron Ramsbottom. Although they remain seven points off the top with just one game in hand, the Sporties still have to play leaders Northallerton Police twice and those games now look like deciding the destination of the title.

Henleys Athletic, who have been given a bye into the final of the League Challenge Cup after Northallerton Police fielded an illegible player in the semi-final, are out of the title race after being thrashed 7-0 at Robert Thompsons. Dan McCalmont opened the scoring after 12 minutes and the match was over long before the break. Stu Rose made it 2-0 before Nick Newcombe completed a first-half hattrick.

Rose and Dan Dixon then completed the scoring in the closing stages.

Stokesley SC scored twice in the last eight minutes to grab a 3-3 draw with neighbours and League Challenge Cup finalists Kildale. An early brace from Alex Grainge looked to have put Kildale in control but Lee Evans reduced the arrears just before the break. However, Steven Pennock made it 3-1 on the hour and that was the way it stayed until an 82nd minute own goal gave Stokesley hope.

That led to a thrilling climax which saw Evans wipe the smile off Kildale faces with an equaliser three minutes from time.

Three Coopers now appear to be favourites to land the Division Two title after they won 6-0 at Cowtons. Matthew Allison and Danny Dale made it 2-0 at the break while Paul Nicholson, Travis Robinson, Johnny Coombs and Dale again completed the scoring in the second half. Coopers are now two points behind leaders Brompton-on-Swale with two games in hand.

Ainderby SC saw their title chances take a knock as they were beaten 5-4 in a dramatic match at Golden Lion. An early brace from Chris Hope looked to have set Ainderby on the way to the points they needed, but Craig Chandler and a hattrick from Liam Hall had turned the match in the Lion’s favour by the hour. However, Ainderby appeared to have grabbed a point thanks to an own goal and a third from Hope, but in the dying moments Chandler won it for the Lion. Despite the defeat, Ainderby remain four points off the top with three games in hand.

Catterick Village are the dark horses for the title as they are now six points off the top with four games in hand after thrashing relegated Streetlam Farmers 14-2. Sean Keegan scored four times, while Adam Hodgkinson hit a hat-trick as Village warmed up for their Bob Seymour Cup final appearance in style. Josh Wooff and Michael Ingram both struck twice, while Rob Lister, Danny Allen and Dan Deeney completed the rout. Despite not getting on the scoresheet himself, Gary Ewart took the man of the match honours thanks to his nine assists.

West Tanfield’s title hopes are all but over after they were held to a 3-3 draw at Topcliffe.

Duncan Terry scored twice in the first half, the second of which came from the penalty spot, but Topcliffe turned it around after the break with a brace from Luke Burnett and a penalty from Adam Ryan.

However, Tanfield salvaged a point with a late Martin Mason effort, although they are now four points off the top with just two matches left to play.

The big Osmotherley derby ended with honours even after Matty Croft scored an 87th minute equaliser for FC. Rich Thompson had earlier given Rangers a first half lead.

Bar One secured the runners- up spot in Division Three with a 6-1 victory at County Arms. Lee Larkin gave the hosts a shock early lead but Ben Wood, with two, and Lee Manamley turned the match in Bar’s favour before the break.

Manamley then scored twice more after the break to complete his hat-trick before Paul Humphreys rounded off the scoring.

Knayton will finish fourth after ending their campaign with a 3-0 win at bottom side Northern Dons. Chris Cowton scored in the first half while Rob Dale and John Henry completed the scoring in the final 15 minutes.

The final game of the weekend saw Masham win 2-0 at GLR, Romanby, thanks to goals from Dan Hare and Sam Gill.

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