The 60th Anniversary season of The Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League commenced last Sunday with four open age divisions and sponsorship from the Houlihan family now in its 31st season.
Wirral Radio Newton (slight name change), who are playing their home games in Greasby at Millcroft, home of West Cheshire Club, Newton FC, claimed their first-ever maximum points haul on the first day of the season thanks to Matt Lydiate, Conor Egan, and Liam McCrellis 3-1 against new club Upton Willows. in the Martin Gallier Project Division Two.
Wirral Radio Newton Secretary Adam Siddorn has done sterling work off the pitch securing sponsorship for Division Two. The Martin Gallier Project is a charity that deals with mental health. Adam has also acquired an accreditation for the League with ‘Kick It Out’ – the very first League in The North West Of England to do so. Adam also sits on the League Management Committee as the Inclusion Officer.
Mark Head notched a fine hat-trick for Lions FC in a 6-2 win at Barkers Armchair. Daniel Chamney, Tom Povall, and Ameel Al Gamri were also on the scoresheet.
The game of the day in the Martin Gallier Project Division Two saw Woodchurch Rovers (Ryan Thompson, Tommy Atherton, Hyden Berry) dip to a 4-3 loss in a seven-goal local derby thriller with Eagle Stirrup FC, who netted via a double each from Jack Reeves and Callum Jones.
Last season’s Division Three champions, Old Parks FC, carried their form into the new season with a 5-0 success over promoted rivals AFC Rangers. Netting for Old Parks were Darryl Hellon with a treble, supported by singles from Luke Arnold and Declan Iveson.
Promoted club, Eastham Rangers, had to travel over to Poulton Victoria S&S (Tom Price, Ryan Mason) and ran out 5-2 winners. Goal-getters for Eastham Rangers were Jordan Crowder (2), Andy Simpson (2), and Joe Skinner.
Premier Division action for The Ryan ‘Gigsy’ Atherton Trophy saw the league’s only ever-present team, Queens Park, travel over to Maxwell’s Barber Division One Champions, Cheshire Cheese, with smiles all round after a brace from Levi Chiduka and a single from Liam Owen.
KRCT Bidston got off to a positive start with a narrow 1-0 over Cheshire Cup Champions Lancelyn Glenavon, with Ben O’Neil hitting the all-important goal.
Last season’s runners-up, Woodchurch Hotel, ran out 3-2 winners at newly promoted Wellington FC, who replied through Lewis Evans and Shay Roberts. Woodchurch Hotel marksmen were Charlie Macinnes with a pair and a Jake Prescott effort.
Rock Ferry Social opened up their account with a 2-1 win over Great Float S&S having Ben Ryan securing the points with both strikes.
A solitary effort from Jake Williams for new club Clipper FC in the Maxwell’s Barber Division One, was enough to earn the all the points at Barcode FC 1-0.
Bushell Athletic also registered the same 1-0 scoreline over newly promoted Prenton FC in a fine game of football coming from both sides.
Division two champions, Whitby Rangers, (Matty Vickers 2) suffered a rare defeat, 4-2 at the hands of Eastham Rangers Colts (pictured), who secured the points with strikes from Dillon Thomas (2), Andy Rogers, and Nath Saunders.
A Tom Haynes penalty added to a Brendan Doherty effort was enough for Upton Town to take the points over Rig Move 2-0.
Oxton Celtic made their debut in the league and had a share of the spoils at North Wirral Saints (Aaron Cross 2) 2-2.
Also sharing the honours in a 1-1 draw were Parkgate St Germain (Nick McKnight) and Victoria Colts (Billy Harrison).
Two more new clubs faced each other in Division Three with Feeneys FC accounting for a 9-0 win over Upton United, whilst last season’s basement club, AFC Raeburn, were off the mark early season with a superb win at strongly fancied AFC Tima 3-1 -Tyler Sutton with a double and a further strike from Jonny Cable with Mike Redgrift replying for Tima.
Wirral Athletic (Harry Huggins, Declan Pearce, og) opened up their account with the same 3-1 result over Higher Bebington Kelma (Jack Brown), whilst West Kirby United accounted for Glenavon Athletic 5-0 with Robbie Nairn (2), Ben Banks, Tom Fleming, and Matty Murphy all finding their names on the scorecard.