Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League round-up, 9 April 2023

Eastham Rangers Colts came up trumps in The Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup semi-final with a giant-killing act.

Eastham Rangers Colts from the Maxwell Barbers Division One beat KRCT Bidston FC from the Premier Division of The Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League 5-4 on penalties as both teams finished all square at 1-1 after normal regulatory time. Nathan Saunders was on the mark for Colts and Dave Bowe was the scorer for KRCT.

Eastham Rangers Colts will now meet Dock AFC in the final on 14 May at Villa Park the home of Ashville FC with a 2.00pm kick off and are also chasing a promotion spot despite having a small set back in midweek with a 3-1 reversal at JPL Jets.

Dock AFC sailed to their third cup final of the season thanks to marksmen Jack Wood and Zac Catesby who prevented another giant killing triumph 2-0 over Rig Move FC from the Maxwell Barbers Division One. Dock AFC also have five league games to play and have key games against rivals Beechwood FC at home and away with an away clash at Woodchurch Hotel on 7 May that could well decide where the Ryan ‘Gigsy’ Atherton Trophy finds a home for the next 12 months.

Midweek action saw the first of The League’s six domestic Cup Finals between Wirral Athletic and Athletic VH. Athletic VH took the lead on 18 minutes from the penalty spot and Wirral Athletic hit back midway through the second half with a sublime free kick. The game finished at 1-1 and was decided by a penalty shootout with Athletic VH lifting the Jimmy Core Trophy 4-3 on penalties.

A Ben Glover worldie strike for Bushell Athletic decided the outcome of a semi-final tie in the David Tacy Cup with fellow promotion and silverware hopefuls Wellington FC. They will meet Cheshire Cheese FC in the final on Sunday 7 May at Ashville FC with a 2.00pm kick off.

Cheshire Cheese saw off the challenge of Third Division high flyers, Old Parks, 3-0 after Lewis Gouldson hit a brace supplemented by a Sam Hughes single.

Game of the day was in Division Two between two unbeaten teams Bedford FC, who are sitting in pole position and recorded a splendid win during the week 4-3 at Barkers Armchair, who dipped to Whitby Rangers 7-3. Brad Bland bagged a four-goal haul with further efforts from Tom Ruffer and a pair from Matty Vickers. Responding for Bedford FC were Leon Jones with a double and a Robbie Williams strike.

Once again Division Two could go down to the wire as both clubs are set to face each other on the final day of the season that may decide the destination of the Carl Davies Trophy. Whitby Rangers have four games in hand on Bedford FC and are nine points behind, coupled with two cup finals, a very hectic schedule similar to what used to happen in the Premier Division,

Premier Division action saw Great Float S&S take the honours 5-3 in a full dress rehearsal with Queens Park for next week’s Veronica Conway Premier Cup Final. Netting for Queens Park were Kian Hamm, Jack Bentley, and Harvey Sample.

AFC Shaftes are finishing the season with a flurry with their third win in four games; Eddie Jebb was on the mark in midweek with a solitary strike at Rig Move and 2-1 success at Upton Town in The Maxwell Barbers Division One denting the chances of both Rig Move & Upton Town getting promotion. Fin Onwuemene hit a double at Upton Town while Upton replied via Adam Ledgerton.

AFC Rangers (Billy Newman, OG, Lewis McKnight, Colin Singleton) completed their final away game with a comfortable 4-0 win at AFC Raeburn. They sit at second in Division Three, two points behind leaders West Kirby Social with four games in hand.

Division Three is still up for grabs for the top three places as there are seven clubs who are aiming for a place in Division Two next season. One of the seven clubs aiming for a promotion spot is Eastham Rangers who recorded back-to-back wins; 1-0 over Parkgate St Germain via a Jack Jones strike and 4-1 at AFC Tima. Goal-getters were Jordan Crowder, Martin Marshall (2), and Lewis Bullen. Parkgate St Germain (Sean Wilding (2), Nick McKnight) got their revenge from earlier in the season in the Ice Cream/Fish & Chips derby at Parkgate Panthers 3-0 (pictured).

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: Parkgate Panthers FC (Pink) v Parkgate St Germain FC (Green) – Credit: Bob Shaw

The Jimmy Core Cup – Credit: John M. Traynor

Premier Division

1.BEECHWOOD FC16620521114140182237
2.WOODCHURCH HOTEL FC14430610104041142734
3.ROCK FERRY SOCIAL16414610102438281032
4.DOCK FC13303700100337172030
5.QUEENS PARK FC162144146283432220
6.GREAT FLOAT SPORTS & SOCIAL FC133121424543129217
7.NESTON NOMADS162162234392535-1015
8.LANCELYN GLENAVON150333153482339-1613
9.CORSAIR PV1522501523102034-149
10.KRCT BIDSTON FC1810811721152770-437

Division One

1.JPL JETS15431601103248173133
2.WELLINGTON FC14521501102236211532
3.CHESHIRE CHEESE FC15502512101452153731
4.BUSHELL ATHLETIC1631362193431181330
5.EASTHAM RANGERS COLTS125111316422620622
6.RIG MOVE SERVICES FC124122126242018220
7.UPTON TOWN FC1321333154435241119
8.WIRRAL RADIO FC153033066092239-1718
9.AFC SHAFTES1812631543112951-2215
10.MSC EASTHAM1710621731131343-3010
11.WOODCHURCH ROVERS1702801603141965-463

Division Two

1.BEDFORD FC15411900131164224240
2.PRENTON FC17702422112460223835
3.BARCODE FC18622413103542271533
4.WHITBY RANGERS FC11310700101044103431
5.SAUGHALL FC1442140382445311426
6.EAGLE & STIRRUP FC154123147262321223
7.LIONS FC144122146262425-120
8.POULTON VICS S&S163241244482436-1216
9.BARKERS ARMCHAIR FC1831612543112963-3415
10.VICTORIA COLTS1711704415112056-368
11.GLENAVON ATHLETIC19018001001181274-621

Division Three

1.WEST KIRBY UNITED23543641118447311641
2.AFC RANGERS19412750116252292339
3.OLD PARKS FC18730422115250252538
4.OVAL FC1852244196339261333
5.HIGHER BEBINGTON KELMA1854231385548331529
6.EASTHAM RANGERS1543142185231201129
7.ATHLETIC VH172415237642923627
8.WIRRAL ATHLETIC2032540672114364-2123
9.AFC TIMA183153246393846-821
10.NORTH WIRRAL SAINTS1841711452113937217
11.PARKGATE ST GERMAIN1931513644112135-1416
12.PARKGATE PANTHERS1922522644113754-1716
13.AFC RAEBURN20116011112171768-515

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