West Yorkshire League: Memorable weekend keeps Saints on cup march

Action from Stanley United v Featherstone in West Yorkshie League Division One. PIC: Steve Riding
Action from Stanley United v Featherstone in West Yorkshie League Division One. PIC: Steve Riding
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A West Riding County Cup winners trophy followed by a 7-0 win in the league just three days later has made quite the memorable bank holiday weekend for Beeston St Anthony’s.

A West Riding County Cup winners trophy followed by a 7-0 win in the league just three days later has made quite the memorable bank holiday weekend for Beeston St Anthony’s.

First the outfit bagged their first taste of silverware on Friday night as they beat Carlton Athletic in the WRCC final before they jumped back to the top of the Premier Division on Monday night with a ruthless seven-goal slaughter against Oxenhope Recreation.

The latter result has put Beeston on course for the treble with the side favourites for the league title as well as a place in the League Cup final scheduled for later this month.

Inspired and proud their first win is ticked off the list, manager Mark Halmshaw insists his side are more than prepared for the task of securing the treble.

“It’s vitally important when challenging for multiple trophies that you secure the first one, it takes away any pressure and relaxes everyone.” Halmshaw said. “To win the County Cup for the first time in our 96 year history means so much to so many people, I’ve been at this club for 20 years now and this is without doubt my proudest moment but there’s so many more people at this club past and present that it means so much to.”

“We are very hungry and motivated for more success this season now, the job is by no means finished we have a lot of hard work ahead of us and with a bit of luck we can add to our County Cup success.”

“Of course we are after the treble and until we either achieve that or are unable to that’s our goal – we’re certainly not content because we want the lot, but to achieve that I truly believe we need a bit of luck, a lot of hard work and above all togetherness and belief.”

“Honestly though, the league title is the ultimate trophy to win. Cups are fantastic – it’s probably six or seven games to win, but the league winners are unquestionably the best team over 28 games that is what we will be putting all our efforts into for the last four weeks… Is it believable? Most definitely!”

“We focus on the remainder of this season with no slip ups, there will probably be plenty of twists and turns in the coming weeks; every game is literally a cup final now and that’s how we will approach them.”

The outstanding season has been particularly poignant with the club mourning the tragic loss of three former members of the club all in the space of a year. Keith Sanderson, Jimmy Campbell and Steve Milner all sadly passed away and so the potential treble for the club comes at a very special time. With the club already celebrating one win out of the three, Halmshaw explained how the success is the perfect tribute.

“We as a club have lost 3 former members this year in Keith Sanderson, Jimmy Campbell and most recent Steve Milner so any success we have this season will be a fitting tribute to all three who will be sadly missed.” He continued.

“Keith especially was so influential in me becoming manager here; one thing he taught me when I was looking at opposition team sheets is stop worrying about what you’re up against and put all your efforts into making the most of what you’ve got. That’s what makes you successful and them words will never leave me.”

“I also want to mention club legend, Joe Brown who sadly past away years ago now and I know will be having a party right now in heaven toasting our County Cup success and hopefully more successes to come.”

Meanwhile, challenging for the Premier Division title, Field kept the pressure on with a 5-3 win over Wetherby Athletic. Leeds City also secured the three points with a 3-0 win at Horbury Town on Saturday but they still slipped into fourth after Carlton Athletic beat the same opposition 5-3 on Monday night to jump into third. At the other end of the table, Brighouse Old Boys were comfortable winners in a 5-0 slaughter against Otley Town; Jake Broadbent, Peter Kuleczko, Matthew Richardson and Chris Wdowczyk (2) bagging the goals.

This weekend, Brighouse Old Boys welcome Pool while Hunslet Club play host to Horbury Town. Also in action are Otley Town who clash with Wyke Wanderers while Robin Hood Athletic face Knaresborough Town.

Over in Division One highflyers Stanley United were rocked by mid table Featherstone Colliery who netted one better to run out 3-2 winners. United remain top though with Sherburn United’s 2-1 win at Hartshead thanks to Aaron Hodgson’s brace keeping them in the race. Third place Headingley are also in the mix at the top but they could only muster a 1-1 draw with Baildon Trinity Athletic while at the other end of the table, Ripon City remain at the foot of the lot after suffering a 7-4 defeat at the hands of Thornhill.

This weekend, Aberford Albion host Headingley while Featherstone Colliery entertain Leeds Modernians and Old Centralians travel to Ilkely Town. Stanley United look to extend their lead at the top starting with a clash against Thornhill.

Stealing the show over in Division Two was Huddersfield Amateur who were ruthless 12-1 winners against Normanton Woodhouse Hill thanks to goals from Mike Hall (4) Paul Speake (3) Mathew Parker (2) Mark Bedford and Samuel Clark. Despite the win, they remain fourth with Swillington Saints above them, although the Saints did reduce the gap after they were forced into sharing the spoils with Ossett Albion in a 2-2 clash. Above them sit Howden Clough who went one better and bagged all three points against Kellingley Welfare; Joe Bedford, Andrew Griffiths, Kyle Laycock and Patrick Sykes to keep the pressure on Hall Green United sat at the top of the pile. At the opposite end of the table, Garforth Rangers suffered a 7-2 defeat at the hands of Mount St. Mary’s.

Already with their hands on the Alliance Division Two title, Huddersfield Amateur Reserves continued their dominance with a 3-2 win while over in Alliance Division One the table is a lot tighter. The weekend saw a top of the table clash with Beeston St Anthony’s Reserves 1-0 winners over top spot holders Oxenhope Recreation Reserves. That reduces the gap to just one point with Beeston Reserves also with the advantage of two games in hand.

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