[I]n the Westmorland League it was cup action in all three divisions. In Division One, it was round one of the prestigious High Sheriff’s Cup, and in a twelve goal epic, high scoring Pirelli put eight past Ambleside United, who fired back with four, so Pirelli go into the next round after a convincing 8-4 win. The Pirelli goals came fro a brace each for Andy Lewis, Dean Mallinson and Jay Hull, and one each for Jordan Irving and Matty Story.
League leaders Keswick had a comfortable win over Ibis, and although Ibis scored first from a free kick on just 5 minutes, Keswick then put seven in a row past the visitors as they dominated the game, with the home side’s goals coming from Declan Robinson, a Richard Bannister hat trick, Lewis Cumber, Stevie Hindmarch and Andy Rigg, with the final scoreline Keswick 7, Ibis 1.
Kendal Utd had a good 4-0 win over the same Penrith Reserves side that had beaten them earlier in the season. Kendal took the lead with an opportunist goal by Daniel Craig after the Penrith ‘keeper dropped a cross, and Craig pounced quickest for a tap in on 10 minutes. Kendal added a second before half time when an excellent free kick from Aiden Dent found Matthew Regan who headed home.
Kendal continued to dominate and took a 3-0 lead from a Mark Barnes Davis pin point cross to the young Matt Kennedy, who scored with a header on 55 minutes.The game was put beyond doubt when Kendal extended the lead to 4-0 when Kennedy picked up the ball some forty yards out and used a mazey run to go past five players and finish the job with the ball in the back of the net. Cup holders Wetheriggs United progressed to the next round courtesy of not one but two Windermere own goals, with the final score Wetheriggs 2, Windermere 1.
There was one final quarter final in the Westmorland FA Senior Challenge Cup, in the match that was postponed last weekend, and here Kirkoswald finally managed to get the better of Appleby, but only just, winning 4-3 on penalties after the score was deadlocked 1-1 at the end of ninety minutes and 2-2 after extra time. Kirkoswald now meet Cartmel AFC in the semi finals. Keswick meet Milnthorpe Corinthians in the other semi final, both on the 11th March.
In The Westmorland League’s Mason & Freeman Cup, Braithwaite were another side who had a comfortable afternoon with a 5-1 win over Wetheriggs United Reserves. BFC’s goals were from a Sam Robinson brace, and one each for Charlie Andrews, Arran Graham and Kieran Graham. League Division Two title hopefuls Endmoor KGR went through into the next round with two Adam Soulby goals giving them a 2-1 win over Carleton Banks. And this was the same scoreline as the match between Greystoke and Keswick Reserves, but here the visitors prevailed with a 1-2 win, with Keswick’s goals from Can Ball and Kyran Betram.
Langwathby United lost 0-2 to Kendal Utd Reserves, and Ullswater Utd and Castletown Utd had another high scoring encounter, this one won by Castletown 3-7, with Castletown’s goals coming from a Lamin Cham hat trick, a brace for Ewan Willacy and one each for Macaulay Forsyth and Sam Oliver. The cup tie between Dent and Staveley was postponed
In the Peter Daws Memorial Shield, Ibis Reserves and Appleby Reserves made it to 4-4 after extra time at the Jubilee Playing Fields, with Appleby winning out 3-4 on penalties (their senior side having earlier lost by the same score line in the Senior Cup).
Title chasing AFC Carlisle were up against Lunesdale United at Maurice Park in Tebay. Resting four first team players who had picked up injuries, and with their eyes on the Division Three title, AFC Carlisle faced a determined young LUFC side who were also missing players, with Robert Wilson, Carl Horner, Mike Wilson and John Wolstenholme all in the starting eleven.
Lunesdale came flying out off the blocks and only had to wait eight minutes before taking the lead, when John Wolstenholme was given far too much space twenty yards from goal and his low drive went into the corner of the net. Just two minutes later Lunesdale doubled their lead when Wolstenholme found himself through on goal after a superb run but with the angle tight, his shot hit the post, but kindly fell to James Mandle who smashed the ball into the back of the net from eight yards through a ruck of Carlisle defenders.
