Oh rain, rain, rain. In the Smurfit Kappa Cumberland County League there were two scheduled Ken Glover Memorial Shield Semi Finals, and the Premier League’s Carlisle City were meant to take on Division One’s Bransty Rangers, but this fixture was an early cancellation as the rain hammered down across Cumbria. It wasn’t the only game of football to fall foul of the downpour!
The other Semi Final was the third tie in three weeks between Workington Athletic and Silloth. And this did go ahead. Going into the game, each team had won one one tie, both close games, with Silloth winning 4-3 the Belevolent Cup tie, and Workington gaining revenge with a 1-0 win in the Conway Cup. In the ‘decider’, Workington had the home advantage against the Seagulls at the Lakes College 3G pitch. And the pitch had the advantage over the weather. Both teams were missing key players, but it wasn’t so much of a great performance by Workington that gave them a comfortable 7-3 win as a poor performance from Silloth. But it’s Athletic who progress to the Final.
The home side started by far the better, and were 3-0 up after just 8 minutes, which they extended to 4-0 on the half hour, before Workington conceded a free kick, which Silloth’s Lewis Little converted to make it 4-1 and that was the score going into half time. Silloth had a better period of play as the second half began, and pulled a goal back to make it 4-2, but Athletic then scored three in a row to make it 7-2, before the Seagull’s grabbed a late consolation goal to make it 7-3. Workington’s goals came from a Calum Best brace, Marc Messenger, Tom Pardini, Greg Quale, Stuart Gray and Matt Perry. The Seagull’s scorers were Little, and a brace for Nico Watt.
There was one Benevolent Cup Quarter Final match between Aspatria v Wigton Harriers, and this one went to Aspatria 2-1. Wigton took the lead in the first half with a ball over the top and a Dan Stockdale shot that went beyond the reach of the Aspatria ‘keeper. in the second half Aspatria equalised early through a Malc Graham header, and as the home side dominated play, the winning goal came in the 85th minute from a Sean Law free kick. Silloth are already through to the Semi Finals, and the remaining two Quarter Finals are Bransty v Borough and Windscale v Netherhall (both fixtures on the 25th March).
There were two Hunday Manor Divisional Cup Quarter Finals. Gosforth, challenging for promotion this year in the Smurfit Kappa Cumberland League First Division, were up against bottom placed Whitehaven Amateurs, and somehow managed to keep the game on, despite an absolute deluge of rain in Wasdale all day on the Friday and on Saturday morning. And this game was a comfortable win for the home side, with Gosforth claiming the tie 4-0 with the home side’s goals from Jack Denwood (2), Rhys Singleton and Aaron Bradley.
Seventh placed Windscale were up against sixth placed Borough and this one went to the visitors who put seven past Windscale who had nothing in reply. The Borough goals came from Lee Wolfe, a Dale Hooper hat trick, Robbie Watson, Niall Melton and Shaun Carter. So 0-7 to Borough, and Gosforth and Borough now meet in the Semi Finals. Bransty Rangers and Cleator Moor Celtic are already through, and meet in the other Semi Final.
In the Cumberland County Cup, Penrith AFC hosted Carlisle City in the first Semi Final which was played at Frenchfield on Wednesday night. This was a tight match, and after Martyn Coleman had a penalty saved by Coward on 7 minutes, the first half ended Penrith 1, Carlisle City 1, with the goals coming from Alan Casey for the visitors on 12 minutes, and Kevin Connelly equalised for the Bonny Blues on 17 minutes. City started the second period brightly with Addison firing over from 25 yards.
In the 53rd minute, Coleman was awarded another penalty, but Connelly’s kick was just too high and thumped against the cross-bar. It was 1-1 at full time and the game went into extra time where both sides had the chance to steal a win. After 10 extra minutes Coward did well to tip over Coleman’s header, and in the second period Coward saved well from Murray-Jones and at the other end Carr was flagged narrowly offside as he broke clear.
In a late chance, Coward failed to deal with Connelly’s free-kick before it was scrambled clear, and a fine cross from Davidson almost brought City a late winner. But after extra time it was still 1-1. So the game went to penalties. First off Ryan Errington scored for City, and then Andy Murray-Jones scored for Penrith. Then the first to miss was Michael Reed for City, but Groves scored for Penrith. City were struggling as Slack saw his kick saved but then Coward kept out Newton’s kick. Addison kept his nerve to score City’s fourth but so did Coleman for Penrith. The key fifth kick was bravely taken by Ben Davidson but Richardson made his third save of the shoot-out and it was all over at 3-2, and Penrith were into the Cumberland Cup final.
Pirelli’s Semi Final against Workington AFC was scheduled for Saturday at Pirelli, but Evo-Stik Northern Premier League play off hopefuls Workington had a big home League match against Stourbridge scheduled, with former Reds skipper, Tony Hopper, attending as the special guest for this home game. The Reds were insistent that their League game went ahead, despite Pirelli’s league match with Windermere being postponed by the Westmorland League, with Reds chairman John Mackay telling the News & Star “The rules state that league matches take precedence on a Saturday over all competitions apart from the FA Cup and FA Trophy”.
An interesting interpretation of the competition rules – if that’s what it is. Workington did get an important League win, 3-1 over Stourbridge with the goals from David Symington, and two for Sam Joel.