West Yorkshire League: Seasoned champions are Leeds City’s big threat warns McFarlane

Nick Painthorpe scores the fourth goal to seal the game for Otley Town in the 4-1 win over Swillington Saints in West Yorkshire League Division Two. PIC: Steve Riding
Nick Painthorpe scores the fourth goal to seal the game for Otley Town in the 4-1 win over Swillington Saints in West Yorkshire League Division Two. PIC: Steve Riding
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LEEDS City believe their lack of title-winning experience could play a part as they chase down their first West Yorkshire Premier Division title.

City have never claimed the Premier Division title in their 12-year history, while fellow contenders, Beeston St Anthony’s and Carlton Athletic, have both tasted Premier Division success.

Nick Painthorpe shoots wide for Otley Town against visiting Swillington Saints. PIC: Steve Riding

Nick Painthorpe shoots wide for Otley Town against visiting Swillington Saints. PIC: Steve Riding

Club secretary, Mark McFarlane, said: “Beeston and Carlton have both been champions before so they know what it takes to get the job done.

“We are new to this and that could prove to be a deciding factor”.

City are two points behind Beeston in the table, who have led the way for most of the season.

However, Leeds hold a game in hand over St Anthony’s, which McFarlane views as an advantage.

Callan Wells shoots for Otley Town. PIC: Steve Riding

Callan Wells shoots for Otley Town. PIC: Steve Riding

“We need our rivals to drop points, so our game in hand is definitely important” he said.

“There are lots of tricky games still remaining for us, though. We face Knaresborough at the weekend and then we have an away trip to Hartshead, so we need to keep grinding out results”.

With Beeston’s midweek game against Huddersfield Amateur postponed, Leeds reached the summit of the Premier Division briefly with their 4-2 away win at Sherburn White Rose.

That stint as leaders proved to be short lived as Beeston returned to the top spot at the weekend after a convincing 4-1 home victory over Knaresborough, thanks to two goals from Stephen Crawford and strikes from Kingsley Wetherald and Gareth Groves.

The complexion at the top is likely to shift again this weekend, with Leeds City having their own home clash with Knaresborough, while Beeston take a break from the league to meet Carlton Athletic in the Leeds Challenge Cup.

There were also major developments at the bottom of the Premier Division, with Hall Green United taking a huge step towards safety, while possibly ending Pool’s hopes of escaping the drop, after defeating them 2-1 at Crigglestone Sports Club.

Hartshead also boosted their bid to stay in the Premier, after picking up a 3-1 win over Ilkley Town.

Ben Smith opened the scoring for Hartshead with a clinical finish under Ilkley keeper James Hirst, before Town equalised from the spot courtesy of James Wilson. Smith would, however, convert a penalty of his own in the second half, with Liam Fox adding a third to wrap up the win.

Sherburn remain in relegation trouble, after suffering their second defeat in a week, courtesy of a 4-2 loss at Hunslet.

Horbury Town continued their bid for a top-three finish, defeating Headingley 2-0, but Carlton, currently occupying third are not about to take their foot off the gas, recording a 4-2 victory over Huddersfield to lay the challenge down to Horbury.

In Division Two, Kirk Deighton Rangers retained their leadership after thrashing Hampsthwaite United 7-1.

Otley Town remain close behind, after their 4-1 win over Swillington Saints, while the last of the title challengers, Newsome, suffered a rare slip-up, losing 5-0 to Huddersfield YM in their midweek clash.

They would, however, get back on track by the weekend, running out 7-1 winners over Garforth Rangers.

Huddersfield are looking to make a late charge up the table, after following on from their shock win over Newsome, by beating Baildon Trinity Athletic 4-2 in their second game of the week.

Meanwhile, Knaresborough Celtic defeated Kellingley Welfare 2-1 to complete a busy week of action after recent weather-hit weeks packed with postponements.

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WHITKIRK Wanderers have seen their West Yorkshire League Division One title hopes take a huge blow over the past week, writes JAMIE WOODHOUSE.

Whitkirk’s midweek fixture against Aberford Albion fell foul of the poor weather, before they suffered a shock 3-1 defeat at Boroughbridge on Saturday.

Rawdon Old Boys capitalised on the golden opportunity offered to them, picking up a 1-1 draw against Oxenhope Recreation, before running out 3-0 winners over Altofts in their second match of the week.

Those results mean Rawdon hold a seven-point lead at the top of the Division One table, though Whitkirk have one game in hand, and may not be dead and buried just yet.

Another side with games in hand are Featherstone Colliery, who ran out 4-2 winners over Kippax in their midweek fixture.

Colliery were not in league action at the weekend, but were victorious nonetheless, defeating Old Centralians 3-0 to progress in the West Yorkshire League Cup. The league break doesn’t seem to have cost them, as they remain fourth, just four points behind Whitkirk in second.

Wyke Wanderers’ promotion hopes remain in the balance, after the postponement of their clash with Brighouse Old Boys.

Wanderers did, however, triumph 4-3 over Aberford at the weekend, to recover ground on the top four.

East End Park are the final team with eyes on the Division One title, and they did their chances no harm by knocking off Kippax 2-1 at Kippax Welfare Sports and Social Club.

At the other end of the table in the fight for survival, Oxenhope were unable to build on their point against Rawdon, suffering a heavy 4-0 loss to Wetherby Athletic, whilst Howden Clough also failed to take a step towards safety, after a 2-1 defeat to Leeds Modernians.

James Chadwick shoots for Medics in the 2-1 win over Grangefield. PIC: Steve Riding

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