The latest two episodes in this season’s saga involving Colburn Town and Richmond Mavericks were aired this week.
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On Thursday night at Northallerton Town’s ground night Colburn got revenge for the defeat in the early season Champion’s Cup beating Mavs on penalties to claim the Medals Shield.
Two days later Mavs then knocked Colburn out of the Dales Cup.
In the Medals Shield final, Mavs took the lead after six mins when a Mavs throw in appeared to flick off a Colburn player and fell to Richie Bastow, who knocked the ball in past a helpless Nige Cole.
Colburn had started slowly but picked themselves up and began to drag themselves back into the game.
After 15 minutes Craig Teasdale took a hopeful punt from over on the right, but the ball came back off the bar.
Then Teasdale flashed another ball across and Stuart Murray’s drive just went wide.
Next it was Callum Sheridan playing Joe Woodall in, but Steven Reed in the Mavs goal was quickly out to smother it.
Tom Sweeney was then brought down outside the area, but his resulting free kick was well over.
As the first half drew to a close, some fine build up play from Colburn gave Teasdale an opening, but his effort was just wide.
After the break, Colburn seemed more up for it. Shane Parkinson sent one shot over, then Colburn were awarded a free kick over on the left.
Ashley McInerney sent his usual high-quality delivery across to the back post, where an otherwise out-of-sorts Adam Taylor rose to crash a header home for a deserved equaliser.
There followed a good spell of pressure from Colburn, and they seemed the likelier of the two sides to score next.
Murray went close, then Parkinson progressed down the right, cut in and crossed, but Murray’s header was wide.
Rory Wallace had had a torrid evening at the right of Colburn’s back three and was replaced after 65 minutes by Callum Henney. Colburn continued to press for a winner, but Mavs were also chasing a goal.
Luke Hamilton, Colburn’s man of the match, was booked with ten minutes to go for a tackle on the left of the area, but the free kick came to nothing.
Then Cole was called on to make a fine save, diving at the feet of the Mavs attacker to thwart him, receiving a bang on the head for his troubles.
Hammy Hamilton then changed things around, as Taylor was struggling with cramp.
He moved McInerney to the right of the back three and brought Gary Hutchison on in midfield.
From this point, the game drifted towards full time, with neither side wanting to make any catastrophic errors.
And so extra time began, still with a lot of caution from both sides. Not too much action was evident in the first 15 minutes, and just before the turn around, Hammy made a final change. It was between Murray and Woodall who would come off – both were cramping up badly, but Hammy decided to leave the more experienced Murray on and brought Connor Weatherbed on for Woodall.
The second 15 minutes saw more of the same, tentative probing from both sides, and the game reached an inevitable conclusion, with penalties now proving the only way to split the two sides.
Colburn dispatched their first five penalties with great assurance through McInerney, Sheridan, Sweeney, Parkinson and Teasdale.
Mavs were less convincing but still managed to convert their first five too.
Up stepped sub Hutchinson to confidently smash the ball past Reed. Mavs 6th penalty taker managed to beat Cole. 6-6.
Next up for Colburn was another sub, Weatherbed, who probably hit the best penalty of the night. 7-6.
Matt Bromirsky was next up for Mavs – he took his run up and sent his effort over the bar. Cue celebrations from Colburn, and commiserations to Mavericks.
There hadn’t been much between the two sides, but Colburn felt they had just done enough to deserve the victory.
Two days later the two tired teams took to the pitch again for the second round of the Dales Cup.
The first meeting had not proved too entertaining and it was unreasonable to expect any more on the ploughed-up field that was Wembley.
Both sides had made changes, Colburn having to draft in yet another emergency keeper. This time it was Tim Bishop, who managed to crack a rib the night before so his son, Brandon stepped up to fill the breach, and, it has to be said, acquitted himself pretty well, apart from a shaky ten minutes, when his misjudgement saw a free kick from distance drift over his head and narrowly wide, and that was followed by one or two other errors, but his back three steadied the ship, or at least two of them did.
