Lancashire and Cheshire AFL: Whalley Range extend their lead

Hillgate v Abacus Media seconds (Hillgate in blue and white)
Hillgate v Abacus Media seconds (Hillgate in blue and white)

With Mellor having a blank day, Whalley Range took full advantage to extend their lead at the top of the Lancashire and Cheshire AFL premier division to seven points with a dramatic 4-3 win at Old Trafford and Gorse Hill.

OT put up great resistance but strikes from Tim Kinsella, Louie Scott, Callum Scarry and evergreen John Murphy took Range across the line.

Parrs Wood Celtic moved into third place after a comfortable 4-1 win at Bedians who dropped into the relegation zone as Newton had few problems in accounting for Moston Brook 8-1.

Old Ashtonians were good value for a point at South Manchester in an excellent game that ended at 1-1.

Netting for Ashtonians before the break was Lee Webb with South drawing level courtesy of a spot kick from Kane Berkeley after 60 minutes.

There was another close encounter at Abacus Media with on-form visitors High Lane winning by the odd goal in seven.

It is still very much a two-horse race for the division one title with the top two both posting contrasting victories.

Leaders Signol Athletic were in a local derby with Stoconians who took an early lead.

A powerful strike from Scott Norris drew Signol level and a fine run and finish from Jack Stringer saw them lead into the break of an even first half.

Stocs pressed hard early in the second half with a changed formation but were rocked on their heels as Scott Norris, with a fine turn and shot into the top corner and Jack Stringer with his second put Signol in control.

Norris completed his hat-trick from a free kick and Signol sealed the win with a sixth from Sean Manyonder who with his pace stole the ball off the Stocs full-back to fire into the bottom corner.

In contrast second-placed Moorside Rangers won with the only goal of their game with Old Stretfordians.


Newton Heath were again in a goal fest beating Oldham Vics 10-4 and Trafford United were also on fire in a 7-1 win at Swinton.

The other game was settled by a single goal from Didsbury hosting Bury Ams.

South Manchester v Old Ashtonians (Ashtonians in red shirts)
South Manchester v Old Ashtonians (Ashtonians in red shirts)

In division two, leaders Waterloo were without a fixture but saw their title hopes enhanced as second-placed AFC Oldham were held to a 2-2 draw by Newton seconds.

But Mellor seconds, with games in hand on Waterloo, present the main threat after an efficient 2-0 win over Hooley Bridge Celtic.

South Manchester seconds are enjoying a good run of form and they kept up their momentum with a 3-1 win at Spurley Hey as Mark Chadwick, Olayinka Oshodi and Sam Okosun netted.

The other game saw Moston Brook seconds and Chorltonians share eight goals.

The title race opened up in division three as leaders Salford Vics seconds went down 3-0 hosting Hooley Bridge Celtic seconds and second-palced Didsbury seconds went down 3-1 at Chorltonians seconds who had Aaron Rodger (two) and Tom Gannon netting to move them into third place within touching reach of the top two.

Manchester Polonia moved away from the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at Heaton Mersey and Rochdalians seconds hade few problems in accounting for Newton Heath seconds by 6-1.

Chorltonians Rovers on fire

Division A big guns Chorltonians Rovers were on fire as they walloped Bury Ams seconds 11-0 to keep two points clear of Whalley Range thirds who won a vital game at Hollingworth.

Range were 2-0 down but finished strongly with goals from Abdulla Sheikhi (two) and Omar Benali for a 3-2 win.

Mellor thirds stay in the frame with a 6-1 win over Hargreaves Bury and Tintwistle Athletic seconds won 6-3 at AFC Oldham seconds.

The other game in the division was a tight local derby won 2-1 by Stoconians seconds avenging the defeat of their first team by Signol Athletic.

Abacus Media seconds are unstoppable at the top of division B and they increased their lead to 15 points with a 5-0 win at Hillgate.

Abacus set the tone with a goal on three minutes when Anthony O’Rourke took advantage of sleepy defending for the only goal of the first half.

Nick Sullivan then took Abacus clear with a penalty and a neat header with victory sealed with late goals from Holden and Stockdale.

Local derby

Old Trafford and Gorse Hill seconds lost out 3-1 in their local derby at Old Strets seconds and stay level on points in second place with Tintwistle Athletic thirds who made it a great day for their club with a 6-4 win at Staly Lions seconds.

The other games saw Bury Ams thirds draw 3-3 with Bedians seconds, a result replicated by Deans and Chorltonians Villa and Village Manchester kept up their good run of results with a 4-2 win at Rochdale Galaxy.

The clash between the top two in division C saw second-placed Salford Vics thirds move to within a point of Spurley Hey seconds after crushing them 8-2.

Moorside Rangers kept in touch but stumbled as they salvaged a 2-2 draw at Moston Brook fourths with goals from Parker and Fry.

AFC Stockport also drew 2-2 with Abacus Media thirds and the points were shared in a 3-3 deadlock between Manchester Rovers and Parrs Wood Celtic thirds.

The other game saw Oldham Vics seconds beat Didsbury thirds 5-3.

Any complacency that Bedians thirds had with their huge lead in division D was rocked as they went down 6-3 to Trafford United seconds who consolidate a 4-1 interval lead.

There were long celebrations for Whalley Range fourths as they moved from the foot of the table with a nerve-jangling 5-4 win over Swinton seconds.

Range were behind twice but two own goals were backed by strikes from Simon Partington, Ryan Taylor and Sam Millar edged them home.

It was much tighter in a 1-1 draw between Didsbury fourths and Chorltonians Athletic who scored through Nick Gill and had stand-in keeper Damien Nixon to thank for some unorthodox and thrilling saves.

The Wray Cup saw two delayed ties completed as Whalley Range seconds won 6-5 at Cheadle Hulme Athletic with Nick Doyle (three), Owen Trainer (two) and Chris Marsden netting.