LAST weekend there were a limited number of Women’s Football League matches due to their being a heavy cup schedule.

Field’s first league game of 2024 was a tightly-fought West Riding County Third Division fixture against currently second-place Lower Hopton Development.

Despite a very heavy pitch, the game was very end-to-end, with both teams equally-matched. Hopton opened the scoring through Chloë Firth just before the half-hour mark. However, Field equalised with an excellent goal from Megan Howell to make it level at half-time.

Hopton came out with a renewed fire in the second half, and Emily McKinley was forced into an early save. On 72’, Meg Sparkes beat multiple defenders to take the lead. After this Hopton were putting the pressure on to try and find an equaliser. Player-of-the-match Amelia Jackson made several good runs up the right wing, using her pace to out-run the Hopton defence, and having an attempt on goal just flash across the face of goal. Jess Vanston's shot was saved late on as the score remained as a 2–1 win for Field.

Tyersal were at home, with a local derby against Bradford United (Phœnix).

Following a goal-less first half, Tyersal played very well, with good play from mid-fielders Lauren Burnett, Lillie Lawson and Fiona Parkinson. Hayley Potter opened the scoring with a perfect lob over the ’keeper, doubling the score soon after. The back four of Becca Ogden, Stacie Bayliss, Jess Matthews and Nikki Relton kept Bradford United from scoring. Shelly Robinson and Burnett added to the score-line, Potter completing her hat-trick for the 5–0 win.

Divisional leaders Skipton Town Development were away to Farsley LFC Reserves at Bramley Fall Park.

Elly Field scored seven and Jess Ferridge one in the 8–1 rout.

Meanwhile, County Premier leaders Skipton Town Firsts were away at Sherburn White Rose, looking to bounce back after last week’s loss.

Sherburn were first-off-the-mark in another closely-contested match, however Skipton came back with goals from Sophie Hawkins, Holly Morgan and Emily Throup to win 3–1.

County First leaders Ilkley Town were involved in a top-of-the-table clash with a strong Leeds Hyde Park side.

Ilkley immediately set the pace, high pressure and multiple chances culminating in a goal on the quarter-hour mark. There were chances for both sides, however Ilkley were 3–0 up just after the break, thanks to goals from Izzy Armstrong (2) and Ellen Kennedy. Hyde Park did start battling in the second half but there were no further goals.

County Second leaders Athletico dominated their match at Wortley, but surprisingly the game finished goal-less.

Burley Trojans, who had many players playing out-of-position, had a disappointing 1–0 loss at Horsforth St Margaret’s.

Queensbury Celtic hosted Boroughbridge Athletic at Pit Lane, in a game of two halves. Queensbury had plenty of the play as the first half ended 1–1, Emily Lazenby on target, but ended up with nine players and a 7–1 loss.

Silsden Juniors were up against an FA National League side in the West Riding County Cup, and knew it would be a mammoth challenge with a gulf in class against Halifax FC. Maisie Norde and Danielle Whitham were unable to play due to injury, Rob Mitchell selecting 16-year-old Izzy Armson in the starting line-up.

Halifax made a solid start, and ended the first half with a 6–0 advantage through Monique Watson, Darcie Greene, Shauna Legge (2) and Katie Ramsden (2).

Silsden kept going right until the end but were unable to get on the score-sheet, Halifax going on to win 16–0.

Halifax will host Knaresborough Town in the Quarter-final at Quaker Lane, to be played on Sunday, in a fixture list that includes some local derbies.

Bradford (Park Avenue) host Silsden and Brighouse Sports play Skipton in County Premier.

In other local games, Bradford United play Pontefract Sports & Social, Field entertainment Leeds Hyde Park Seconds, Ilkley Development play Harrogate Town Reserves at Ben Rhydding and Skipton Devs welcome Tyersal to Sandylands.

Bradford City’s u21s were in WRCWFL Cup action against Knaresborough Town.

Knaresborough started the brighter of the two teams, enjoying both possession and territorial advantage, and were the ones to make the breakthrough on a heavy Rawdon Meadows pitch. Lydia Corner collected a pass and took on a number of the City defenders, running diagonally across the corner of the penalty box before getting a left-foot shot in from an improbable angle, across the face of the goal and past City’s ’keeper, who tried desperately to reach the ball and stop it going in inside her left goalpost. Despite several half-chances for both teams, there were no further goals and Knaresborough go through to the Quarter-finals.

Bradford (Park Avenue), Bradford United (Phœnix) and Field have been involved in the WRCWFL Shield Preliminary Round, hoping to brush off the cobwebs and book themselves a place in the next round.

Avenue took a slender 1–0 lead into the break at Pontefract Sports & Social.

Despite a late brace from Pontefract's Tommi-Leigh Lobb, Avenue go through 5–2, with goals from Kerry Brannan, Millie West and substitutes Abbie Binns, Kirsty Russell-Holt and Kerrie Zserdicky-Shirt.

Bradford United ended up on the wrong end of a 14–0 score-line against Horsforth St. Margaret’s.

Field were at home to League rivals Farsley LFC Reserves.

Both teams started brightly, with early chances at both ends. It didn’t take long for Field to open the scoring with a cool finish from Meg Schofield, who then shot into the far corner from the edge of the box. On the 20-minute mark Megan Howell smashed in a floating ball at the near post, then headed in for a 4–0 half-time lead, with Player-of-the-match Sarah Binns keeping any goal-scoring threat at bay.

Shortly after the break, Farsley pulled one back, as Mariama Bah rounded Field goalie Emily McKinley to put the ball into an empty net. However, Megan Sparkes added three more: a great solo goal, dancing around a few players, before turning and smacking the ball home; then stealing the ball from a defender and rifling a 25-yard screamer into the top corner; and nonchalantly chipping the keeper. Becky Teale added an eighth goal, striking the ball home from distance. Sparkes powered a half-volley into the far left corner for her fourth of the day, then Schofield calmly placed the ball past the on-rushing keeper for her hat-trick. Fair play to Farsley, who kept going until the final whistle, despite the 10–0 score-line.

Round-of-32 (selected), to be played February 4th: Avenue v. Sherburn Devs; Athletico v. Field; Ilkley Devs v. Golcar; Lower Hopton Devs v. Tyersal; Queensbury v. Burley; Skipton Devs v. Morley (TBA) and Wortley v. Brighouse Sports.

Eldwick Lionesses recorded a 2–1 win in the Women’s Beginners League, ending Harrogate Railway Development’s unbeaten run in the Harrogate Beginners Division, with goals from Lois Rance and Madeline O’Neil.

Thackley Blizzards were all-square at 3–3 at the half-way point in their West Riding Girls’ League u17 game with Wortley, however there was a last-minute winner from Victory Chinweuba to make it 4–3.

Meanwhile, Thackley Typhoons won their u16s match against Durkar Devils 7–4, through Georgia Wood (3), Mya Seenath-Wilde (3) and Hollie Smith.