CWFL Life Members Cup first round action dominated the weekend fixture list with teams from both open age Divisions and five Vets Divisions coming together.
The first game kicked off on Friday night as top vets side Mersey Royal hosted Premier Division side Kelsall and despite a brace from Tom Hulme for Kelsall, Royal responded with strikes from Stu Hardman and Will Bulpin as the ninety minutes ended 2-2. It was Mersey Royal who held their nerve as they ran out 5-3 winners in the shootout to progress.
Saturday’s result of the day goes to Birkenhead Vets who shocked Championship leaders Waggon & Horses Reserves. Waggon had Ellis Moore and Ryan McCleary both net doubles and Harris Dixon a single, but Birkenhead rallied and had two goal heroes in Jimmy Hodgin and Victor Thurgill who netted two spectacular goals with one being a scissor kick. Birkenhead’s equalizer was poked home by Ryan Morgan who slid in at the back post to make it 5-5 and send a thrilling game to penalties, where yet again it was the Vets who prevailed to win the shootout 4-3.
Another superb result for the vets saw Ellesmere Port Red Lions Vets secure their passage into the next round as they dumped out Premier Division side Christleton. Red Lions, despite being behind three times, had Graeme Davidson in inspired form as he bagged a brace to go along with a Mike Cooper strike. Christleton had Matt Jones on target with a double and Louis Mullineux with a single which saw another exciting game end in a high-scoring draw. The experience of the Vets again told as Red Lions won the shootout 5-4.
Lache Vets took care of business in normal regulatory time as they destroyed Premier side Moreton 5- 0. Warren Kelly netted twice and Lee Chesworth, Tom Rowlands, and Leon Whitley all bagged singles.
Another shock result saw Championship side Handbridge defeat Premier side FC Farndon by the odd goal in five. Farndon netted with strikes from Lee Parry and Mike Mcintyre, but Handbridge replied with a Jack Radford double to go along with a Scott Gibbons single to send the championship side into the next round.
Alfie Naylor netted five and Mike Williams two as Shaftesbury eased past Cestrian Alex winning 7-1, with Cestrian’s goal coming via an own goal whilst Chester Nomads 3rd had Mike Stamper on target, but Paul Ellison responded for Neston Nomads Vets as the game ended 1-1 and yet another penalty shootout. This time Chester Nomads progressed winning 5-4.
Poulton Athletic Vets, with efforts from Lee Dermondy and Mick McCann, battled bravely against Premier Division side Hoole Rangers. With the game at 2-2 going into the last ten minutes fitness told as Hoole had Connor Howley on target with a treble to go along with a Josh Leach double and a John Elliot effort saw Hoole run out 6-2 winners.
Keiron Fleetwood was a three-goal hero as Hooton Vets saw off the challenge of FC Vaults Vets in convincing style. Eddie Jebb and James Quinn also got in on the act in a 5-0 rout.
Neston Nomads Reserves had Joel Hall to thank as he netted a penalty and a free kick in a 2-1 win against Parkfield Vets, and in an all-Championship affair, it was Cheshire Vikings who came away with a 4-1 win against rivals Sutton Rangers Reserves. Oscar Sergent, James Marshall, Ian Davies, and Bobby Lavery were all on target for Vikings.
Hartford Vets marched into the next round with a resounding 6-2 win against Upton JFC Vets. Dan Bowen bagged a trick whilst Mike Jones hit a double and Dom Elliot a single.
Steve Hickson scored two goals for Capenhurst Vets, but this was not enough as Sutton Rangers replied with strikes from Alex Morgan, Shakeel Sterling, and Cal Lang to put Sutton into the hat for the next round.
Hoole Rovers defeated Dee Rangers Vets on penalties after the game ended 2-2.
Higher Bebington Kelma Vets‘ superb cup form came to an end as they went crashing out of the Northern Cup in a bad-tempered affair losing 2-0 against open-age side Stretford Paddock.
Image: Cheshire Vikings v Sutton Rangers Reserves. Credit: Bryn Jackson