Yorkshire Amateur League: Stanningley are still defying all the odds

Tom Westerman shoots for Calverley at Shire. PIC: Steve Riding
Tom Westerman shoots for Calverley at Shire. PIC: Steve Riding
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A 2-1 win over Ealandians is yet more evidence that Stanningley Old Boys can continue to defy the odds in the Premier Division.

Earlier in the season, the Bramley-based outfit chose to effectively fold their flagging first team and play their comparatively thriving reserve side in the top flight.

They have come on leaps and bounds since losing their first five games of the season with a threadbare squad, with recent outings against Farnley, St Nicholas and now Ealandians yielding positive results.

“The club has made a lot of changes this season and we’re just starting to get a really good team together,” club secretary Daniel Holmes said.

“We put in a good performance at Ealandians and to get a win was a reward for our hard work.

“The team is now full of lads that were playing in a lower league at the start of the season, so for them to be stepping up and beating really good teams is good.”

Stanningley sit relatively comfortably in mid-table but several teams lower down in the league have four and even five games in hand on them.

Holmes believes they will go on to easily achieve their stated aim of survival.

“The target when we made the changes was to not go down, basically,” he commented.

“We’ve still got to play some of the teams below us in the league so we’ll achieve that target comfortably. Then it’s just about picking up as many wins as we can until the end of the season to build up the lads’ confidence for next season.”

Goals from top scorer Tom Stewart and Terrell Phillips sealed their comparatively comfortable win at Elland Cricket Club.

Ealandians, who have fallen behind in the title race with only one win in their last three games, got a goal back through Dominic Finn in the 70th minute but never really threatened to equalise from then on.

Another team unable to continue are Beeston Juniors, serving a notice of withdrawal from the Premier Division last week. They sat bottom of the league having lost all but one of their 12 games and all goals scored or points won against them have been wiped off the tally.

Heavy overnight rain in the Leeds area on Friday night saw table toppers Stanley United’s trip to St Nicholas postponed and a meeting between title contenders in Alwoodley and Leeds Medics also called off.

This meant it was a good weekend for Farsley Celtic Juniors to gain ground at the top of the league and they did so, beating Trinity 8-0 at Bradford Academy.

Danny Lyons strengthened his place at the head of the race for the golden boot by hitting four goals, Joe Firth helped himself to two and Louis Surtees and Laurence Patterson were also on the scoresheet.

Two teams scratching around for consistency met and produced a cracker of a game as Grangefield Old Boys beat Beeston Juniors 6-3 at Cardinal Square.

It was only 1-0 at half-time, with James Kemp’s looping effort in the 23rd minute giving the visitors the lead.

Eight goals in a frantic second half began with Beeston breaking out in front through George Lazaro and Tom Lund, which sparked a riposte from Grangefield of three goals in 14 minutes to make it 4-2.

Nick Smith converted a contentious penalty for a fifth goal before Lazaro pulled one back, only for Kristian Dacre to make sure of the result in punishing some sloppy defensive work.

Elsewhere, Shire Academics are putting together a convincing escape plan from Championship relegation peril and they plunged Calverley United into further bother with a nervy 1-0 win at the Adel’s Bedquilts recreation ground.

Shire’s first home triumph of the season came after a tense first half in which both defences came out on top, with captain Josef Hoosan’s second-half strike proving the difference.

Likewise the only Division One game to survive the deluge was over at Bradford as St Bede’s defeated Garforth Rangers 4-1.

Bede’s title challenge effectively evaporated after defeats to leaders Gildersome Spurs and Horsforth St Margaret’s but they got back to winning ways thanks to Saul Peltier’s double, Nathan Bailey and a late Tawheed Ahmed strike.

Rangers, who are in eighth place, profited from the home side’s profligacy in front of goal to stay in the game for longer than many would have expected and scored through Pete Clarke.

Gildersome – three points clear with games in hand – are overwhelming favourites for the third-tier title but there is a battle on for the second promotion spot which Bede’s are well-placed to win.