The red-hot form of Tom Micklethwaite has fired Grangefield Old Boys to becoming Premier Division’s hottest property, earning a fifth successive victory by beating Ealandians 5-4.
Both sides are moored in mid-table, held back by poor runs that saw Grangefield win only one of their opening four games and Ealandians now slipping through a six-game losing run.
A brace from Micklethwaite took the striker’s tally to ten in three games, backing up a sensational five-goal spree against reigning champions Farsley Celtic Juniors last time out.
They initially trailed and went 2-1 down with Colin Schofield and player-manager Wayne Crossley netting for the hosts at Elland CC.
Twice Grangefield were pegged back in the second-half, going 3-2 and 4-3 up before the experienced Crossley and Martin Coldwell hauled their side back into it.
But Shane Gaunt was at the double and youngster Chris Barr helped the visitors climb into seventh, leapfrogging holders Farsley.
Celtic were beaten 2-1 by title contenders Stanley United, an efficient counter-attacking display drawing them level on points with Leeds Medics at the top of the table.
Farsley dominated possession without forcing through chances, the visitors breaking at pace and going in front when Ben Huntingdon’s deflected shot flew past Jordan Wright in goal.
Dean Powell doubled the lead on 65 minutes, rounding the keeper to tap home, although arrears were reduced within moments when Louis Surtees set up Joe Firth to make it 2-1.
Farsley boss Barry Thirsk said: “A draw would have been a fair result.
“We can’t have any complaints about the effort we put in and the football we played, we just need a little more quality in front of goal.”
The title race is finely poised with Drighlington favourites, well-placed on 30 points from 11 fixtures – four games in hand on Medics and Stanley who are four points ahead. Sam Thorpe and Harvey Booth doubled up to mean Drig’ were barely tested as they outplayed Morley 6-1 at Batley Sports Centre.
Steve Phillips’ side led 2-0 at the break and Shane Sowden struck in the 50th minute to extend the advantage, although Aidan Philip got the Morley goal at 3-1.
Elsewhere, Beeston Juniors aren’t out of the relegation woods yet after a 4-2 defeat to Athletico at Cardinal Square.
Athletico profited from the return of Haroon Tariq, their keeper back after a long injury lay-off, and he performed well but could do nothing about Ryan Dawson’s slick first-half brace.
Beeston held a 2-1 interval lead that they let slip in the second-half – cut open by forward play finished off twice each by Raj Mohammed and Mahine Malik, as well as Umar Ali.
Alwoodley have suffered from the ravages of a harsh winter, just their tenth league outing seeing them humble Stanningley 5-1 and ensuring they’ll be in with a shout for the top four. Callum Armstrong notched a well-taken treble and Danny Ashton got himself on the scoresheet twice, Jimmy Halliday’s free-kick providing the visitors’ consolation.
In the Championship, Wortley are staring down relegation but put on a brave face with a resolute 3-0 defeat of Leeds Independent at West Leeds RUFC.
Wortley’s second victory in recent weeks has cut the gap to safety down to five, Ryan Sharrocks doubling up and Adam Karran also scoring.
Meanwhile, Calverley United were held to a 2-2 draw by Shire Academics and only preserved a point through injury-time goals from Matty Wilson and Ben Binns.
Mount St Mary’s fought with Horsforth St Margaret’s, an entertaining game on an excellent Brownlee surface ending goalless.
It was a red letter day in Division One as second-placed Rothwell suffered a 6-1 setback at the hands of mid-table Leeds City Old Boys.
Successive defeats have held Rothwell’s promotion push back and goals from James McFarlane, twice, Alistair Lewis, Reuben Young and Dan McFarlane downed them.
Table-toppers Ealandians Reserves took advantage of their slip-up in style, putting nine goals past Dewsbury Rangers without reply – Carlton Balmer at the double.