H & D LEAGUE: Rangers and Saints to meet in Senior Cup final
Kirk Deighton Rangers and Beckwithshaw Saints will meet in the final of the Harrogate & District Football League's Senior Cup.
In a pair of closely-contested semi-final ties, Rangers edged past Premier Division title rivals Knaresborough Celtic, while the Saints overcame Bedale Town.
Both sides hit the woodwork during an even first half at Kirk Deighton, but there were no goals before the interval.
The second period was just about shaded by Daniel Marshall’s Rangers, and they grabbed the only goal of the game with just 10 minutes remaining.
Substitute James Flynn took a touch on the edge of the Celtic box before dispatching an unstoppable effort into the top corner of the net.
“It was a really tight, tense match that could have probably gone either way, but I think we deserved the win for our second-half performance,” Marshall reflected.
“Young James Flynn made a real impact on the left wing and his goal was one worthy of winning any game.
“It’s nice to have a cup final to look forward to, but we know that we face a really tough test against Beckwithshaw.”
The Saints sealed their date with Kirk Deighton courtesy of a narrow 3-2 success over Bedale.
Ben Lambert, Sylvester Rowe and Mike Johnson were the Beckwithshaw scorers in a game that was tied 1-1 at the interval.
Daniel Baxter struck in the 41st minute for Bedale, and Matthew Tew netted midway through the second period, but their efforts proved to be in vain.
In the Premier Division, Hampsthwaite United kept their outside chances of winning the title alive with an 8-1 demolition of Kirkby Malzeard.
Andrew Hullah and Josh Underwood both helped themselves to hat-tricks, while James Purkiss and Alex Myers also notched.
Tom Hixon’s consolation goal was the one highlight of another disappointing afternoon for rock-bottom Kirkby.
Fifth-placed United are 16 points behind leaders Kirk Deighton, but have four games in hand and also have to play the table-toppers, so could yet mount a late charge for top-spot.
Elsewhere, Burley Trojans claimed a first league win since October when they triumphed 4-2 at home to Harlow Hill.
Two last-gasp strikes saw Division One strugglers Boroughbridge register their maiden league triumph of 2016-17 when they beat Bramhope 2-1.
Leon Rodman’s second-half strike put the visitors ahead and they remained in the lead until the 88th minute.
An own goal then looked to have earned Bridge a point, but they weren’t finished there and Gabriel Bradley popped up in injury-time to hand his side a long-overdue three-point haul.
At the other end of the table, unstoppable Thirsk Falcons moved a step closer to the title with a 2-0 victory over Helperby United.
Ben Calvert and Thomas McDowell were the men to get their names on the scoresheet for the league leaders.
Second-placed Pateley Bridge kept their own promotion bid on track when they also won by a 2-0 scoreline.
Liam Gaffney and Lee Tattersall were on target for the Badgers on the road at Bardsey, while Tom Franklin was named the losing side’s star man.
Braces from Isaac Parkinson and Martin Fox guided Addingham to a 4-3 success over Dalton Athletic.
Chris Spence, Simon Spence and Arron Bumby bagged for Athletic.
In Division Two, a fine strike from skipper Mike Tuohy handed Pannal Sports Reserves a 3-2 win over Ripon City Reserves.
Sports took a 2-0 lead courtesy of captain Tuohy and Dave Hall.
Ripon responded with a goal before half-time and equaliser on 70 minutes which was just rewards for their second half display.
Tuohy then grabbed the winner with 10 minutes remaining with a 25-yard bullet.