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Wirral Sunday League: Shock results in Challenge Cup
YEAR in and year out, Wirral Sunday League's oldest knock-out competition, the Challenge Cup, continues to produce shock results and last Sunday proved no exception.
Holders and Premier Division champions elect, Neston Nomads, fell prey to 2006 winners, Sportsmans Victoria, who savoured a 3-2 success, and clinched a place in the semi-finals, courtesy of a goal apiece from Matty Gill, Ben England and a late winner from Dave Evans.
As if that wasn't enough, last term's finalists Neston had Carl Spratt and Gary Richards on the mark but they too met their Waterloo following a shock 4-2 defeat at Division One minnows Shore Villa.
A Gary Johnson double was supplemented by further efforts from Adam Coulls and Joel Dobbins, as Villa celebrated a memorable upset.
Division One leaders Towers saw their wining sequence interrupted by Caldan Solutions, who emerged 3-2 victors, inspired by a sparkling double from Chris Garvey. Kristian Brady was the other marksman.
The quartet of semi-finalists was completed by Kent FC, who were given a good run for their money by Division Two leaders Windmill before efforts from Steve English, Ben Boylan and Dean Judge secured a 3-2 win for the Premier outfit.
Sunday's Premier Division action saw Prenton Park with efforts from Matty Basolu, Connor Hodgson and Marty McFly beat lowly Tixalls 3-2, which kept them in contention for the runners-up medals.
Battling Tixalls put on a brave show and to their credit came from 3-0 down to reduce the deficit via two goal hit-man, Robbie Rogers.
Mike Wall's goal was a consolation only as Sportsmans Arms lost 5-1 to Clarence and slipped perilously close to the relegation zone.
Free-scoring Ashdale Athletic snatched top spot in Division One after they romped home 10-0 against Lord Raglan.
John Jones, Tony Aniyan and Sean Harrison all claimed hat-tricks and Mike Walker also struck in a competent display.
Third-placed Railway Meols kept their outside chances of promotion on track, after efforts from Chris Bregelli, Pete Purcell, Andy Wainwright and Tony Lamphier helped their side to a 4-0 decision over TSF.
In contrast, Riverside's promotion balloon was punctured, after they went down 3-1 at Gladstone Athletic.
Just three points now separate the top four clubs in Division Two, and Sheridans Utd bounced right back into contention thanks to a 3-1 triumph at promotion rivals Eagle & Crown.
Man of the match, Ben Percival, was a two-goal hero and Alan Cross was the other man on target.
Efforts from Lloyd Rigby and Tommy Carroll counted for nothing as Five Bars fell victim to a hat trick from third placed Birkenhead News' John Berry and Alex Hennessy was another three goal star, who anchored Wirral Athletic to a 5-1 result over Star Ozzys.
John Singleton and Chris Major also scored for the winners.
At Gayton Park, Ravenscroft bagged maximum spoils after they beat Bromborough 1-0 while Grant Fowler and Grant Dickinson netted for Gallaghers in a keenly contested 2-2 stalemate with Willows.
A spectacular effort from Kenny Holland and a gem from Ryan Hudson was the visitors' contribution.
Wirral Sunday League has a limited number of vacancies for next season, Application forms can be obtained from league secretary Dave Lea. Telephone 0151 608 4332.