Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Boroughbridge 1 v Oxenhope Recreation 4 - West Yorks Assoc. Football League

Wednesday 21st May 2014
at Aldborough Road
West Yorkshire Association Football League
Boroughbridge (0) 1
Lee Sharif 55
Oxenhope Recreation (1) 4
Alan Hollingdrake 45, 85, 90+
Leon Smith 88
Admission free (voluntary donations/collection box)
Attendance 61
Match details to follow ASAP
Teams in alphabetical order nut numerical
Mark Chisholm, Ben Clayton, Paul Diamond, Jake Fletcher, Martin Hutchinson, Andrew Layton, Ross Mardon, Benjamin Mudd, Barry O'Neill, Steven Paffett, Lee Sharif
Subs - Oliver Bone, Stephen Coles, Brandon Trower
Oxenhope Recreation:
Jack Bilney, Alan Hollingdrake, Joe Jalil, Sam Lee, Daniel Moriarty, Scott Nelson, Robert Pullan, Gareth Ritson, Leon Smith, Nivard Trowers, Ben White
Sub - Liam Blacka
The main stand at Aldborough Road, small but beautifully proportioned .
The West Yorks League (previously called the Leeds League until 1939), is a step 7 competition, that in spite of it's name, actually covers a geographical area that encompasses Harrogate and York ... and slightly further up the A1, the north Yorkshire town of Boroughbridge.
The West Yorks League promotes to the NCEL Div 1, whilst relegated teams, depending on their location, will be placed in either the Harrogate and District League, the Leeds Red Triangle Football League, or the York League. Bardsey have been crowned champions of the WYAFL in four of the last five seasons,including this year when they finished 11 points above second placed Beeston St. Anthony's, but alas, their Keswick Lane ground doesn't have the facilities or grading required for them to gain promotion.
Having seen a lot of step 7 football this season, going on tonight's offering, I think I can safely say that the standard compares favourably with other leagues of a similar standing, as these two sides battled it out for 6th place in the final WYAFL Premier Division game of the season.
Boroughbridge had beaten Oxenhope Rec. 3-2 in the reverse fixture at the Recreation Ground earlier this month. But Oxenhope are finishing the season on a run of good form and arrived at Aldborough Road on the back of an 8-0 win over the league's whipping boys, Whitkirk Wanderers, two days ago.
Thankfully, the game was far more competitive than the attendance of over sixty might have anticipated, as both sides created plenty of goalmouth action in the first half, without actually adding a finishing touch, right up until the stroke of half time, when Alan Hollingdrake, fresh from bagging a brace of goals on Monday and missing a couple of gilt edged chance earlier in this game, thumped the ball home from just inside the Boroughbridge area to put the visitors in front.
As the half time whistle sounded, the Boroughbridge captain rallied his troops with a shout of "Come on Bridge! We want to win this one!"
Pre-empting another lively 45 minutes and a Wikipedia cut and paste job from me about the origins of the Bridge:
The origin of the name "Boroughbridge" lies in its location relative to Aldborough, the principal settlement during the Roman period and known as Isurium Brigantum.
After the Norman Conquest, Dere Street, the Roman road heading north from York, was diverted from just north of Aldborough to its position in the town of Boroughbridge.
A new town grew up where it crossed the River Ure and the Old Town became known as the "Ald-Borough" (Aldborough), the new town became "New Borough on t'Brigg" (Bridge), which became "Borough on t'Brigg" and finally Boroughbridge.
The home side picked up the tempo at the start of the second half, with both Barry O'Neill and Martin Hutchinson coming close.
Ten minutes after the restart the Oxenhope keeper was rooted to his line and allowed Lee Sharif enough time and space to turn Andy Layton's into the net from close range.
1-1, game on!
The draw would mean Boroughbridge finished 6th in the table level on points with Ripon City (but above them on goal difference), while Oxenhope Rec. would have to settle for eighth place.
But if either side won out right tonight, they would finish sixth in their own right, while Ripon would take seventh.
To a neutral, that might seem like 'much ado about nothing', but for both teams and the Ripon City contingent who were present, it obviously mattered a lot.
I've often said, that for those involved in the game, there should never be such a thing as a meaningless game ... and to that end I salute those involved with Boroughbridge, Oxenhope and Ripon.
There were a lot of tired legs out on the pitch as both sides slugged it out to the end on this sunny north Yorkshire evening.
With just five minutes to go it looked as though the home side had made the breakthrough as Ben Clayton advanced into the Oxenhope box with just the keeper to beat. Agonisingly, his effort was thwarted and the visitors broke quickly down the left flank, from where a well weighted cross found Hollindrake who's headed goal put his side back in front.
The last couple of minutes went spectacularly wrong for 'the Bridge'.
Still obviously deflated from Hollindrake's second goal, the home defence all moved out together allowing Leon Smith the freedom to run through unchallenged ... and he he took the ball wide of the advancing keeper and rolled the ball into the net from an angle.
To compound Boroughbridge's misery, Hollindrake claimed his hat trick in stoppage time.
Talk about rubbing it in.
FT - Boroughbridge 1 v Oxenhope Recreation 4
A game that could have gone either way right up until the last five minutes, when the visitors showed they had just that little bit more in their engine room.
A decent night out all told, to bring the West Yorks League campaign to a close.
There are just a couple of international games left for yours truly to attend and my season will be over too.