THE new season got off to a sunny start with over 800 teams and more than 10,000 players hoping for another exciting year in the Huddersfield RCD Junior League.
Meltham Under 14s certainly got their campaign off to a flier with an away victory over last season’s league champions.
Howden Clough won the Under 13 title by an eight-point margin in May, but they could muster only one goal against a team that finished mid-table.
Jack Bennett and James Sunderland grabbed two each as Meltham secured a 4-1 victory.
In Division II of the Under 14s, YMCA are hoping a solid opening-day win at Honley will inspire them to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish.
Honley are still trying to re-group, following relegation from the top division last season, but despite scoring twice they were unable to stop the Laund Hill side as goals from Joe Woodruff, Thomas Helliwell, Lewis Fitzpatrick and Jack Brewster secured a 4-2 victory for YMCA.
After amassing only nine points from 22 league games in the last campaign, Netherton Under 14s will be hoping to bounce back from the disappointment of relegation from Division II and a comfortable 5-1 victory over Battyeford will have given them a lift.
A single goal for the Mirfield side was not enough to stop the visitors as replies from Ryan Denton (2), Zakeria Rafiq, Adam Sheffield and Keesan Morgan gave Netherton a much-needed win and three points to get their season off to a flying start.
In the same division, newly-promoted Greetland discovered that life may be a little more difficult in a higher division when they arrived at Holmfirth for their opening game against Upperthong.
Goals from Tom Dighton (2) and Matt Bottomley proved they could find the net in Division III, but replies from Anthony Dawson and Sam Taylor (2) were capped by a Cameron Sharp hat trick to give the home side a 6-3 win and three points as Upperthong look to improve on their fifth-place finish last season.
Lepton Highlanders missed out on the Under 13 league title by just four points last season and they will be hoping a victory over Norristhorpe will inspire them to better things this time.
Norristhorpe scored twice to keep the home side on their toes but goals from Kallum Davies-Moseley (2), Jake Lynn, Nahum Hendricks and Charlie Auty gave the Highlanders a 5-2 win and three points to kick-start a new title challenge.
Kirkheaton Under 15s started with a 5-3 victory in their Division III game at Honley.
Two goals each for Burton and Swift and one for Hepplestone secured the points for Kirkheaton and the prospect they might improve on their mid-table finish last time around.
New team Ryburn United Under 15s grabbed the points in a nine-goal Division IV game at Gomersal.
Bould and Robinson grabbed two goals each for the home side, who are hoping to bounce back from relegation, but it wasn’t enough as goals from Coburn, Deakin and a Gaimster hat trick sealed the points for Ryburn.
Just one win and five draws saw Kirkheaton Under 12s relegated from Division II at the end of last season, but they’ll be hoping that victory in their opening game against Hall Green United may be the start of a better season.
Luke Pollard, Courtney Rezvani and Jake Spry scored the goals to keep Hall Green in the game but replies from Corey Longley, Sam Bedingfield and a Nathan Goddard hat trick were enough to give Kirkheaton a 5-3 win.