Two big cup ties were the main feature of the week for Lancashire and Cheshire AFL, beginning with Moorside Rangers seconds winning the Hellawell Shield at West Didsbury and Chorlton.
In the competition for teams in division C and D, Rangers were good value for a 3-0 win over Spurley Hey seconds and are now set for a league and cup double as they are within a point of winning the division C title.
The other cup match was the Rhodes Cup semi-final between the top two teams in the premier division and a repeat of last season’s final between Whalley Range and Mellor.
A tight contest saw the game swing both ways with the predatory Tim Kinsella opening the Range account on 25 minutes, for a deserved lead they held until the interval.
Mellor upped their game after the break and got their reward with a headed equaliser from Craig Fairfield on the hour then they took the lead with a neat finish from Liam Millen 15 minutes later.
Range came back strongly and drew level three minutes from the end as Tim Kinsella notched his second.
The tie looked set for a penalty shoot-out but a sublime finish from Liam Millen in injury time gave Mellor victory and a date at Bury FC where they will take on Newton Heath from division one.
Shock defeat for Mellor
Premier division action produced a shock 3-1 defeat for Mellor at Tintwistle Athletic giving Whalley Range a three-point edge going into the final two games for both teams culminating in the last game where they face each other.
Old Trafford and Gorse Hill were in bright form as they won 8-1 at relegated Bedians and the other game saw South Manchester earn a point in a 1-1 draw at Rochdalians thanks to a strike from the ever-reliable Kane Berkeley.
In division one the game between the top two was a cagey affair as champions Moorside Rangers hosted Newton Heath who needed a point to clinch the runners-up berth.
Rangers took an early lead as the busy Sixsmith took advantage of a Heath defensive error.
Heath got their point late in the second half when Fox headed home from a set-piece.
It’s still all to play for in division two for the title with Waterloo and Mellor seconds both posting wins to stay level on points with Mellor having a vital game in hand.
Waterloo had few problems in winning their local derby at Newton seconds by 4-0 and Mellor seconds were comfortable 3-1 winners in an excellent game at Chorltonians who got a deserved consolation from Tom Gannon.
In the other games Whalley Range seconds eased to a close 2-1 win at South Manchester seconds with South’s strike being a Range own goal and Parrs Wood Celtic seconds cruised to a 6-3 win over Moston Brook seconds.
Just one game played in division three with Santos winning 2-1 at Cheadle Hulme Athletic.
Whalley Range close in
The main game in division A saw Whalley Range thirds move closer to securing the runners-up slot with a 5-2 win over Tintwistle Athletic seconds.
This puts Range level on points with local rivals Chorltonians Rovers with a game in hand.
A local derby at Hargreaves Bury saw the home team go down 5-2 hosting Bury Ams seconds and in a close derby encounter Mellor thirds won by the odd goal in five against Stoconians seconds.
There was plenty of action in division B with champions Abacus Media seconds able to celebrate their success with a 3-1 win at Tintwistle Athletic thirds.
Village Manchester are the runners-up as yet another clean sheet saw them win by the only goal of their game at Bury Ams thirds.
There was a great game at Chorltonians Villa who led for the bulk of the game with a strike from Ricky Boateng only for Bedians seconds to snatch a dramatic equaliser in the dying seconds from Matt Walsh after an almighty scramble following a set piece..
No problems for Old Trafford and Gorse Hill seconds in a big 8-1 win over Rochdale Galaxy and Milton seconds were also in good form with a 6-2 win over Hillgate.
In division C Salford Vics thirds kept up their hopes of catching local rivals Moorside Rangers at the top with a hard-fought 3-2 victory at Parrs Wood Celtic thirds.
It was also close in the other two games in the division as Moston Brook fourths shared four goals with Spurley Hey seconds and Stoconians thirds edged a 2-1 win over AFC Oldham thirds.
There were five games in division D with champions Bedians thirds going down 2-0 at Old Stretfordians thirds to keep Strets in the race for second place.
They are chasing local rivals Trafford United seconds who won 3-1 at Chadderton Park seconds and Strets have a vital game in hand over United.
Chorltonians Athletic had a remarkable goal from club legend Phil Singleton who is putting a strong claim to be the oldest-ever player to score in the L and C.
Phil, now 61, prodded home from six yards to add to the goal from Kevin Laffey as Athletic lost out 3-2 to Droylsden JFC.
Whalley Range fourths confirmed their wooden spoon position as they went down 8-1 hosting Stocnians fourths but the other game was much closer as Bury Ams fourths won by the odd goal in seven against AFC Oldham fourths.