Lancashire and Cheshire AFL a ‘three-horse race’

Whitehead Cup final between Chorltonians Town (Green and black) and Tintwistle Athletic thirds
Whitehead Cup final between Chorltonians Town (Green and black) and Tintwistle Athletic thirds

The battle for the Lancashire and Cheshire AFL premier division title now rests between three teams after a busy week of fixtures saw the slim hopes of Old Trafford and Gorse Hill and Abacus Media of winning the title end.

Mellor are on a great run of results that has seen them in the pole position for several weeks and they kept up their momentum with a 4-2 win at Old Ashtonians.

Their main rivals are reigning champions Rochdalians and Whalley Range who both have a busy backlog of games to catch up on and they showed their intent with midweek wins over Moston Brook by 5-1 and Bedians by 4-1 respectively.

Range also moved into the next stage of the Rhodes Cup with a 4-1 win at Old Ashtonians to set the up the game of the day as they hosted Rochdalians.

A depleted Rochdalians showed their intent as cool finishing from Lewasi Mahoney, Nick Dowson and David Devlin took them into a 3-0 lead after 30 minutes.

A rocket from Connor Downes reduced the arrears before the break as Range created and squandered a number of chances.

They continued to miss many more before Ashley  Stott finally scrambled home a second to set up a blistering finish and a fine finish from Callum Scarry drew them level.

Great defending by Rochdalians saw them earn a vital point in a thrilling 3-3 draw that leaves them five points behind Mellor with two games in hand and Range are 14 points adrift with four games in hand.

The other games in the division produce a 4-1 win for Old Trafford and Gorse Hill over Newton and South Manchester were 5-2  victors over Abacus Media.

A strike from Chorltonians keeper Mark Drinkwater was the only goal of their game at Bury Ams and it lifts them out of the bottom two.

Cup glory for Chorltonians Town

Chorltonians Town
Chorltonians Town line up before the cut final

The first knockout trophy of the season was won in an epic encounter for the Whitehead Cup between Chorltonians Town and Tintwistle Athletic thirds at the fine venue of West Didsbury and Chorlton.

Athletic took and early lead through Mikey Pancaro before Pat Davin got Town on terms and after that the goals flowed at both ends with the lead changing hands twice.

Davin added a second for Chorlts with Ellis Westwood and Brendan McLaughlin also netting with Aran Westbury bagging a brace and Jonny Higgins for Athletic, scoring to make it 4-4 to take the tie into extra time where McLaughlin added his second to win the trophy for a delighted Chorlts after a great game that was a credit to both teams and the match officials.

With division one leaders Tintwistle Athletic without a game their promotion rivals closed the gap as High Lane won 2-0 at Milton to stay three points behind with a game in hand and Moorside Rangers scored the only goal of their midweek encounter a Milton followed by a 3-3 draw against Newton Heath.

The other game in the division saw Old Stretfordians win 4-2 at Hooley Bridge Celtic to keep Celtic in the basement slot on goal difference.

Division two leaders Whalley Range seconds had their energy concentrated on the Wray Cup and they followed up a midweek 8-1 quarter-final win over Mellor seconds with an exciting 6-4 semi-final win over Moorside Rangers seconds.

Netting for Range after a 2-2 first-half deadlock were Obi Beeves, Paul Taker and Paul Smethurst and Owen Traynor with doubles.

Chorltonians seconds hopes of staying in touch with Range were hit as a 2-1 midweek loss at Old Strets seconds was followed by a 4-3 home defeat at the hands of Stoconians as they overtook the Chorlts strikes from Matt Kulik, Anthony Haddock and Jordan McKeever.

Parrs Wood Celtic seconds moved into second place with a 3-0 win over Staly Lions after the Lions had posted a 5-3 midweek win at Rochdalians seconds.


Chorltonians Town made it a league-and-cup double as they clinched the division three title scoring the only goal against Trafford United from Daryl Garwood and they were indebted to Conor Beard for saving a spot kick.

Swinton FC overtook United into second place with a big win over Heaton Mersey and Oldham Vics were also in goal hungry mood winning 6-3 over AFC Stockport.

The other game was a close affair with Moston Brook seconds winning by the odd goal in three at Cheadle Hulme Athletic.

Just two games in division A which were close contests with Bury Ams seconds scoring the only goal of their game at Old Strets thirds and Burnage Metro seconds shared four goals with AFC Oldham seconds.

In the Hellawell Shield, Chorltonians Athletic won 2-0 at Old Strets thirds and they will be joined in the final by Chorltonians Rovers who won 4-1 at AFC Oldham fourths.

The race for the division B title opened up in the clash between the top two as leaders Signol Athletic seconds went down 3-0 at Whalley Range thirds.

Strikes from Rehan Abdullah, Jafaar Jasm and Sam Remeh moved Range to within a point of the leaders with a game in hand.

Bury Ams thirds beat basement team Govan Athletic thirds 2-0 and Milton seconds stay next to bottom after a 4-2 defeat hosting Bedians seconds.

Just two league games in division C with Deans beating Old Strets fourths 3-1 and Burnage Metro thirds triumphed by the odd goal in seven at Hooley Bridge Celtic thirds.

In division D Salford Vics thirds clinched the runners-up berth with a 2-1 win at Stoconians thirds.

This game was a great advert for the league in any division with both teams playing attacking football in a great sporting spirit.

Strikes from Mark Hazeldine and Liam Waite took Vics across the line into second spot.

Another enjoyable encounter saw Parrs Wood Celtic thirds and Staly Lions thirds share eight goals.

Midweek action in division E had Droylsden JFC seconds winning 4-3 over Govan Athletic thirds and Stoconians fourths were too hot for Whalley Range fourths to handle.

The only Saturday game played had Bury Ams fourths moving into second place behind runaway leaders Oldham Vics seconds with a hard-earned 3-2 win over Stoconians fourths.