FOOTBALL: Who’s in the Hospital and Advertiser cup finals?

Little Gaddesden have confirmed promotion
Little Gaddesden have confirmed promotion

Rugby & District Sunday Football League round-up

RUGBY & DISTRICT SUNDAY FOOTBALL LEAGUE - SPONSORED BY MELBROS

The Hospital Cup semi-finals did not disappoint and for the Barley Mow it was their eighth semi-final in a row without making a final. They faced the League Champions Community Relations and found themselves behind as early as the fifth minute, when Danny Nelson fired home after some sloppy defending.

From the start Community were quicker to the ball and closed the Barley down early, giving them little in the way of chances. Community doubled their lead on 25 minutes when Kyle Dawes slotted home with only the keeper to beat.

Three minutes into the second half you may have thought this one was all over when Kane Finney headed home a cross to make it 3-0. Ten minutes later the Barley made two what can only be described as inspired substitutions and within five minutes Craig McCauley connected with a cross to head home and pull it back to 3-1.

The Barley started to get a bit more of the ball and despite Community having two good chances to further their lead they couldn’t find the net. There were eight minutes left when a long throw into the Community penalty box was met by McCauley and he headed in a second to make 3-2. The Barley sensed there may be something in this and put Community under some real pressure. They were rewarded for their efforts and won a penalty with two minutes left. Sean Drake stepped up and converted the kick to make it 3-3. The game went to a penalty shoot out which Community won 4-2. A brilliant fight back from the Barley but no final again.

In the other game the Division Two champions Drayton Grange took on Division One’s Griffin Rokeby. And it was the Griffin who started the better and with 12 minutes gone Pat Walle slotted home from close range. Griffin got a grip of this one early on and if they had put their chances away could have been three up at the break.

As it was, the game was finely poised. Drayton Grange came out for the second half and performed much better. They had a couple of early chances and but for some excellent goalkeeping from Adam Hartwell in goal could easily have been level.

In the 63rd minute Drayton won a penalty and it was Hartwell to the rescue as he saved the spot kick. Five minutes later Drayton won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty box and a tremendous shot from Matty Russ scorched into the top corner to level the game.

There was seven minutes left when the Griffin went ahead with a Matty Lee strike and two minutes later Mikey Hall sealed the win with his strike that made it 3-1.

In the Rugby Advertiser Cup semis Division Two runners-up Rugby FC took on the Royal Oak from Division One in what turned out to be an even affair. The first half saw the Oak command the game but they couldn’t find the back of the net. In the second half Rugby FC came back into the game and had the ball in the net, only to see it ruled out. A game which saw little in the way of chances ended 0-0.

It went to penalties and the Oak hit the woodwork with the first and the next two were saved. Rugby FC scored all three and go through to the final. They go into the final has underdogs, as they were on Sunday, but it wouldn’t be the first time that a club from a lower division has won it by beating a higher ranked team.

In the other all first division affair Lawford dispatched Clifton Bulls 6-2. Dildale Linton hit a hat-trick and Dan O’Toole, Lee Vince and Liam Charlton completed the scoring.

The finals will be held at Rugby Town’s Butlin Road ground on April 30, kick-offs 11am and 2pm.

There are three first division games still to be played after the Easter break, on Sunday 23rd.