It was Medals Cup week for six of the Wensleydale Creamery League teams on Saturday.
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The pick of the games was probably the match between the league title hopefuls Catterick Garrison and Hawes, which was won 2-0 by the Upper Dalesmen.
The Hawes managers made bold team selection ahead of the match which saw Sam Iveson moved from right-back to right sided forward with sparkling effect.
On a very blowy afternoon in Catterick Garrison, Iveson won the first half penalty which Jonathon Champion dispatched to make it one-nil, then put the second on a plate for Champion with a cross early in the second half.
The first goal was the result of a barnstorming run which began in the Hawes half. Iveson turned his man and burned down the right side. Garrison’s left-back lunged in to tackle in the box, but got nothing but leg.
No one seemed to want to take the spot kick for Hawes. It was left to Champion to pick the ball up. He stared round at his team mates, before accepting that he was the man.
During the run-up a Garrison player tried to put him off by saying the keeper had saved four out of four from the spot last year, but Champ slotted in calmly to his left.
The strongly westerly wind made the match a gritty spectacle.
Catterick’s supporters spent it sunk deep in their camping chairs, but they had plenty of encouragement in the first half as their side had the wind at their backs and were often in attack.
But every swirling ball in the air and every cross was dealt with by the Hawes defence. Catterick claimed a goal when a ball looped up and – they thought – over the line, but the referee judged that captain Brett Calvert had kicked it away just in time.
Hawes think they had the better chances, hitting the post twice and going close from headers. They drew several spectacular saves from the excellent Garrison keeper.
The home side – who played with one up front and a number ten sitting behind – threatened when their big centre back put a header over the bar from six yards, minutes from the final whistle.
Hawes will take heart from a number of tremendous performances around the pitch. Scott Guy once again suffered a bloody nose for his tenacious tackling – and he generally dictated the play.
Tommy Calvert had an entertaining battle with the Garrison right back and the Hawes back four rarely put a foot wrong.
Colburn were quickly into their stride and Academy’s pre match fears looked to be well founded when the visitors were 2-0 up inside ten minutes.
They found it a lot easier to make their way through Academy’s defence than to make their way through the mud to get to the pitch.
Eight minutes in a Tom Sweeney cross was met by Nige Cole, whose shot was pushed out, only for Luke Hamilton to knock it home.
Two minutes later, Mark Jamieson advanced through Academy’s ranks.
His shot was deflected by an unwitting Sweeney, but Joe Woodall was on hand to strike. 2-0 up after ten minutes, and it was all going smoothly.
But the Richmond boys rallied and controlled much of the first half.
After 15 minutes they pulled a goal back when a ball was fed into Colburn’ box.
Ashley McInerney missed his header, Karl Latcham pushed the ball out, and an Academy attacker was able to shoot home.
This really seemed to knock Colburn out of their stride.
Another Academy attack was repelled by a fine diving save from Latcham.
Richmond pushed for an equaliser and felt ref, Jim Wilson, should have awarded a penalty when Lewington was felled by Latcham in the Colburn goal.
Colburn were playing too many long balls, which were easily dealt with by Academy’s back four.
Hammy Hamilton, Colburn manager, had to get the team playing football again.
The Colburn pressure built again. McInerney produced an excellent cross, which Sweeney just couldn’t convert.
Then Sweeney had a fierce shot well saved, and sent another effort over the bar.
But the ‘burn goalscorer supreme was not to be denied, and just before half-time he bullied his way through Academy’s defence and slotted one home to make it 3-1. This seemed to knock the stuffing out of the young side who never recovered from the setback
Colburn resumed after the interval with renewed purpose, and it wasn’t long before they too the game right away from Academy with two almost identical goals.
Firstly, on 51 minutes, a McInerney corner found Cole at the back post, sliding the ball into the net.
Then on the hour another McInerney corner was again met by Cole.
It came off his head onto the post, but rebounded off him into the goal. At 5-1 up, Hammy Hamilton switched things around.
He took Jamie Dempster off and brought Craig Nisbet on. Nisbet went to left back, releasing Rory Wallace to push into midfield.
Almost immediately, after some good build up play, Woodall set up Wallace, but his shot flew over.
In a second change, Woodall came off, replaced by Tom Bentley. Bentley played down the right, meaning Craig Teasdale was now playing on the left.
Colburn had by now eased back somewhat, without making repeated their first half mistake of switching off.
Callum Sheridan had an effort which just cleared the bar, Sweeney blasted over from a Teasdale cross, and a Wallace shot was narrowly wide.
The whistle went with the final score 5-1.
Buck Inn went through with a comfortable win over Reeth.
Windy conditions made life difficult for both teams, but, with the advantage of it in the first half, Buck established a good lead over their visitors.
An unfortunate first-man header by Reeth, from a 9th minute corner, rather than clearing the ball, succeeded only in delivering it to the far post, where it was headed in, powerfully.
Buck scored again on 12 minutes; a low, sweeping shot to the far corner. They struck for a third, in the 32nd minute, with a near identical shot from the wide right, across the goalkeeper.
Reeth’s hopes of using the wind to their advantage in the second half came to nothing and it was Richmond who scored, in the 77th minute, to ease into the next round of the Medals Shield, 4-0 winners.
In the league, Leyburn had won two on the bounce but got a 13-2 hammering at the hands of Richmond Mavericks.
Adam Emson claimed a magnificent seven for the visitors.
Tom Hammond and Kalem Stanger got the Wenslydale’s teams goals.
Elsewhere in the league, Unicorn narrowly beat Spennithorne 1-0, Shayne Ketley getting the only goal of the game on 14 minutes.
Spennithorne only had ten players for the whole 90 minutes.