IT WAS celebration time for Kirkheaton as the Huddersfield side romped into the West Riding County FA Junior Trophy Under 14 final with a 3-0 victory over fellow RCD side, Rastrick.
The Division I rivals produced a game worthy of a semi-final with some highly skilled football on show but it was nerve-wracking stuff for the faithful supporters as both sides went close on a number of occasions before the deadlock was finally broken 10 minutes into the second half when a Kirkheaton free-kick found Oliver Sutcliffe who fired home a superb volley from eight yards.
Rastrick’s problems were doubled a few minutes later when striker Ricardo Ianzito pounced to fire Kirkheaton into a 2-0 lead.
The two goal cushion obviously eased Kirkheaton’s nerves a little too much and, although they were playing some fine football, an over elaborate move involving Oliver Sutcliffe, Tom Walker and Ricardo Ianzito, who all had a chance to shoot from eight yards, resulted in nothing.
The best, and final, goal of the game came from Matthew Hopley who rode four tackles to fire a shot into the bottom corner to secure Kirkheaton’s place in the final which will be held at the West Riding County FA Ground, Woodlesford, on Thursday, April 2 (7.30).
Rastrick’s hopes of landing the County’s biggest prize suffered a double blow when, following the Under 14’s exit from the Trophy competition at the semi-final stage, the Under 16’s suffered the same fate just 24 hours later.
Rastrick faced the might of Farsley Celtic, of which no fewer than eight of the team also play for the County representative side, and lost 1-0.
Although Rastrick missed a golden opportunity to take the lead 10 minutes into the game, Farsley were always in charge but, the fact that they only managed one goal in the game is testament to some superb defending from Bradley Taylor, Tom Hall, Jack Garside and Liam McAllister and was crowned by a towering performance from central defender and captain, Andrew Clarke.
The pain of losing a County semi-final will be eased for many of the Rastrick Under 14 team when they return to action tomorrow representing Rastrick High School in the English Schools Under 14 Cup.
Having battled through no fewer than seven rounds of the national competition, the latest a victory over Cramlington School from Northumberland, they now face an away tie against Audenshaw School from Manchester with a place in the semi-final at stake.
In the RCD League Cup, Elland-based HAFC overcame Linthwaite in their much delayed Under 13 second round meeting.
Kai Hallwood, Elliot Core and Joshua Drake were on target in the 3-0 win to send HAFC into a third round meeting away at Ossett Town next week.