The Wensleydale Creamery League season got underway on Saturday with the fixture list throwing up some intriguing match-ups from the off.
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In one of two Richmond derbies, Richmond Town Reserves and Richmond Buck played out a tense 0-0 draw — a result almost unheard of in the cheese league.
Academy were without a recognise striker after Nathan Simpson ruled himself unfit and other players were away on cricketing duties. This meant Joe Ramsay got the nod after some impressive performances pre-season.
Town demonstrated their potential for a great season after more than matching last weeks Champions Cup winners Richmond Buck in a competitively and fairly fought contest in this league opener.
Buck were striving for the rhythm that helped their positive result last week but Town pressed and hurried them into erratic play.
Buck’s outlet up top was Gary Hutchinson who, on his competitive debut for the Buck, held the ball up well and his pace was a menace to the Town’s otherwise solid back line.
Town moved the ball well from back to front but couldn’t find the quality of a final pass or piercing run to penetrate the immovable Buck centre back pairing of Josh Wooff and Martyn Wilson.
For Buck, the best chance of the game came early in the 17th minute and was presented with a ‘modern law’ penalty box handball by Town defender Andrew Davidson.
Having scored his last 15 from the penalty spot Stewart Fotheringham stepped forward and somehow managed to send the ball high into orbit.
In the second half, Town had the best of the possession with Harry Needham and Lewis Cocks controlling the game in the middle of the park. while Thomas Carnegie-Brown had chances which on another day would have resulted in a hat-trick.
In the other Richmond derby, last year’s champions Richmond Mavericks beat Unicorn 3-2.
Nathan O’Connor got a last-minute winner for Mavs after Liam Reeves had twice put Unicorn in front.
There were also two Wensleydale derbies, with Spennithorne beating Carperby 4-0 through goals from Adam Lambert, James Smith, Lee Thompson and Andrew Thwaites.
Leyburn won their match away at Hawes 4-1. Callum Rankine and Luke Wilkinson both got two each.
In the final game, Catterick Garrison came from behind twice to beat Reeth. Catterick goals were scored by Liam Walker and Damian Hargreaves, who got a brace. Michael Ellis scored both Reeth’s goals.
Hawes 1-4 Leyburn
Reeth 2-3 Catterick Garrison Football Centre
Richmond Mavericks 3-2 Unicorn
Richmond Town Reserves 0-0 Richmond Buck
Spennithorne 4-0 Carperby
Fixtures – 14.9.19
Catterick Garrison Football Centre v Unicorn
Colburn v Richmond Town Reserves
Reeth v Richmond Buck Inn
Richmond Mavericks v Carperby
Spennithorne v Leyburn