Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League round-up, 1 May 2022

Despite a 1-0 defeat to Woodchurch Hotel after hiring the wonderful facilities of Lairds 1907, Rock Ferry Social have finally lifted The Ryan ‘Giggsy’ Atherton Premier Division Title and Trophy.

Rock Ferry Social joined the Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League in 1969 – 53 seasons of chasing the holy grail. Rock Ferry Social started out as Bedford Hotel, in 1979/80 the team changed their name to Standard Social. In 1980/81 another name change, this time to Kings Social, then a further name change to Rock Ferry Social in 1986/87.

Over the years they have won a few trophies including three doubles. The first trophy was back in 1984/85 when they won the Division Two title. The first two doubles came in 1989/90 and 1993/94 when they lifted the Division One Championship and Presidents Cup.

Further cup success came in 2012/13 with the Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup and Veronica Conway Premier Cup. Three seasons later they triumphed again in the Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup. That was followed by the Invitation Cup that was won in 2018/19.

The club was started by the late great Billy ‘Bumps’ Jones, who was the club’s first secretary. He went on to become chairman for many many years. He was followed by another wonderful stalwart, the late superb Jimmy ‘Codgy Bishop’ James.

The Trophy was presented by the Mother of Ryan ‘Giggsy’ Atherton who was supported by some of her family and a great friend Julie Purnell.

At the end of the game, news filtered through that Rivacre FC (who were the only team capable of spoiling one of the biggest celebrations in Rock Ferry) were sunk 1-0 by Great Float S&S, also by a 1-0 scoreline.

It was a very emotional occasion and to see a fabulous congregation with the Woodchurch Hotel camp also adding their brilliant sportsmanship. No doubt Billy Jones and Jimmy James were remembered during the big party that went on until the early hours of the bank holiday Monday.

Woodchurch Hotel had their own celebrations in midweek after lifting the Wirral District Football Association Sunday Premier Cup. They defeated a very tired Dock team 4-1 thanks to a double from Danny McLoughlin and singles from Keith Lewis and Jordan Deer.

Woodchurch Hotel have another final date on Sunday 22 May at Ashville FC, replying for Dock AFC was Jamie Manifold, it was Dock’s third cup final in 6 days.

More silverware was given out at Ashville FC during the week in The Tony Smith Memorial Cup. Wellington FC had to come from behind to make it all square at 1-1 against KRCT FC.

Billy New opened the scoring for KRCT FC and Lewis Gouldson popped up with the equaliser and both teams played the game out, with a few half chances at both ends.

Wellington FC lifted the trophy on penalties 7-6 after both clubs failed to find the net once in the standard 5. Peter ‘Speedy’ Smith, along with one of his other brothers Tony, presented the trophy to Wellington FC.

In a family affair for Wellington, Manager Dave Carrington, son Liam Carrington were on the victorious side, and granddad Billy ‘Cagga’ Carrington added his advice and also doubled up as the first aid person. Billy who will be 80 years old this month, will be celebrating 65 years in football, and three generations from one family.

The Lukes claimed back to back titles after winning Division Two 12 months ago. They now secured the First Division Championship in fine style, after a resounding 6-0 win in midweek at Poulton Victoria S&S.

Ben Crossley lead the way with a four timer, while Ellis Jones and Luke Ainscough added a goal apiece. The Lukes FC will next season play in the elusive Premier Division and are a sister club to Rock Ferry Social.

Which team will join them is wide open at the moment. Bromborough Rake FC have just registered two crucial away results – 4-2 at Woodchurch Rovers and a comfortable 5-0 at Neston United on Sunday. Thanks to efforts from Kie Hughes, Phil Mohan and a Carl Boyd treble that kept up the pressure on Bushell Grange Athletic, who have one game left, while Bromborough Rake have four games to play.

After their exploits in midweek, Wellington FC are aiming for a treble, to go with the two cups they have already lifted. They stayed in pole position in Division Two after easing to a 5-1 scoreline at Eagle Stirrup FC. Matty O’Shea, Joe Kelly, Kieran Harris, Ben Dufton-Kelly and Tom Bradshaw came up trumps while Cameron Jones notched the reply for Eagle Stirrup.

MSC Eastham (Joe Keenan) dented JPL Jets (Callum Lavelle) chances of promotion with a 1-1 draw but is it between four clubs chasing three promotion places,

AFC Park North maintained a three point gap at the top of Division Three with a 4-0 win over West Kirby United after Declan Wray, Billy Rainbow, Tyler Smith and Oscar Sergeant all found the back of the net.

Whitby Rangers recorded an unusual 10-5 victory at AFC Tima (Mike Redgrift 2, Daniel Connolly, Tom Quirke, Phil Whitely), on the mark for Whitby Rangers were Brad Bland and Toby Cogswell who both hit a hattrick each and further goals from Matty Vickers with a double, singles for both Liam O’Brian and Dom Hope.