Nige Cole and Luke Hamilton were solid in their roles, but the returning Dean McCormack had a bit of a mare, particularly first half.
As to the game, early exchanges were back and fro, with one Mavs effort flying well over, then Craig Teasdale slotted a ball through, but Shane Parkinson’s shot was blocked.
The next alarm for Colburn came on the half-hour when a flowing Mavs attack was halted by a fine save from Bishop. But less than five mins later, Mavs took the lead.
As on Thursday night, the goal came from a throw-in, which was headed on, and flicked in. Colburn tried to respond, with Ashley McInerney pushing on relentlessly in midfield, and Shane Parkinson working his socks off, buzzing around the Mavs back four like a particularly irritating insect.
But the other Colburn players seemed to be drained of ideas and energy. It took until just before the interval for them to send a proper shot in, Callum Sheridan’s drive rising just over. The second half was unremarkable, as Mavs dealt comfortably with Colburn’s attacks.
Tom Sweeney was brought down outside the box, but his fierce free kick was straight at the keeper.
On the hour, Hammy played his final card, sending on Jamie Dempster and Connor Weatherbed, in place of Sheridan and Tom Bentley; truth be told, any one of seven players could have justifiably been replaced.
This change did spark Colburn into more sustained pressure and it did seem for the next 20 minutes or so that an equaliser might come. But it was not to be, and Mavs gained some degree of revenge for Thursday’s defeat, and progress to the semi-finals.
Playing Mavs in the semi-final will be Richmond Academy after they beat Unicorn in another close affair.
The game was played down at Easby with most neutrals perhaps predicting a comfortable win for the away side.
What those neutrals won’t know is that Academy seem to have added a little more effort and aggression to their game recently to go with the undoubted talent within those young legs.
With striker Weatherall injured the Academy management team named Donoghue up front after his recent goal scoring exploits from left back.
There was groans from the ranks as the team was named but those soon disappeared as the game got underway.
After a fairly even first 20 minutes with both sides creating a couple of decent openings Donoghue found himself one on one with Mutch but just lifted his shot over the bar.
He wasn’t to be kept off the scoresheet for long though as 2 minutes later Mackintosh thread the ball through and he calmly picked his spot.
The key was to now keep control of the ball and not let Unicorn back in it quickly but 3 minutes later a ball over the top found Duckett and the diminutive goblin like striker finished past Mudd to level the scores.
Ref Ulyott was having a fine game but on the stroke of half time he disallowed a second goal for Donoghue after a goalmouth scramble.
There was two Uni men on the line as he received the ball but the ref waved away the protests and chalked it off.
Early in the second half man of the match Tom Carnegie Brown jinked his way into the box and drew a foul out of Brown to earn his side a penalty which was gleefully stroked home by Lewington.
Unicorn piled on the pressure for the next 20 minutes but the Academy defence was expertly marshalled by Thompson who yet again had a fine game showing maturity rarely seen in a 17-year-old.
The equaliser came when Stead rugby talked Keegan in the box and the second penalty of the game was awarded.
Academy weren’t to be undone and piled on the pressure, on 88 minutes a fantastic one touch passing move involving five players saw Carnegia Brown feed Gilroy who hit a rasping volley over Mutch to seal the win.
The game ended in controversy with Ulyott disallowing a Unicorn equaliser deep into injury time and Duckett seeing red for his torrent of abuse at the ref.
Catterick entertained Hawes in the Dales Cup. This was the fourth time the sides had met this season, with Hawes victorious in the first three.
And it was the second season in a row Hawes United have been knocked out on penalties by the Garrison in a cup competition.
Last year it was the Medals Shield, this year the Dales Cup.
At least this time Hawes managed score a couple, but only after Steve Calvert had missed the top right bin with the first and Lloyd Iveson had rather scuffed one close to the keeper.
This one started at a cagey pace, both sides seemingly not wanting to hand the other the initiative.
For 120 minutes the match was a close contest, although Hawes will rue missed chances in the first half. Scott Guy was through but his shot was saved onto the bar. Tommy Calvert burst clear down the left but the keeper blocked his shot.
