[A]s the ‘Beast from the East’ made an unwelcome return to the British Isles, and most feared another weekend of cancelled, Cumbria somehow managed to just about escape the worst, although by 5pm on Saturday the East of the county had taken quite a battering, and some players were even wearing gloves ……. in Cumbria!
In the Smurfit Kappa Cumberland County League there were four senior cup ties, and the picks of the bunch were the two Ken Glover Memorial Shield Semi Finals, both pitting Premier Division sides against Division One sides.
In the first, Aspatria had a very good 4 -1 over Borough with a good performance in Arctic conditions, with a strong wind and flurries of snow swirling around St Mungos Park. Borough had the advantage of the wind in first half, but it was Aspatria who went on top when a deft Sean Law cross let Andrew Trestianu sneak in at the back post to give Aspatria the lead on fifteen minutes.
Conditions stayed difficult and Borough equalised on twenty minutes when Neil Melton scored from the edge of the box to make it 1-1 and it was all square at half time. Now with the wind behind them, Aspatria took control and took the lead from a corner on sixty minutes when the Borough ‘keeper punched the ball out and Richard Hudson dispatched it back into the net with a ferocious left foot volley from ten yards out.
Aspatria went further ahead ten minutes later from another Sean Law cross, with skipper Darryl Creighton rising at the back post to head in. Borough battled away and had a couple of half chances, but couldn’t get another goal and Aspatria wrapped the game up with ten minutes to go when a through ball from Creighton sent substitute Dan Pearson through to make it 4 1.
In the second Semi Final, the conditions were even worse at Pirelli, in a match played in weather than veered from bright sunshine to near blizzard and then back again on a bitterly cold afternoon in Carlisle. But the home side lost out 0-3 to the current Shield holders, Workington Athletic, and Workington’s triumph was thanks to a Matthew Perry brace and a goal from Ben Gregory.
There were also two Whitehaven Cup ties. In the Second Round, Premier Division Cleator Moor Celtic Reserves lost out 2-7 to Division One’s Bransty Rangers, who took the win with goals from Stewart O’Pray (2), Mark Callan (2), Adam Smith, Dan Fowler and Ricky McGuinness. Cleator Moor’s two goals came from Adam Meagan and Bryan Todd.
In the Quarter Finals there was an all Division One clash, and Gosforth had a 3-1 home win over Crown Newlaithes thanks to goals from Owen Woodburn, Brad Dryden and Matthew Pierce. Danny Spiteri replied for Newlaithes.
There was just one Premier Division match, and after their narrow 1-0 Cumberland Cup defeat by Penrith AFC midweek, Netherhall lifted themselves into fifth place and out of the relegation zone with an emphatic 12-1 win over Carlisle City Reserves. Jamie Glover scored an extraordinary six goals, Shaun Smith knocked in a hat trick, Adam Tinnion scored two and there was one goal for Mark Brown. Lewis Dickinson scored Carlisle’s consolation goal (but we doubt if it was much of a consolation).
In the Westmorland FA Senior Challenge Cup Semi Final Endmoor KGR had a 1-0 lead from a Nathan Dixon goal up unto the last twelve minutes, but two late goals from a wonderful Brody Moffatt free kick and a Bailey Carlos strike gave Kendal County the win and a place in the Cup Final against Appleby, scheduled for Saturday the 28 April.
In the Junior Cup Semi Finals, the match between Keswick Reserves and Carleton Banks was called off. In the surviving Semi Final, Dent progress into the final with an impressive 0-4 away win at Burton Thistle, with the goals from David Burton, Joe Gardner and a brace from Sam Sedge.
In Division One of the Westmorland League, Wetheriggs went down 1-7 at home to League leaders Keswick, whose goals came from Jamie Litttle, Stevie Hindmarch, a brace each for Declan Robinson and Richard Bannister and a Wetheriggs’ own goal. Simon Brough scored United’s consolation goal.
Keswick are now six points clear at the top of the table and with a game in hand over second placed Appleby, who were in cup action. At the other end of the table, Ambleside United stay rooted to the bottom after a 0-7 home loss to Penrith Reserves. This was not going to be easy, with Penrith AFC’s senior team’s match against Billingham Synthonia called off with an unplayable pitch at Billingham, meaning Penrith Reserves could include Connor Shields and Kyle May in their squad and it made a difference, with Shields picking up a hat trick and May adding another, along with goals from Tom McDonald, Hayden Wilson and Will Reay for a comprehensive win which puts Penrith Reserves into fifth spot in the table.
