Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League round-up, 30 April 2023

Anything the Premier League can do, the Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football Sunday can do better in their Premier Division, with goals and comebacks.

At half time last Sunday, Dock AFC, who were hunting down the top two clubs – unbeaten Woodchurch and Beechwood, were 4-1 down and Woodchurch were 5-0 up. Woodchurch had one hand on the Ryan ‘Gigsy’ Atherton Trophy, but Dock’s never say die attitude and wanting to play good football hit back to defeat Beechwood 6-4, with 5 second half goals thanks to a hat-trick from Adam Lea and singles from Cameron McGregor, Ryan Smith, and Jack Kelly. On the mark for Beechwood were Fenton Cavanaugh with a double and assisted by efforts from Jack McGrotty and Jack Kelly.

Dock AFC will face Woodchurch Hotel next Sunday in what could be a title decider, if they overcome Corsair PV in midweek. Dock will still have one more league game to fulfil, with Great Float S&S. Dock also have two cup finals to look forward to.

The first is The Wirral District Football Association Sunday Premier Cup and Dock’s opponents are once again Beechwood FC on Wednesday 10 May at Cammell Lairds FC with a 7.00pm kick off. The second is The Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup at The Ray Parker Stadium on Sunday 14 May where they play the Maxwell Barbers Division One side Eastham Rangers Colts with a 2.00pm kick off.

Woodchurch Hotel sailed into early lead and finished with a 6-1 result at Great Float S&S with Jordan Deer, Josh Dures, Michael Burkey (2), Ben Holmes, and Ben Dufton Kelly all finding the net. Just a draw with Dock AFC will enable Woodchurch to be crowned champions.

After last week’s exploits of lifting the Cheshire FC Sunday Cup, Lancelyn Glenavon (Connor Courtnell 2) followed up with another fine win in their penultimate game over Corsair PV 2-1 who replied via Jason Bull.

The last Sunday in April is normally the end of the season for amateur soccer but due to bad weather in winter there has been a two week extension and yet no division has been won; there are 4 clubs in with a shout in The Maxwell Barbers Division One chasing two promotion spots.

Two of the four clubs faced each other as JPL Jets and Wellington FC could only manage a 0-0 stalemate on Sunday. Jets did defeat Upton Town 1-0 in midweek after an Adam Larway effort.

Cheshire Cheese, who have been sitting in pole position for a couple of weeks, will host JPL Jets on Tuesday 2 May and a win for the Cheese could be the first part of a domestic double as they also have a cup final appearance booked in The David Tacy Cup on Sunday 7 May at Ashville FC with a 2.00pm kick off versus Bushell Athletic.

Rig Move enhanced their outside chances with a 10-0 romp at AFC Shaftes. Nick Monahan, Ash Wardle, Daniel Woodcock, Billy Nixon, and Josh McEwen were among the scorers after they accounted for Eastham Rangers Colts 4-1 in midweek, and have 3 league games to go. Matty Howe and Jimmy Ludbrook helped secure the points for Eastham Rangers Colts 2-0 at Wirral Radio.

Division Two has seen three clubs promoted to the Maxwell Barbers Division One. Bedford, who won promotion last week, were joined by Prenton FC (Matty O’Shea, Luke Wynne, Tom Leyland) who had an impressive 3-1 away win at Bedford FC (Leon Bower).

Whitby Rangers played one of their many games in hand at Saughall and registered a comfortable 4-0 success with Brad Bland, Gabe Kwateng, Conor Harwood, and Matty Vickers all on the scoresheet. The title and runners-up spot for the Karl Davies Trophy may go down to the final between Whitby and Bedford on 14 May.

Old Parks have found form at the right time in Division Three with two big wins 5-0 at Parkgate St Germain and 6-0 over Wirral Athletic. On the mark against Parkgate St Germain were Jackson Smith with a treble who was supported by singles from Declan Wray and Daryl Hellon, Daryl Hellon was on the scoresheet again against Wirral Athletic with a double alongside Jack Harrison, a Ben Kierman brace, and a Chris Hughes strike. They are now favourites to lift the Division Three title and that could possibly happen in midweek when they play Oval FC as AFC Rangers suffered two defeats 2-0 with Oval FC (pictured) and 4-3 when they hosted Eastham Rangers (Jordan Crowder 2, Kieran Hodgson 2). That result put Eastham Rangers back in the mix who have a good chance of promotion in their debut season.

Despite a fine run since early March, winning five games and drawing two, Higher Bebington Kelma’s late run may just be a little too late, but if results go in their favour they may just be able to gatecrash the top three promotion places after a recent 6-1 result at Parkgate St Germain with Ad Clarke, Tom Weaver (2), Can Scott (2), and Lewis Simpson added to their goals tally.

The Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League are now accepting applications from new prospective clubs to join the League for the 2023-2024 season, a limited number of vacancies are available also a proposed Youth Division for the same season that is scheduled to start in August 2024, any Youth clubs that wish to enter two teams can do so, one team will be known as 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.

Images: AFC Rangers (Blue) v Oval FC (Green)  – Credit: Bob Shaw

Tables following soon …

Premier Division

Division One

Division Two

Division Three

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