Just three minutes after this Carlisle grabbed a goal back from a superb first time strike from Sam James which powered into the top corner of the net. Minutes later Lunesdale were two in front again when a poor goal kick was then rolled back to the ‘keeper by an AFC defender, and Mandle nipped in, rounded the AFC ‘keeper and stroked the ball into the net for his second and Lunesdale’s third goal in a fantastic twenty minutes of football.
And that’s how the score stayed for the next seventy minutes, 3-1 to Lunesdale United. Penrith AFC Academy, led by new skipper Jake Marshall, had a close game with Endmoor KGR Reserves, losing 2-3, despite going up 2-0 with goals from Jack Lloyds and Jay Potter in the first half.
In a fiesty match marred by a no show from referee Alan Breeze, Endmoor managed to claw the game back, scoring three in the final thirty minutes. Penrith Saints FC were walloped 0-9 by Ambleside Town, and Penrith Town went one better, beating Ambleside Utd Reserves 10-0. The game between Sedbergh Wanderers Reserves and Kirkoswald Reserves was postponed due to an unplayable pitch.
There was just one Westmorland League Division Three match, and Penrith Royal lost out 1-2 at home to Burneside Reserves.
In the Smurfit Kappa Cumberland County League Premier Division, top of the table Workington Athletic were the visitors at Carlisle City’s Gillford Park, and walked away with all three points after a 0-1 win with a Stuart Gray goal the deciding factor.
Second placed Silloth really needed to win their away game against Netherhall in Maryport to keep up their title challenge, and went into the match with high expectations.
The Seagulls began the match against the wind, but went behind when Netherhall capitalised on a slick move and opened the scoring on 15 minutes with a Owen Hoyles’ goal. Silloth rallied and Andy Hardman scored just minutes later to make it 1-1, and game on!
Silloth created numerous chances, but Netherhall ‘keeper Craig Rule was in fine form and and at the other end two Silloth mistakes gifted the game to Netherhall, and possibly the league title to Workington.
On 35 minutes poor defending from a corner allowed Netherhall to go 2-1 up from an Sean Smith strike, and then 5 minutes later a high ball was headed into the Silloth net by one of Silloth’s own players. So 3-1 to Netherhall at half time and that’s how its stayed till the full time whistle.
Useful points for Netherhall who, move up to fifth, and whilst Silloth stay second, Aspatria are just two points behind with a game in hand. But Workington Athletic are now nine points clear of Silloth – and even with Silloth’s two games in hand this must be an almost impossible hill to climb, and Workington have three home games to finish the League season – against Silloth, Aspatria and Mirehouse, although their next three weekends are all cup action, firstly in the GMB Whitehaven Cup (Semi Final, 25th February against Aspatria), then the Benevolent Cup (Quarter Final, 4th March, away against Silloth) and then the prestigious Conway Cup Semi Final on the 11th March, at home, but again against Silloth!
In the final Premier Division game, Whitehaven Miners finally got some points, with a 3-6 win over Mirehouse – and the two sides are now joint bottom of the League – although Mirehouse have six games in hand over Miners.
In Division One, Cleator Moor Celtic had a surprise 2-3 loss at home to Borough, and the two goals from Cleator Moor’s Edwards and Fowler not enough to match Borough’s three from Gavin Martin, Tom Barton and Niall Melton. Celtic keep top spot, but only because second placed Frizington Whitestar and third placed Gosforth were not playing.
And in another reversal of form, Unisun Athletic won 4-1 at home to Bransty Rangers, leaving Bransty in fourth and Unisun in fifth, and the teams are equal on points, although Rangers have three games in hand. The Unisun scorers were Dorward, Dryden, Tyson and Ali, and Bransty’s goal came from Jamie Thursby. The game between Whitehaven Miners Reserves and Windscale was postponed. Next weekend could be critical for the Division One title, with Cleator Moor facing a tough match against Bransty at home, and Frizington off to Whitehaven Miners Reserves, who have yet to score any points this season, before two weekends of cup ties.