THE Yorkshire Amateur League did the White Rose proud with an 8-1 win in their annual match against the Amateur Football Combination in London.
Across the 50-year history of the Jerry Hildersley Trophy clash between north and south, you would struggle to find a more dominant display than the one the Yorkshire side put in at Barkingside on Saturday.
The rep’ team, managed this year by league legend Steve Ledger – coach of the Leeds Medics – regained the trophy having lost it in 2015.
Last year’s game was a goalless draw at Rothwell but only an outright victory in 90 minutes will suffice to take home the trophy.
This was an outstanding result against one of the biggest amateur football leagues in Europe; containing one per cent of all adult male football teams in this country with 350 teams in 110 clubs.
The visitors tucked away five of their six first-half chances in Redbridge, created by the work of a tireless midfield engine room, to give them an overwhelming advantage at the break which came without reply.
AFC exerted unrelenting pressure, particularly midway through the first half and, as a response after the interval, but Ledger’s side were equal to it and took three chances expertly in the second half.
Only a late consolation, in the 88th minute, could rob the Yorkshiremen of a deserved clean sheet.
The Farsley duo of Joe Firth and Louis Surtees both bagged braces, with further goals from league top scorer Danny Lyons, Jimmy Greenhough and Josh Whiteley.
Ledger raved about his team’s performance, saying, “The abiding memory in many ways was to still see our boys in the dying minutes closing down their opponents almost to the point of exhaustion in the same manner as they did in minute one.
“The other memory that will remain is just the sheer quality and composure of our players.
“They were a huge credit to themselves, their clubs and our league.
“It’s a reminder that one should never underestimate the talent that we have out there or their desire to wear the White Rose with pride.”
Premier Division holders Farsley Celtic Juniors were represented by the most players, four, while title favourites Stanley United had three, Alwoodley and Ealandians two each and Medics provided defensive stalwart Dave Ashmore.
There was no movement at the top of the league with only two games played back in Leeds but Farnley Sports managed just their second win of the season over St Nicholas, 2-0.
Scott Horner’s side are under no threat of relegation with only one going down and their first league win since November came with a goal late in the first half from Shane Gaunt and late in the second from Liam Copland.
Nick’s barely created a chance at New Farnley CC and will surely put in a better showing when the two sides meet again in the semi-final of the Terry Marflitt Trophy at Liversedge on Wednesday evening.
Trinity remain doomed at the bottom of the table as they were beaten 5-1 by burgeoning Beeston Juniors at St Theresa’s School.
Ollie Nunwick netted their consolation.
In the Championship, Alwoodley Reserves have struck on unexpected form and got the better of a disappointing Beeston St Anthony’s 4-1 at the Avenue.
Rob Abiss’ treble took them to the victory with the other from Mark Beattie for the team five points from safety but with a game in hand on Calverley United.
Thornesians fell to the bottom of the league in losing 6-1 to Morley Town at Glen Road.
An Aiden Philip double, alongside Matt Ibbotson’s strike, put the hosts three up at the break with Jovan Kioseff notching twice in the second half and Ryan Hartley adding the sixth on 74 minutes.
A good weekend for Morley was made a great one by the slip-up of third-placed Mount St Mary’s that saw them beaten 2-0 by Shire Academics at Barwick CC.
Shire’s five-game unbeaten run has taken them up to the sixth rung on the ladder and has been a surprise to everyone but themselves.
Drighlington are champions elect in the second tier and rubber-stamped this with a 4-2 defeat of Wortley at West Leeds RUFC. Brad Duxbury, Sam Thorpe, Shane Sowden and Brett Thompson scored with Joe Hudson netting a couple for the hosts.
The only game in Division One saw Horsforth St Margaret’s defeat Farsley Celtic Juniors 6-2.
Idle look ‘certs’ for promotion from Division Two, beating Ealandians Reserves 1-0, with Collegians and Leeds City Old Boys contending for the second spot with the latter beating Old Centralians 6-0 at the weekend.