The crunch game, when the champions could be decided should come on 15 May, when AFC Park North visit Whitby Rangers. Four clubs are chasing the third promotion place with the two favourites coming from Barkers Armchair FC (Dom Swift, Louis Brown, Mike Searson, Louis Rice) who had the upper hand over Old Parks FC 4-2 and North Wirral Saints who accounted for Oval FC 4-0 after Sam Dangerfield notched a fine treble coupled with a single effort from Tom Fleming.

Confirmed Domestic Cup Finals For The Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League:
Jimmy Core Cup
North Wirral Saints V Old Parks FC – Thursday 5 May at Ashville FC Kick Off 7.00pm
Presidents Cup
The Lukes V Upton Town FC – Thursday12 May at Ashville FC Kick Off 7.00pm
David Tacy Cup
Saughall FC V KRCT FC – Sunday 15 May at Ashville FC Kick Off 2.00pm
Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup
Corsair FC V Woodchurch Hotel FC – Sunday 22 May at Ashville FC Kick Off 2.00pm

The Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League are now accepting applications for the new season that is scheduled to start in August 2022 in both Open Age and Youth, any Youth clubs that wish to enter two teams can do so, one team will be known Youth U/18’s and a second team is normally known as a Colts U/17’s, please visit the League website for contact details

The Rock Ferry Social team celebrate their title win. Credit: The Old and the New
Rock Ferry Social manager. Degsy Ward. and player Mark Connolly along with the Trophy. Credit: The Old and the New
Celebrating the Rock Ferry Social title success. Credit: The Old and the New
Tuesday 26 April 2022
Division One
Poulton Vics S&S 06 The Lukes
Upton Town 22 Neston United
Wirral Radio FC 14 Bushell Grange Athletic
Woodchurch Rovers 24 Bromborough Rake
Wednesday 27 April 2022
Wirral District FA Sunday Premier Cup Final
Dock AFC 14 Woodchurch Hotel FC
Thursday 28 April 2022
Tony Smith Memorial Trophy – Final
Wellington FC (1) 76 (1) KRCT FC
Sunday 1 May 2022
Premier Division
FC Bidston LW Corsair FC
Great Float S&S 10 Rivacre FC
Lancelyn Glenavon 11 Dock AFC
Neston Nomads 12 Queens Park FC
Rock Ferry Social 01 Woodchurch Hotel FC
Division One
Neston United 05 Bromborough Rake
Wirral Radio FC 04 AFC Shaftes
Woodchurch Rovers 41 Lions FC
Division Two
Eagle Stirrup FC 15 Wellington FC
JPL Jets 11 MSC Eastham
KRCT FC WL Saughall FC
Victoria Colts 53 Glenavon Athletic
Division Three
AFC Park North 40 West Kirby United
AFC Rangers 20 Wirral Athletic
AFC Tima 510 Whitby Rangers
Barkers Armchair 42 Old Parks FC

Premier Division Table

1ROCK FERRY SOCIAL18802710151253173646
2WOODCHURCH HOTEL FC1751343194436221431
3GREAT FLOAT S&S1631370210153426831
4CORSAIR FC184144148283134-326
5RIVACRE FC1450131481539241525
6QUEENS PARK FC182434146573738-123
7DOCK AFC1431233264433201322
8BEECHWOOD FC162423325743728922
9NESTON NOMADS1831611642123250-1814
10LANCELYN GLENAVON1713511624112041-2110
11FC BIDSTON1820711731142476-5210

Division One Table

1THE LUKES FC16900601150149103945
2BUSHELL GRANGE ATHLETIC17512702121449232637
3BROMBOROUGH RAKE14501512101345202531
4UPTON TOWN164234038263426826
5NESTON UNITED183154147294152-1123
6WIRRAL RADIO FC1720650470103238-621
7AFC SHAFTES183153246393341-821
8WOODCHURCH ROVERS152143235373131018
9POULTON VICS S&S1721520741122555-3013
10LIONS FC1610801611141558-434

Division Two Table

1WELLINGTON FC16610810142069115844
2KRCT FC17703700140386216542
3JPL JETS18540711125148232541
4NEW FERRY RANGERS17711530124150153540
5PRENTON FC1751240591753351828
6VICTORIA COLTS175122257372945-1624
7MSC EASTHAM173143156293638-220
8SAUGHALL FC154152036184034619
9EAGLE STIRRUP FC1921521842132764-3714
10BARCODE FC2031702733141957-3812
11SILVA ATHLETIC2011721832152491-6711
12GLENAVON ATHLETIC1911712723142673-479

Division Three Table

1AFC PARK NORTH201100801190168234557
2WHITBY RANGERS20900902180295296654
3BARKERS ARMCHAIR FC18623403102652391332
4NORTH WIRRAL SAINTS1731354185452312129
5AFC TIMA196232248474543228
6OLD PARKS FC194233257483533225
7OVAL FC1940531671113361-2822
8AFC RANGERS2142420962133765-2820
9WEST KIRBY UTD1830631561114448-419
10WIRRAL ATHLETIC1911742453113063-3318
11PARKGATE ST GERMAIN2031521852133256-2417
12AFC RAEBURN1812710722143365-328

Main image credit: RF._.studio

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