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Carlsberg West Cheshire League: Heswall come unstuck again
THIRD-placed Heswall came unstuck for the second week running after they spurned a further two points in their quest for the Carlsberg West Cheshire League's Division One title.
Despite Saturday's 2-2 stalemate with Chester Nomads, the Gayton Park outfit are still handily poised but turning their games-in-hand into points will now be crucial in the run-up to the championship's conclusion.
Goals from Heswall's Richie Foulkes and Gordon Harrison were cancelled out by replies from the hosts' Kieran Smith and Paul Sweeney.
Leaders Cammell Laird Reserves posted a 2-0 result at Southport Trinity thanks to efforts from John Wheedon and Jonathan Atkinson, and that defeat kept Trinity firmly entrenched in the relegation mire.
West Kirby's talismatic striker Mike McGraa added a further two goals to his tally and was joined on the scoresheet by speed merchant Ross Rule, as Ian Thompson's second-placed challengers maintained consistency via a 3-0 victory over Christleton.
Two-goal Lee Healey left his calling card as Ashville triumphed 2-0 over Ellesmere Port, but efforts from Jake Worrall and Kev Hill counted for nothing as Marine Reserves went down 3-2 at home to Upton AA.
A solitary effort from Alex Clare sealed a narrow win for Vauxhall Motors Reserves over Hale, while Blacon YC's 2-1 eclipse of Maghull was confirmed by a goal apiece from Lee McElmeel and Sam Henry.
Elsewhere, Ben Backley (2), Kurt Sherlock and Ryan Powell applied the finishing touches as Mossley Hill Athletic beat Newton 4-2. Liam Smith converted two consolation penalties for the visitors.
Having blanked for the previous two weeks, Division Two leaders South Liverpool, returned to winning ways after efforts from Andy Tull (2), Tom Kinsella and Cameron Dalton secured a 4-1 win against Mossley Hill Athletic’s second string.
Nearest rivals Heswall Reserves celebrated a 5-2 win over Mersey Royal inspired by doubles from Colin Cunliffe and Jay Thompson, and Dwayne Murphy plundered the game's only goal, as Bebington Athletic overcame local rivals Willaston.
A smart double from Ryan Cannon proved the difference as Prescot Cables Reserves triumphed 3-2 at Helsby, while Luke Eccles and Mike Banks found the net as the improving Capenehurst Villa beat Marshalls 2-1.
Finalists for the Haworth & Gallagher Bowl were resolved after Andy Kingham and Graham Williams scored for Manor Athletic in their 2-1 result over Richmond Raith Rovers.
Dean Hart stroked home the decider, as Mallaby reached their second final of the season after they beat Maghull Reserves 6-5 on penalties when 90 minutes and extra time had produced a 0-0 stalemate.
In Division Three, Widnes Town stayed a point in credit at the top after they won 4-1 at Christleton Reserves with goals from Alex Pybus, Paul Cliff, Luke Forsyth and Dave Worsley.
Title favouirites Gateacre had Ian Lewis and Martin Ho on target in Saturday's 2-0 decision over Hale Reserves, while third-placed Redgate Rovers maintained interest after Craig Blackwell, Sam Corlett and Martin Wilson obliged in the 3-0 result over Capenhurst Villa Reserves.
South Liverpool Reserves' challenge faltered after they capitulated 3-2 to efforts from Neston Nomads' Nick Jones (2) and Mark Noakes.
Spectators were treated to a feast of goals in the H & WC Competition, highlighted by Vauxhall Youth's 12-4 victory over Beechwood Athletic 94/95, which included hat-tricks from the Motormens' John Dawson and Sean Cookson.
Rob Rowlands struck twice a unbeaten Bootle beat South Liverpool Youth 2-0.