Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League round-up, 3 March 2024

Congratulations go to KRCT Bidston and Rock Ferry Social on reaching the Cheshire County Football Association Sunday Challenge Cup Final.

This is the third consecutive season that two clubs from The Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League have contested the final and there will be new name on the trophy as neither team has ever lifted this prestigious piece of silverware. It will be the 29th occasion that the trophy will be coming back to Birkenhead, fittingly in the League’s 60th Anniversary year.

KRCT Bidston, who had to have a late switch of venue to get their semi final played, ran out a 5-4 victory in a nine-goal thriller over AFC Carnforth. Kian Hamm and Vinny O’Toole both notched a brace each added to an own goal to seal their place alongside Rock Ferry Social who finished their game 1-1 with George and Dragon after normal regulatory time, but took the tie on 4-2 on penalties. Kie Hughes got the all-important goal for Rock Ferry Social.

Adam Larway produced a player of the match display for Derby Jets in a third round tie at the fifth attempt in the Wirral District Football Association Sunday Amateur Cup to beat fellow league members Old Parks. Another mouth-watering tie awaits Derby Jets in the semi final against fellow division rivals Whitby Rangers.

A double strike each for Harvey Sample and Jamie Leyland earned Queens Park a place in the quarter finals of The Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup, after they defeated a much improved AFC Shaftes from the Maxwell’s Barber Division One (Callum McCaffrey, David Southall) 4-2.

Also into the draw for the final eight are Rig Move who knocked out Poulton Vics S&S 6-3. Daniel Woodcock and Chris McCready each bagged a pair, along with singles from Steve Rowlands and Phil Jones for Rig Move while Jay Little (2) and Hatim Aljamal responded for the Vics.

Eastham Rangers Colts got back to winning ways in the Frank Robinson Presidents Cup and secured a place in the semi finals with a resounding 5-1 result at hosts Moreton Rovers. Netting for Eastham Rangers Colts were Jim Ludbrook (2), Dan O’Halloran, Andy Rogers, and Nick Wakefield.

There is always a shock result in cup football and with the leaders of The Martin Gallier Project Division Two hosting basement club Woodchurch Rovers in The Tony Smith Memorial Trophy, the tables were turned upside down with Michael Dobbs scoring the only goal of the game for Woodchurch Rovers to inflict a rare defeat on Lions FC. Woodchurch Rovers now have a place in the semi finals along with AFC Rangers and await the results of two other quarter finals to find out their next opponents.

Only three league games survived the waterlogged pitches. 21 out of the last 23 weeks have seriously disrupted the fixture programme. Fortunately, the many clubs who have hired 3G pitches have helped the league enormously to take the sting away, no doubt some may have to play three times a week on the odd occasion.

The league’s fixture secretary is putting in extra shifts to give every club a game and the referee secretary is very similar working double shifts with weekly changes to make sure match officials are at every game.

The game of the day came in the Premier Division with a third consecutive meeting between hosts, Woodchurch Hotel and Dock AFC, who are current holders of the Ryan ‘Gigsy’ Atherton Trophy.

Dock are looking to make a late run to retain the trophy as they did last season, they again defeated Woodchurch Hotel for the third time in as many weeks and also by the odd goal in three like last week with Cam McGregor and Joe Dulson on the scoresheet and Charlie Macinnes replying for the Woody 2-1.

The battle for survival in the Martin Gallier Division Two saw Barkers Armchair claim a memorable 4-1 success over visitors AFC Rangers. Kieran Davies plundered a couple for Barkers with added singles from Lee Doyle and Louis Murray. Kieran Cook struck the consolation for AFC Rangers.

North Wirral Saints (Callum Sait, Frazer Lucking (2)) took the honours in a mid-table tussle in Division Three recording a 3-2 win over Parkgate St Germain (Nick McNeight, Nial Davidson).

The league is also accepting applications for the Youth Division for the same 2024-2025 season that is scheduled to start in August 2024. Any Youth clubs/teams that wish to enter two teams can do so, one team will be known as Youth U18s and a second team is normally known as a Colts U17s. Please visit the League website for contact details.

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