Match of the day in The Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League Premier Division was blown wide open with up to 8 clubs that have a chance of winning the beautiful blue ribbon trophy that is sponsored by the Atherton Family in memory of Ryan ‘’Gigsy’’ Atherton.
Current holders and preseason favourites Dock AFC found themselves 4-0 down after 42 minutes to Rivacre FC. Jay Harvey, a Joe Foster (Penalty), Jake Hully and Joe Brandon all finding the net but a strike from Kieran Hamm right on halftime gave Dock some hope for a better second half.
Dock did rally round in the second half with a second effort from Kieran Hamm then it was the turn of Adam Bagley to get the third followed by a superb goal from Cameron McGregor to bring the scores level at 4-4.
With 5 minutes remaining, Mike Burkey cut in from the right curled one into the bottom corner of the net for Rivacre to take the honours. Both teams finished the game with 10 men on the park. It was an early Christmas present for Rivacre FC who have moved up to 4th in the Premier Division are now two points behind second-placed Dock AFC and also have a game in hand.
Division One side Upton Town took the lead at home in The Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup 2nd round tie through Scott Billington but Division Two outfit Victoria Colts hit back through a brilliant volley from Gaz Dickenson and a Billy Harrison effort to claim a place in Round three 2-1.
There was another giant-killing act in a third-round tie with Bushell Grange Athletic taking the honours 3-1 at with FC Bidston. On the mark for Bushell’s were Leigh Carpenter, Dean Fleming and Liam Atherton, Thomas Murray replied for FC Bidston, Beechwood FC (Tom Quinn, Leo Riley, Jack McGrotty, Mitch Duggan) saw off Neston Nomads (Thomas Murray) in an all Premier Division clash.
The Lukes maintain pole position and go six points clear after a comfortable 4-0 success over AFC Shaftes. Thanks to Jack Maybury, Ellis Jones, Ben Kearney and Will Bullpin, Wirral Radio FC registered only their second maximum points haul over Neston United 4-1.
Rockpoint is still the only team in the league with a 100% league record after easing their way to a 7-1 success at Ridgewood Park against Barcode FC and lead Division Two. Finding the net for Rockpoint were Stuart Hardman with a hattrick, supplemented by further strikes from Liam Whelan, Jason Rigby, Jami Payne and Anthony Gardner.
Their nearest rivals, Wellington, continued an unbeaten league run after accounting for Prenton FC 2-0 with Lewis Gouldson notching a fine double. After a much-needed break to take stock of the playing personnel, Eagle Stirrup FC got a much-needed win under their belt 5-1 at Silva Athletic (Samuel Davies), Saughall FC (Owen Kelsey 2, David Ollerhead, Andy Noonan) posted a 4-1 win after defeating Glenavon Athletic 4-1.
A solitary goal from Oscar Sargent for AFC Park North was enough to stay at the top in Division Three at North Wirral Saints. Barkers Armchair FC continued their current fine run with a fourth straight league win 3-2 over West Kirby United (Robbie Nairn, OG) and are aiming for a promotion place.
Parkgate St Germain recorded their first win of the season 4-2 against long time league stalwarts AFC Rangers. Finding their names on the scoresheet were Seth Geary with a brace and singles from Sean Wilding and Sam Brown, Sean Hellon, Adam Lamb and James Swindle helped Old Parks FC to wrap up the points 3-1 over Wallasey Village FC.
The Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League Management Committee and Sponsors would like to wish all clubs, players, supporters and match officials the very best for the festive season and we hope to see you all again on 9 January 2022.
The Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League are now looking to bring back The Youth Division in August 2022 and are now accepting new applications for the season 2022/2023, this season’s under 16’s can join as Colts, last season’s under 16’s can come in as Youth especially if some clubs wish to enter two teams, please check the League’s website for contact details
|Dock AFC 4||5 Rivacre FC|
|Woodchurch Hotel FC P||P Rock Ferry Social|
|The Lukes FC 4||0 AFC Shaftes|
|Wirral Radio AFC 4||1 Neston United|
|Barcode FC 1||7 Rockpoint FC|
|Prenton FC 0||2 Wellington FC|
|Saughall FC 4||1 Glenavon Athletic|
|Silva Athletic 1||5 Eagle Stirrup FC|
|AFC Raeburn P||P AFC Tima|
|Barkers Armchair FC 3||2 West Kirby United|
|North Wirral Saints 0||1 AFC Park North|
|Old Parks FC 3||1 Wallasey Village FC|
|Parkgate St Germain 4||2 AFC Rangers|
|Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup – Round 2|
|Upton Town 1||2 Victoria Colts|
|Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup – Round 3|
|FC Bidston 1||3 Bushell Grange Athletic|
|Neston Nomads 1||4 Rock Ferry Social|
Premier Division Table
|1.||ROCK FERRY SOCIAL||8||6||1||1||24||12||12||19|
|3.||WOODCHURCH HOTEL FC||9||5||2||2||21||13||8||17|
|6.||QUEENS PARK FC||9||4||2||3||24||15||9||14|
|8.||GREAT FLOAT S&S||8||3||1||4||15||19||-4||10|
Division One Table
|1.||THE LUKES FC||9||8||0||1||29||8||21||24|
|2.||BUSHELL GRANGE ATHLETIC||8||6||0||2||22||13||9||18|
|7.||POULTON VICS S&S||7||3||0||4||14||14||0||9|
|9.||WIRRAL RADIO FC||8||2||0||6||14||22||-8||6|
Division Two Table
|4.||NEW FERRY RANGERS||8||6||1||1||24||7||17||19|
|8.||EAGLE STIRRUP FC||6||3||0||3||13||18||-5||9|
Division Three Table
|1.||AFC PARK NORTH||10||9||0||1||27||14||13||27|
|3.||BARKERS ARMCHAIR FC||11||6||2||3||24||16||8||20|
|4.||NORTH WIRRAL SAINTS||8||5||1||2||26||14||12||16|
|6.||OLD PARKS FC||10||5||1||4||22||19||3||16|
|10.||WEST KIRBY UTD||9||2||1||6||21||25||-4||7|
|11.||WALLASEY VILLAGE FC||9||1||2||6||13||22||-9||5|
|12.||PARKGATE ST GERMAIN||6||1||1||4||7||15||-8||4|
Image credit: RF._.studio