Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League round-up, 20 February

Storm Eunice played havoc with last weekend’s fixtures and the council sensibly cancelled all fixtures on Wirral Council grass pitches.

Some clubs were so eager to play they sought guidance from the league to play at unusual times, hiring 3G pitches at huge expense to their respective club. The clubs deserve praise for using initiative to get games played.

Of the five games that took place, one game kicked off at 9.15am, three more started at the normal scheduled time of 11am, and the final game commenced at 2pm.

It was a unique day for the league. Usually, the only games that kick off at a time other than 11am are the afternoon cup finals in April and early May, or National FA Sunday Cup Ties.

The game of the day was played at the Ellesmere Port Sports Village in The David Keith Tacy Memorial Trophy between Division Two leaders KRCT, who have a 100% league record. They secured a place in the quarter-finals of the cup with a high scoring 6-5 game over Division One mid-table side, Neston United.

KRCT FC took the lead inside 30 seconds via Billy New. Kyle Bennett made it 2-0 on 12 minutes but Neston United struck back and were level at 2-2 by the 35th minute. KRCT’s Kyle Bennett got his 2nd on the stroke of halftime to take a 3-2 lead.

Five minutes into the second half Jamie Payne made it 4-2. Again, Neston hit back twice to bring the score to 4-4. KRCT were certainly going for a giant-killing with Dava Bowe scoring a superb free-kick from 25 yards.

Liam Whelan put the game beyond doubt with a wonderful superb effort goal starting from the halfway line and beating five men before firing low into the net.

Neston were not finished just yet as Mark Nokes hit a 40-yarder for a respectable score of 6-5. Neston’s other scorers were Kev Exell with a brace, Chris Bushell and Josh Davidson.

Also in the hat for the last eight are Wellington FC who secured a hire of Woodchurch High School 3G pitch with an unusual 09.15 star0. Wellington took an early lead against Glenavon Athletic via a Lewis Willingham strike. The game was only sealed in the final minutes through a fine double from Nathan Leyland.

AFC Park North and West Kirby United got together and decided to hire Pensby High School’s 3G pitch at a cost that was shared between both clubs of £130 each.

The game started in atrocious weather and midway through the first half the referee Mr Tony Hardwick took both sets of players off the pitch for safety reasons. After almost 20 minutes the game recommenced.

There was plenty of action at both ends; the tie could have finished 10-10. AFC Park North ran out winners 6-3. It was a fairly even match until the last 15 minutes when Park North upped their game, scoring a couple of late goals to secure a place in the semi-final of The Jimmy Core Cup.

On the scoresheet for AFC Park North were Declan Wray and Leighton Clarke both with a pair, supported by singles from Billy Rainbow and Jamie Smith. West Kirby United replied via Akil Thiruselvan with a double and an Ethan Cartwright effort.

West Kirby’s manager, Rob Austin, had his three sons all playing today, Luke, Ben, and Finlay.

Queens Park, who have won the League Challenge Cup now known as the Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup on 10 occasions, made a safe passage into yet another semi-final after seeing off Bushell Grange Athletic 3-0.

Queens led at half time 1-0 via a Max Herbert strike, with further efforts in the second half from Harvey Sample and Leon Detlaff. The league was 10 years old before they introduced the Challenge Cup, Oaklea were the first winners in 1974-75 and Queens Park lifted the trophy for the first time in 1975-76.

It is unlikely that Queens Park will be in the mix for the Premier Division Title but have secured two semi-finals in domestic competitions, the other being The Veronica Conway Premier Cup.

Just one league game took place and that was in Division Two, once again the 3G pitch at Solar Campus came to the rescue.

It was a mid-table tussle between Prenton FC and Eagle Stirrup FC. Prenton took all three points with strikes from Tom Fenley, Lloyd Winkle and Chris Ferguson. Eagle Stirrup replied through James Dolan.

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.

West Kirby United. Credit: The Old and The New
West Kirby’s manager, Rob Austin, had his three sons all playing today, Luke, Ben, and Finlay. Credit: The Old and The New
Glenavon Athletic. Credit: The Old and The New
AFC Park North. Credit: The Old and The New
Neston United. Credit: The Old and The New
KRCT FC. Credit: The Old and The New
Division 2
Prenton FC 31 Eagle Stirrup FC
Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup – Rnd 4
Queens Park FC 30 Bushell Grange Athletic
David Tacy Memorial Trophy – Rnd 3
KRCT FC 65 Neston United
Wellington FC 30 Glenavon Athletic
Jimmy Core Memorial Trophy – Rnd 2
AFC Park North 63 West Kirby United

Premier Division Table

#TeamPWDLFADiffPts
1Woodchurch Hotel1172233151823
2Rock Ferry Social971127131422
3Great Float S&S116142323019
4Rivacre FC960330161418
5Dock AFC1052330161417
6Beechwood SC1245333231017
7Queens Park124352925415
8Corsair FC105051719-215
9Neston Nomads134182739-1213
10Lancelyn Glenavon101271328-155
11FC Bidston111191964-454

Division One Table

#TeamPWDLFADiffPts
1The Lukes FC1211013692733
2Bushell Grange Athletic127142720722
3Bromborough Rake FC1061328161219
4AFC Shaftes145272733-617
5Upton Town115152422216
6Neston United114162232-1013
7Poulton Vics S&S94051918112
8Wirral Radio FC104061923-412
9Woodchurch Rovers83231818011
10Lions FC1110101342-293

Division Two Table

#TeamPWDLFADiffPts
1KRCT11110071135833
2New Ferry Rangers108113192225
3Wellington FC97203973223
4JPL Jets1072132141823
5Prenton FC1160534231118
6MSC Eastham125162928116
7Saughall115063527815
8Eagle & Stirrup FC113261836-1811
9Victoria Colts9315925-1610
10Silva Athletic122010964-556
11Barcode FC1312101340-275
12Glenavon Athletic111191448-344

Division Three Table

#TeamPWDLFADiffPts
1AFC Park North13120136181836
2Whitby Rangers12100263214230
3AFC Tima1061325151019
4Barkers Armchair FC125252724317
5Old Parks FC115242522317
6North Wirral Saints1043330201015
7AFC Rangers1541102448-2413
8Parkgate St Germain94051416-212
9Oval FC94051527-1212
10West Kirby United113172833-510
11Wirral Athletic102352036-169
12AFC Raeburn100191340-271

Main image credit: RF._.studio

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