EARLY on Sunday morning, conditions looked promising for football, but no sooner had referee Adam Brown blown his whistle to start the game than the heavens opened and spectators at Laund Hill – home of YMCA – endured a downpour for the duration of the game.
Glen Juniors were the visitors in this fourth round meeting between two sides in the top five of the first division but, despite their lofty positions, the rain and increasingly muddy pitch put paid to any ideas of a classic encounter.
Possession was equally shared in a first half where goal chances were few and far between as YMCA midfielders Ben Stephenson, Marley James and Jake Lodge cancelled out any threat from their counterparts Kieran Williams, Craig Wilson and Tom Lyman.
And by half time only a Josh Hayes attempt from 18 yards had caused YMCA keeper George Sykes any trouble.
The two sides have only met once before with YMCA getting the better of a narrow 2-1 scoreline in the first game of the season and there was little to choose this time round but, as the second half got under way, it was clear that the home side were beginning to gain the upper hand.
A series of corners underlined the efforts of Aiden Fallon and James and the Glen defenders finally wilted, allowing Fraser Horsfall to head home a James Pettinger corner at the near post.
Having gone behind, a rain-soaked Glen then produced their best spell of the game and Lyman was unlucky on a couple of occasions.
But Glen were caught out again when a left wing cross from Pettinger was met by Lodge whose glancing header was buried in to the bottom corner to give his side a 2-0 lead.
The cushion gave YMCA confidence and, despite some sterling defending from Danny Bedford and Josh Ward, Morley-based Glen were down and out.
A third goal from Niall McGuire 10 minutes from time finally dispelled any hopes that Glen might salvage something from the game.
YMCA now look forward to a tough semi-final meeting with second division promotion-chasing Howden Clough, who beat first division Hartshead to book their place in the last four, on Sunday, March 9, at Leeds Road Playing Fields.
The other semi-final in this age group has yet to be decided.
Dewsbury Rangers have already booked their place thanks to a 3-2 extra-time win over Scholes but last place in the quarters will be decided next week when second division title chasing Netherton travel to Gomersal for an intriguing fourth round meeting with the unbeaten third division leaders.