STORTHES Hall are celebrating after finally picking up their first win of the season.
And boss Robbie Field hopes the impressive 5-1 West Riding County Amateur League Premier Division Cup triumph against Ardsley Celtic will lift confidence as his side battle what would be a first relegation from the top flight.
The Hall, now based at Woodfield Park, were one of the Huddersfield trailblazers when they moved up from the District League to the County Amateur in the mid-Nineties.
They soon made the top flight, won the Premier Division Cup in 1997 and landed the league championship two years later.
There were three successive West Riding FA Challenge Cup triumphs between 1998 and 2000, and as recently as 2008, the Hall were Premier Division runners-up to Huddersfield rivals Bay Athletic.
Last season brought a respectable eighth-place finish, but with eight of last season’s squad no longer on the scene, a young side have been on a steep learning curve and the club are currently bottom of the table on four points, three behind Huddersfield rivals Kirkburton and four adrift of third-bottom Halifax Irish.
“Three players retired, two had to give up because of other commitments and three went elsewhere,” explained stalwart Field.
“We’ve had some new players arrive, but they are quite so as a team, we’re finding our feet.
“In addition, I think the standard of the league overall has improved over the last few seasons, so we’ve got our work cut out.
“But never being relegated is a proud boast for the club, and not one we’ll give up without a real fight.
“The results haven’t always reflected the pattern of games, and we conceded late equalisers against both Wibsey and Lower Hopton, so could have been four points better off than we are.
“On Saturday, though, we produced a good performance and got the result, and I think it’s given the lads a real lift.
“We’ve got a tough game this Saturday (against sixth-placed Bradford side Campion) but we’ll go there with raised spirits and ready to give them a real game.”
Talented striker Jamie Miller was a hat-trick hero against Ardsley, his first coming from the penalty sport after Oliver Hughes had put the Hall ahead with a left-foot strike.
Miller missed an open goal soon after but made amends when he finished coolly after being set up by Michael Tunnacliffe’s through ball.
The former Ashton United man got his third from Chris Mulvihill’s pass before substitute Ben Burnett bagged his side’s fifth, Ardsley getting their consolation goal late on.
Matthew Poulain was another hat-trick scorer as Marsden eased to a 7-2 win at Halifax Irish, where Jon Newiss, Dean Walker, Dave Conway and Jason Battye also counted.
And the prolific Tom Mathews netted five times as Meltham best Lower Hopton 6-4, with Nathan Addy getting the other.
However Bay, the current league leaders, suffered a 5-2 home defeat by Albion Sports (both home goals came from Kitson Gayle) while Golcar United, who are fourth in the table, lost 1-0 at Campion.