On Saturday 15th September, the SportsReach football league returned for another season, with 7 teams looking forward to the season ahead, hoping to mount a title challenge – or perhaps grow on last season. Last seasons champions Wray continue this season, looking to continue their success into this season, whilst Great Ecc are looking to regain their crown. Lancaster and Fulwood are also looking to continue their good seasons last season and build towards a potential title challenge. Moorlands are continuing into their second season looking to further grow stronger in the league, whilst Quernmore and Loko are also continuing, with Loko under new stewardship with Jason Hettrick taking up the managerial reigns.
Saturday 15th September
Lancaster 3 – 8 Great Ecc
White 22, 26, 56 // Sharples 20, 35, 60 Clark 40, Pulford 44, Parker 49, Ball 50, 71
Loko 1 – 5 Moorlands
Rodwell 55 // Grundy 18, 27, 45, Dent 67, 71
Fulwood 3 – 2 Quernmore
Mason 37, Dean 47, Mason 81 // Cook 66, Sutton 75
Former champions Great Ecc and Lancaster faced off against each other in their opening games of the season, with a high scoring game resulting. Great Ecc came out on top, with star striker Jack Sharples grabbing himself a hat trick in the process. However, Lancaster’s star striker Michael White got himself in on the act, netting himself a hat trick as well. However, the hat trick was not enough for Lancaster, as Great Ecc had too much for them and came out on top, with Daniel Ball grabbing himself a brace as well.
In Jason Hettrick’s managerial bow at Loko he was unfortunately on the wrong end of a high scoring game, as Moorlands made a great start to the season, winning 5-1. Nick Grundy grabbed himself a hat trick as well, whilst Chris Dent grabbed himself a brace as well. A great start to the season for Moorlands.
In the third game of the day, Fulwood and Quernmore faced off against each other, as they did in the final game of last season. Fulwood had the better of the first half, Ellis Mason grabbing a goal near the end of the first half, pouncing on a mistake in the Quernmore defence. They then had a dream start to the second half, Luke Dean firing home from the edge of the box. However, Quernmore fought back, debutant Joe Cook dribbling through several players before firing home and then James Sutton scored his first senior goal for Quernmore, firing home from the edge of the box. However, at the end of the second half, Fulwood scored to take the points, breaking resolute Quernmore hearts, as Mason fired home in the 81st minute.
Saturday 22nd September
Quernmore 1 – 2 Lancaster
Taylor 34 // Connerton 27, Luxton 44
Loko 2 – 5 Wray
Edmondson 56, Atkinson 84 // Fawcett 45+1, 55, 72, Whaley 79, Demby 80
Fulwood 1 – 4 Moorlands
Alexander 17 // Grundy 14, 49, Martinez 52 Dent
This weekend, another 6 teams faced off against each other, with Lancaster travelling down to Quernmore. Both sides were hoping to get a good result in this game, as both had lost last week. Lancaster, however, came out on top in a very good, tight and tough game. They took the lead in the 27th minute via Phil Connerton heading back into the net from a corner. However, Quernmore soon grabbed a goal back themselves, Arron Taylor grabbing himself a goal on his first full start for Quernmore. But, in the 44th minute, Lancaster nabbed a second, Tom Luxton heading into the top corner, after good work from Michael White. A tough and hard second half ensued, both sides going at it in a really exciting game but neither were able to find themselves another goal in the game and Lancaster came out on top.
Jake Fawcett scored a hat-trick as Wray started their season with a battling victory against a determined Loko side. The first half was very even and Wray needed Luke Gorst to make a brilliant save onto the bar to keep out Loko. Then, with what was the last touch of the half, Fawcett forced the ball home after a scramble in the box. Encouraged to press forward more after the break, Wray created a number of good chances and were soon 2-0 up as Fawcett scored a direct free-kick. Loko were not giving up, though, and a stunning strike from Edmondson made it 2-1. However, Wray kept pressing and a quick trio of goals from new signing Ryan Whaley, another for Fawcett and a powerful volley from Will Denby made the points safe. Loko managed a second with 10 minutes to go via Atkinsonbut stand-in skipper Matt Dawson marshalled the defence well in the closing stages.
In the final game of the day, a depleted Fulwood side faced off against Moorlands, who were looking to continue their good start to the season. Two goals in the opening twenty minutes gave this game a brilliant and exciting start, Grundy grabbing another goal to add to his good scoring start to the season, taking Moorlands top of the table – until Alexander netted in the seventeenth minute. Grundy grabbed another goal in the 49th minute, before Martinez netted in the 52nd minute to make the points safe for Moorlands and take them top of the table. Is a title challenge possible for Moorlands this season? Judging by their start to the season, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility!