Leeds Combination League: Druce has high hopes for Fforde Grene return

Match action from Chapel Allerton v Kippax in Leeds Combination League Division 1.
Match action from Chapel Allerton v Kippax in Leeds Combination League Division 1.
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MICK Druce – general secretary of the Leeds Combination League – is optimistic Chapeltown Fforde Grene may reform next season following the club’s shock resignation.

Fforde reached the semi-final of the FA Sunday Cup last year and were hoping to land yet another Jubilee Premier title this season but shocked the local football scene by announcing their resignation from the league last week.

“It’s a real shame as they have been possibly the most successful side we have had,” said Druce. “In the last 30 years they have won the top division a very impressive 10 times and are the current champions having won it for three successive seasons. They have been an outstanding side and club and are held in the very highest of esteem, not just in Leeds but across Yorkshire and even nationwide due to their exploits in the national cup. They have always had a fantastic disciplinary record and they have been an absolute credit to the League and amateur football as a whole.

“Local football will be poorer for the loss of a truly champion club however I feel sure that in the next season or so we could well see Fforde Grene reform.

“There is of course a Fforde Grene in the Leeds Sunday League but this team is mainly young lads who, according to Phil Harding, would struggle in our top divisions but have great potential for the years to come.

“I’m afraid it’s a sign of the times. Player commitment is not the same as it once was and for a team of their standing to struggle to get players to turn up to play would have been unbelievable just a few years ago.”

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In the shadow of the resignation of reigning champions Chapeltown Fforde Grene, Seacroft WMC enjoyed a 3-0 victory at home to HT Sports in the Jubilee Premier.

The top flight’s only game was at Ironwood View where an Oliver Maude double and Scott Jones’ 14th goal of the season saw off Lee Connor’s visitors.

In the Premier Division, leaders Main Line Social hit a snag as Whitkirk Wanderers came away from Cliffe Park with a 3-3 draw.

A brace from Brad White and a goal from Carl Feehan couldn’t prevent Jordan Walker and Reece Kay from striking back for the away team.

Second-placed Queenswood Crusaders piled misery on bottom side Hare & Hounds in a 9-3 thrashing at Woodlesford Park. Dan Sandoval’s hat trick paved the way, while Chris Gibson and Cameron Frew added doubles to go with goals from Phil Oniana and Danny Redfearn.

AFC Bramley were shocked by New Parnaby, who haven’t won in four games but eked out a 3-3 draw on Sunday mainly thanks to Kyle Swithenbank’s double at Pepper Road. Dave Thornton, who scored twice, and Mikey O’Hanlon replied for Bramley.

Enos Huly gave Badri their third win a row over Colton, while JB Celtic won the battle of the mid-table tusslers against South Leeds Independents Sunday.

Danny Bray’s double for South Leeds was cancelled out by Kyle Kendrew, Lewis Mawson and Chris Hyde as Celtic took home a 3-2 triumph.

In the third tier, Swillington Welfare avenged their astounding defeat in the reverse fixture by beating FC Broadway 5-2 to stay top of Division One.

Their 7-6 loss in October was made even more remarkable given that Welfare haven’t lost in the league since then. On Sunday, Swillington exorcised their demons with Thomas Micklethwaite, top scorer Danny Waite and Shaun Longdon on target. Killiam Mabey and Glenn Machin netted in Broadway’s losing cause.

Leodis United lived up to their role as flat-track bullies as they stormed past KKS Zubry to take fourth place.

Leodis have been humbled in recent weeks by second-placed Garforth Sports & Social and third-placed New Pudsey, who put seven and six goals past them respectively. They had no trouble on Sunday in a 4-2 victory over third-bottom Zubry, thanks to two from Lee McKenzie and efforts from Ricardo Brown and Matthew Wilson.

The other game in Division One saw the league’s form side, Kippax Band Club, take basement boys Chapel Allerton apart 4-0 including a hat-trick from Aaron Gray.

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Beechwood Sundays were made to work hard to maintain their 100 per cent record in a narrow 2-1 win over Bedford Arms Wakefield in Division Two, writes TOM HARLE.

Liam Gales’ outstanding form continues and he opened the scoring with his 15th goal of the season, a lead which James Stevenson doubled to seal the win. Sam Watson scored a consolation for the Wakefield side. Bramley Town stormed to a fourth straight win by dispatching Sporting Pudsey 7-1. There were hat-tricks for Scott Barlow and Marc Wilson, while Kristopher Robson also got his name on the scoresheet.

Goals from Phil Jarvis and Steven Kay saw eighth-placed Corpus Christi shock third-place Brick, who succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at Neville Road. Millshaw Park Rangers chipped into Waterintobeer’s stranglehold on fourth with an eye-catching 4-3 victory at home. Adam Jarrett’s treble broke the back of the visitors while Tom Snowden added the icing on the cake with the fourth.

There were no surprises that East Leeds AFC beat Royal Park, although the 6-0 margin turned heads. This was established chiefly through Simon Doughty’s double, but also through Terry Palmer, Scott Domanche and Jamie Hadland’s goals.

Two free-scoring sides in Commercial HQ and AFC Travellers produced an absorbing seven goal thriller which Commercial won with Chris Jones taking home the match ball. In the bottom tier, Acorn (Bramley) put 11 past poor AFC Elford. Chris Simpson hit four. FC West Leeds (Guiseley) Reserves went two better, 13-0 over second-bottom Temple.

Northern Star lost 7-5 to Republica Internationale with Kieron Dieghan and Ryan Smith both scored hat-tricks for the winning cause. There were also wins for FC Horsforth Saints and Moortown Albion.

Roy Stammer gets a shot away for Real Moor in their 7-2 away win over Leeds and District FA Senior Challenge Cup hosts
 Beeston Juniors FC. PIC: Steve Riding

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