Kendal County Reserves took on Shap, and Shap’s much improved season continued with a 2-5 away win thanks to four goals from Jordan Palmer and one from Ben Palmer. Kendal’s goals came from Shaun Sorrenson and Michael Clayden. The result leaves Shap three points clear in ninth spot and Kendal County Reserves in tenth place. Finally Windermere SC move into sixth spot on the back of a 2-0 win over Ibis, who stay fourth.
In the Westmorland League High Sheriff’s Cup, Appleby reached their third final this season with a 3-0 win over Kirkoswald. The win came on the back of goals from Jordan Crawford, Bobby Atkinson and man of the match Ben Jackson.
In Division Two, a depleted Braithwaite FC lost out 1-3 at home to AFC Carlisle, and Greystoke were delighted with a 2-3 away win against Kendal Utd Reserves which eases their recent relegation worries, leaving Greystoke eighth and Kendal sixth.
Castletown United were another team who could capitalise on Penrith AFC’s cancelled game, with a 6-0 win over Ullswater United in a game moved to Frenchfield. Ryan Gate put in two for Castletown, but Penrith’s Robbie Hebson did the real damage, knocking in four in another game played in horrendous conditions.
Finally, the League’s basement side Windermere SC Reserves earned a point with a 1-1 draw against Eden Thistle who stay fifth. There was also one Quarter Final in the Mason & Freeman Cup and Staveley United progress thanks to a 2-1 win over Appleby Reserves at Ayland Recreation Ground, with the winning goal from veteran Martin Swainson.
In Division Three of the James Cropper Westmorland League, Kirkoswald Reserves moved into second place with a 2-1 win over Penrith Saints, leapfrogging Kirkby Stephen whose home match against Burneside was a weather cancellation.
Penrith Academy also had a 2-1 win, triumphing over Langwathby United with two goals from Luke Hunter and a Man of the Match performance from Chris Mills who was outstanding on his full debut for Academy. Penrith Royal had a 4-2 win over Endmoor KGR Reserves Reserves on another very snowy and cold Frenchfield pitch. Royal’s goals were from Craig Willan,Tom Dixon, Alex Jackson and an own goal from Liam Mason. Jack Ireland and Chris Bell scored for KGR.
In the Quarter Finals of the Peter Daws Memorial Shield, Lunesdale Utd travelled to Sedbergh Wanderers Reserves expecting a tough game after the previous two encounters this season, this was made all the more challenging by the atrocious conditions in the East of the county as the Beast began to take a firm hold of the weather, with a strong and bitterly cold wind blowing off the Howgills straight onto Havera Park.
In this much postponed match, Sedbergh had the Arctic blast at their backs for the half half, pushing Lunesdale into a defensive mode, but it was the visitors who scored first on 13 minutes from Brandon Brett and the visitors notched up their second on 20 minutes when a Ben Collinson free kick was held up in the air and David Beecham was first to react and headed in from close range at the back post.
Sedbergh had the lion’s share of possession during the first half and finally found the the net on 40 minutes when a loose ball was picked up and chipped twenty yards into the top left corner of goal. In the second half Lunesdale now had the wind advantage, and Brett scored his second and Lunesdales’s third goal five minutes in with a curling shot into the far top corner of goal, and four minutes after that Tyler James chased a ball down the right and although Sedbergh’s keeper got there first, James dispossessed him and fired from a tight angle into an empty net.
Sedbergh pulled another goal back on 65 minutes to make it 2-4, but substitute Dillan Potts sealed the win for LUFC with their fifth goal in the dying minutes, a tap in from a James’ pass. In the Semi Finals, Lunesdale meet Kirkby Stephen and Kirkoswald Reserves meet Penrith Royal.
Finally, Sedbergh Wanderers were in Craven Cup Quarter Final action, and the Wanderers march into to the Semis with a 2-1 win over Waddington FC, with the winning goals from Andy Todd and Oli Wales.