Shillington Pirates sink Elm Park to reach county final

SHILLINGTON have become the second Michael R Peters Sunday League team this season to reach a County Cup final. The Pirates beat Elm Park Houghton Centre 3-2 to go through to the Beds FA Sunday Centenary Cup final on Sunday

However the hopes of a third league team reaching a county final were dashed when both Grafton Celtics and Caldecote Young Boys Reserves lost on penalties in their semi-finals in the Beds FA Lower Junior Cup.

Grafton were only six minutes away from the final when Peguform-Icknield scored an equaliser to make it 2-2. Celtics started extra time badly going two goals down, but their focus was restored at half-time and the score was 4-4 at the end of extra time. Sam Stewart scored a hat-trick for Grafton, and Luke Devine got the other one.

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Celtics went into the dreaded penalty shoot-out and clearly lost their composure, failing to net any of their spot kicks while Peguform scored three to book their ticket into the final. The common perception from both teams was that Grafton were the better side, but obviously not for long enough. They still have the divisional title and M&DH League Cup to fight for to gain some silverware this season.

Caldecote did a little better against St Johns FC at Leagrave, drawing 1-1 after extra time before losing only 4-2 on penalties.

The weather took its toll again at the weekend resulting in a number of pitches being deemed unplayable. Athetico Europa played their game against Dunton Sunday and won 2-1 to stretch their lead at the top of the Premier Division.

In the only other game in this division, Lawson Park Rangers beat Queensmen 3-1 to keep within three points of Atletico, and with one game in hand. Simon Pixley scored twice for Lawson Park with Mark Reed getting the other one.

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The Bird in Hand game versus Kempston Hammers was the only survivor in the First Division, which resulted in a 4-0 win for Bird. It was a welcome return to form for Paul Obuch who headed two goals in the first half from perfect crosses by Tom Dymond. Tom then scored a quick fire brace himself, one a lob over the Hammers’ keeper, and the other a bullet header from a David Kane cross. It was only Bird’s second clean sheet of the season.

It was a similarly depleted Division Two where Kempston Sunday beat Marston Reds 5-0, the win pushing Kempston into second place a point behind leaders Eagle Heating with a game in hand. Jordan Jarrold scored Kempston’s first before Shaun Winconeck scored two m ore before half time. Jamie Felts made it five with two simple tap-ins.

This week Kempston Sunday are playing in the semi-final of the Brian Craddock Jubilee Cup so a cup and league double could still be on the cards for them.

Renhold are getting their games in at the top of Division Three. Their 4-3 victory over Bedford Allsters puts them five points clear of Bumble Bee Flitwick who also played and won. The Bees beat local rivals Flitwick Eagles 6-2 but both Renhold and Bumble Bee are in danger of being overtaken by clubs with plenty of games in hand.

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Salento and Black Tom Rangers fought out a creditable draw to keep just above the bottom two places. It was apparently an entertaining game with skipper Marco Catrambone scoring both Salento goals.

M&DH Clapham Sunday pushed up to second place in Division Four with a solid 5-1 win at BMC whilst Moor Lane Meltis dropped a point to Bird in Hand Lower Stondon. Meltis are now third on the same number of points as Clapham.

Bellini’s levered themselves out of the bottom two with a 3-2 win over bottom placed Embankment. Benny Crusco, Amoroso Chirico and ‘Speedy’ Masood got Bellini’s goals with one of their defenders providing Embankment with an own goal.

Goldington Rangers find themselves back on the top of Division Five after GNG Tigers were deducted two points. Rangers beat bottom club Kempston Wanderers 8-1.

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Santaniello’s continue to impress with another victory, this week a 2-1 win at home to Fox & Hounds Clapham while Santaniello’s manager Tony Cientanni has been awarded the Britannia Harrison & Rowley Manager of the Month for February.

Sandy Badgers are third after beating Harrold & Carlton Reserves 6-3 while Sir William Peel are in the bottom two after losing 2-1 to AC Atletico.

This weekend sees the first of the league cup semi-finals. The two semis in the Brian Craddock Jubilee Cup are taking place.

The last date for the signing-on of players has passed so there will be no more movement of players between clubs until the closed season.

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The league are still interested in recruiting new clubs for next season, or reserve sides for existing teams.

There are favourable entry terms for new teams, so please contact league secretary Russ Maddox for more the details.

Clive Milton

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