Catterick were looking menacing up the other end with Jez Mortimer and Danny Bailey pulling the strings in the Catterick midfield. However, for all of creativity and endeavour the final touches could not be applied to flowing moves.
Hawes were defending deep and breaking well. One break saw and attacker burst clear and into the box, Catterick’s skipper and centre half Andrew Constantine did brilliantly to position himself between a free man at the back post and the advancing winger.
His delaying tactics worked well enough to allow Jonathan Holmes to get back and get a toe to the ball. The ball spilt and Steven Files superbly smothered the second effort at point blank range.
Tim Holland’s free kick only found the wall from a promising position and Stephen Fleming also dragged a shot wide when well placed. The sides went in at 0-0 at the break.
Catterick were raring to go after the restart and only needed 30 seconds to take the lead.
Jez Mortimer chased down Tim Holland’s loose pass. He won the ball back with a strong tackle before bursting past Hawes last man. With only the keeper to beat he unselfishly squared for Damian Hargreaves to tap home from ten yards.
Ten minutes later it was 1-1 when Hawes capitalised on a defensive mix-up to break away and level the game. Sam Iveson broke from right back and threaded a lovely ball into the inside left position for Scott Guy, who passed it around the keeper into the net.
Catterick were left disappointed when they had two penalty appeals waved away. The first a clumsy challenge on Fleming, the defender was adjudged to have got something on the ball. The second had them incensed when the referee offered no explanation of why a Hawes centre half got away with blocking a cross with his arm.
However, minutes later it was Hawes that took the lead from a corner. The ball was swung towards the man mountain that is Andrew Fagg at the front post and Scott Guy rose highest at the back post to head Hawes ahead, benefiting from the eyebrows of Fagg via his flick on.
Catterick were not done. They pushed and pushed and it was goal of the game that brought the sides back together at 2-2.
Jonny Holmes cutting inside from left back and rifling a shot into the far corner from 20 yards.
Files made a good one handed save to tip a long range strike onto the CGFC bar and away to safety.
After 90 minutes it was level and extra time failed to separate the two teams.
Hawes United’s Tom Wallis steamed forward with the ball, his cheeks puffing out as he went. But Catterick carved out the better chances.
They hit the bar from a free kick and in the last moments of the second period drew a near point blank save from Hawes’ keeper Jonny Guy.
Finally, Steven Files saved twice in the shootout to give Catterick the win.
Richmond Buck reached the semi-final in a entertaining game against Spennithorne.
Josh Wooff put the hosts one up on ten minutes from a Stewart Fotheringham corner.
Wooff then turned provider for strike partner Danny Allen, who grabbed his second before half time from a Michael Slater cross.
Spennithorne fought back and scored before the break and could have had a second after Andrew Thwaites hit the post.
Spennithorne got their just rewards on the hour mark when they forced their second goal to make give them belief and reduce their deficit to one.
Just as the spectators were wondering if it would go to extra time Buck gave themselves some breathing space when good work in midfield from Adam Hodgkinson found Allen 20 yards out who unselfishly fed Wooff with a precise pass.
Wooff found the net to all but finish the game.
However, Spenni would not lye down and came again, forcing a penalty to make it 4-3.
In the dying embers of the game more good work from the Buck midfield released Slater on the right and a great little through ball gave Allen the chance for his hat-trick which he took with aplomb to finally put the nail in the Spenni cup coffin for this season.
Medals Shield final
Colburn Town 1 – 1 Richmond Mavericks
Dales Cup second round
Catterick Garrison Football Centre 2 – 2 Hawes United (Pen 3-2)
Richmond Buck 5 – 3 Spennithorne & Harmby
Richmond Mavericks 1 – 0 Colburn Town
Richmond Town Academy 3 – 2 Unicorn FC
Leyburn Town 8 – 1 Carperby Rovers
Fixtures – all league
Catterick Garrison Football Centre v Reeth & District Athletic Club
Colburn Town v Carperby Rovers
Hawes United v Leyburn Town
Richmond Buck Inn v Spennithorne & Harmby