By Aidan Hopson, Huddersfield & District Football League – Main image: Tyke Travels @TravelsTyke
Wayne Shooter and Richard Oakley scored with headers to put Berry Brow into the final of the Barlow Cup.
Brow beat holders Linthwaite 2-1 in a stormy semi-final. They will face Newsome in the final at the Skye Direct Stadium, home of Golcar United, on Thursday May 27 (7pm).
Newsome travelled to Scholes and won a hard-fought game 3-2 with goals from Dean Siddiq, Steven Marshall and Connor Beaumont.
At Berry Brow Recreation Ground a large vociferous crowd watched a battle royal in the pouring rain.
Referee Ian Daffern and his assistants Dwayne Chappell and Joe Wink-Simmonds were kept busy with tackles flying and temperatures reaching boiling point.
Despite some often wince-inducing clashes, both teams managed to keep 11 men on the pitch, although Daffern did have to make use of his yellow card.
Linthwaite were looking the more likely to score but as they pushed forward in numbers it was the Brow who took the lead after 41 minutes. A free-kick proved too hot to handle for Linthwaite goalkeeper Josh Ankers and Shooter stooped to head in the loose ball.
Seven minutes after the interval, Linthwaite’s dangerous Connor Beaumont beat the home offside trap and chipped a delightful shot over Brow goalkeeper Haigh, watching it drop just inside the far post before being engulfed by delighted teammates.
Their joy was however short lived as 14 minutes later Berry Brow struck what proved to be the winner when centre-back Oakley rose highest to head in from a corner.
The last chance of the game fell to Berry Brow’s Luke Gibson at the end of the game. With Linthwaite caught up-field in a late push for an equaliser, Gibson found himself on his own on the halfway line with the ball, he set off towards goal with defenders trailing in his wake but Ankers was out quickly to block his effort on the edge of the penalty area.
In the Groom Cup semi-final at Laund Hill the hosts were held to a rare 0-0 draw by Meltham but went through to the final with a nail-biting 5-4 win on penalties.
There was plenty of end-to-end action in the other semi-final at Northfield Hall where Deighton drew with Kirkburton 3-3.
Deighton’s goals came from Darren Lewis, Dante Newell and Hayden Webster whilst Kirkburton’s goals came from Henry Philpot, Luke Walker and Matt Willans. Kirkburton triumphed winning the penalty shoot-out 3-1.
The final of the Groom Cup will be played at the Stafflex Arena, home of Shelley FC, on Tuesday May 18 at 7pm.
Linthwaite Reserves with goals from Chris Blakely (two) and Nathan Wadsworth beat Britannia Reserves 3-1 to reach the final of the Richardson Cup.
Also through to the final are Deighton Reserves who beat Newsome Reserves 4-1 with goals from Paul Pyke and Jamal Simpson (three).
The Richardson Cup final will be played at the Stafflex Arena on Tuesday May 25 at 7pm.
Two teams from the same club contested one of the semi-finals of the Gee Cup as Berry Brow A entertained the Berry Brow B team.
The sides couldn’t be separated with the score at 1-1 after 90 minutes, but the A team reached the final winning the penalty shoot-out 3-1.
In the other semi-final Deighton A – with goals from Jkwon Morgan (two), Leevan Brown and Craig Winteringham – beat Linthwaite A 4-2. Linthwaite’s goals came from Malaki Philip and Nicky Pike.
The Gee Cup final will be played at the Skye Direct Stadium on Thursday May 20 at 7pm.
Admission is by pay on the gate for all of the cup finals and entry is £3 for adults and £1 for under 18s and over 65s. If the scores in any of the games are level at the end of normal time then the match will go to penalties.