[A]fter some very last minute changes to a number of Westmorland League fixtures, and heavy rain leaving some pitches unplayable, there were three matches in Division One, and League leaders Keswick and second placed Pirelli both won, with Keswick beating Ibis away 3-6 in a tough match at the Jubilee Paying Fields, and Pirelli beating Ambleside United away 3-5 at Rothay Road.
Keswick’s six goals came from a hat trick for Richard Bannister, and one each for Jamie Little, Andy Rigg and Stevie Hindmarch, and although Keswick had a shocking first half on a difficult pitch, a better second half performance ensured them the three points. Pirelli’s five goals came from a Jordan Irving brace, Ade McCubbing, Matt Story and an Ambleside own goal. Keswick and Pirelli are now well clear of third placed Appleby and fourth placed Windermere SC.
Pirelli, with two games in hand, are five points behind Keswick, and would no doubt have hoped to pull closer next weekend as Keswick have a Westmorland FA Senior Challenge Cup Semi Final against Milnthorpe Corinthians, but Pirelli’s league match against Kendal County Reserves has now been postponed as Kendal now have a scheduled Westmorland League High Sheriff’s Cup fixture against Kirkoswald, although Kirkoswald are also (at the time of writing) meant to be in the Westmorland FA’s second Senior Cup Semi Final against Cartmel on the same day which seems to leave Pirelli without a game. Sounds complicated – it is!
Penrith Reserves had a 2-1 win over local rivals Wetheriggs United at Frenchfield, with a Division One debut in goal for Penrith Academy’s Lewis Waugh,. The Penrith goals were from Hayden Wilson and Connor Shields, and Wetheriggs’ goal was from Ben Pool. The result puts Penrith back into fifth, and Wetheriggs now down in tenth spot. Ibis are eleventh and Ambleside remain in bottom place.
In Division Two, Castletown United went down 2-3 to Greystoke at home, giving Greystoke some useful points and knocking another hole in Castletown’s title challenge. Greystoke’s goal scoreres were Tom Peile, Scott Wetherell and Jack Peile. Castletown’s two goals were from Brandon Hesser and Liam Robinson.
Shap had a 5-2 win over Windermere SC Reserves, cementing Shap’s position at the top of the Division two table, as second placed Endmoor KGR were in Junior Cup action and third placed Eden Thistle had their second postponement in two weeks with their game against Carleton Banks was cancelled after only two pitches at Frenchfield were playable. Wetheriggs Reserves were only told of a revised fixture against Keswick Reserves on Thursday, and unsurprisingly couldn’t raise a side at short notice.
Shap’s win wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggests. Shap were 3-0 up at the end of the first forty five minutes, but Windermere SC came out fighting in the second half, and pulled the score back to 3-2 , but then Shap put the game beyond doubt game, scoring two more and the match finished at 5-2. Shap’s goal scorers were Jordan Palmer (2), Paul Ronald, Byron Harris and and Tim Jackson. Braithwaite were held to a 1-1 draw by Kendal United Reserves, and Ullswater picked up another win, again beating Langwathby United, this time 7-1. The results leave Langwathby United firmly rooted to the bottom of the Division Two table in fifteenth place, with Windermere SC Reserves fourteenth, Ullswater thirteenth and Greystoke twelfth.
In Division Three, there were more postponed games, but Lunesdale United kept up their recent run of good form with a 3-2 win over fourth placed Penrith Royal at Maurice Park. Lunesdale went into the game missing the key trio of John Wolstenholme, Michael Wilson and Kyle Reyes, but were boosted by Ben Jackson making his second appearance of the season, and Jack and Ryan Law returning to the starting eleven after last weekend excellent 3-1 Cup victory over League leaders AFC Carlisle.
The heavy pitch took its toll, and after a disallowed goal for Royal, the visitors then took the lead from a James Thompson close range strike. And it was 1-0 to Royal at half time. Lunesdale came out brighter in the second half and soon equalised when a Jack Law pass found the head of David Beecham and his header found the corner of the net from ten yards out.
On 60 minutes it was 2-1 to Lunesdale from another good Beecham strike that went in off the post. Lunesdale continued to enjoy more of the ball, and on 68 minutes the game was put almost beyond Penrith Royals’ reach when Ben Jackson beat numerous defenders and found himself twelve yards from goal and expertly steered the ball into the right hand corner of the net. Lunesdale were given a scare when with 10 minutes to go when a free kick whipped in from the right was cleverly flicked in from ten yards to bring Penrith Royal back into the game, but Lunesdale saw the remaining time out to win by the odd goal.
The pitch at the Lakes School in Windermere was deemed playable, although this ended up as bad news for Ibis Reserves who went down 8-2 to third placed placed Ambleside Town.
Penrith Town had a good 6-2 win over Ambleside United Reserves, who could only muster ten players but put on a battling performance. Penrith’s goals came from another hat-trick for Tom Watson, a brace for for Joe Tyson-Brown and one for Alex Glen.
The results leave Endmoor KGR Reserves fifth, Ibis Reserves sixth, Lunesdale are now seventh, Burneside and Penrith Academy (who were meant to meet but whose match was postponed) in eigth and ninth places, Penrth Town tenth and Ambleside United Reserves eleventh. None of the bottom three, Sedbergh Wanderers Reserves, Kirkoswald Reserves or Penrith Saints had a game. And at the top of the table, League leaders AFC Carlisle had no scheduled match, and Appleby Reserves were in Junior Cup action but they stay in first and second place, with Ambleside Town now snapping at their heels.