Lancashire and Cheshire AFL: Mellor take Rhodes Cup with emphatic win over Newton Heath

Lancashire and Cheshire AFL side Mellor celebrate their Rhodes Cup win
Lancashire and Cheshire AFL side Mellor celebrate their Rhodes Cup win

The Rhodes Cup is the premier knockout trophy for the Lancashire and Cheshire League having first been played for in 1913 and premier division title hunters Mellor are proud to have won the coveted trophy twice in the previous five years and four times in total.

For the second successive year the league held the final – between Mellor and division one high-fliers Newton Heath – at Bury’s Gigg Lane.

Heath were made to pay for early nerves as Mellor struck twice in the first ten minutes though David Dunn and Craig Fairfield to give them a big advantage.

Heath showed their powers of recovery and deservedly reduced the arrears on 20 minutes through Kris Fox.

But they were again rocked as they conceded a penalty five minutes later which was coolly converted by Liam Mullen who then rubbed it in with his second shortly afterwards.

Heath created some chances before the break but were unable to take advantage of them and an own goal on 55 minutes gave Mellor an unstoppable 5-1 lead.

James Treyers added a well-deserved second for Heath on 65 minutes but Mellor had the last word as sub Liam McAuley made it 6-2 for a comfortable victory.

Premier league action saw the top two record comfortable victories to set up the last match of the season between themselves to decide the championship.

Leaders Whalley Range won 3-1 at Rochdalians and now need just a point from their final game against Mellor this Saturday to clinch the title after Mellor had an emphatic 4-1 win at Parrs Wood Celtic.

South Manchester completed a satisfying season with a 4-2 derby win over Old Trafford and Gorse Hill that featured a hat-trick from the lethal Kane Berkeley backed by a single from Azuka Otutu.

The other game saw Old Ashtonians cruise to a comfortable 5-1 win over Bedians.

Division One

Just one game in division one and in a local derby champions Moorside Rangers completed a great season with a 5-3 victory at Swinton.

Swinton played for their lives and threw everything at Moorside to lead 3-2 with 20 minutes to go.

But fatigue took over and Rangers stepped up to put in a further two goals with the scorers for the champions being Sixsmith (two), Brown, Kay and an own goal.

Division Two

It’s down to the final games to decide the division two title race as Mellor seconds hit the top of the table with an accomplished 5-0 win at Newton seconds.

Netting for Mellor were Mike Atherton (two), the pacy Dan Leibrick, Jerome Rouse and Luke Jubb to take them three points clear of non-playing Waterloo.

Chorltonians had one of their best wins of the season as they walloped Whalley Range seconds 6-1 in a local derby.

Doubles from Aaron Rodger and Luke Grey were backed by singles from James Dixon and Charlie Hesketh.

Hooley Bridge Celtic confirmed their third place with a 1-0 win at Parrs Wood Celtic seconds.

Didsbury seconds are the new champions of division three with a close 2-1 win over Santos taking them two points clear of Chorltonians seconds.

Division A

Plenty of action in division A with Whalley Range thirds taking the runners-up berth behind champions Hollingworth with a 4-1 victory over Stoconians seconds as Chorltonians Rovers could only manage a point-saver from Orin Moore as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Mellor thirds.

Tintwistle Athletic seconds were too hot for Bury Aams seconds in a 6-2 cruise and Aldermere enjoyed a best-of-nine goal thriller at Hargreaves Bury.

Division B

The two games in division B both ended at 3-2 in favour of Staly Lions seconds against Hillgate and Chorltonians Villa against Bury Ams thirds thanks to a hat-trick from Obi Ezeh.

Division C

Division C champions Moorside Rangers completed a great season with a league and cup double as they beat AFC Stockport 3-2 and now look to see if their club has won the SE Woollam Aggregate Trophy.

No problems for Spurley Hey seconds in the other game as they ran out 6-0 derby victors at Stoconians thirds.

Division D

Division D champions Bedians thirds kept an immaculate clean sheet as they finished their season with a 2-0 win at Chadderton Park seconds.

The runners-up spot is still undecided with a 3-0 win for Old Stretfordians thirds at Bury Ams fourths moving them a point clear of Trafford United seconds with both teams having one game to play.

The other games saw AFC Oldham fourths win a close game by 4-3 against Stoconians fourths and Didsbury fourths drew 1-1 with Droylsden JFC.