NorthWest Counties : Week 20

Manchester make a bid for Safety as Cheetham Hill refuse to yield

After spending the entirety of the season rooted to the bottom of the table, City Of Manchester are making a real fight for survival. They have won 3 of their last 4 matches and have moved off the bottom position for the first time, overtaking Wrexham (who did not play this week).

Now they have The Northern Second team in their sights. The bottom two teams get relegated and City Of Manchester are only 4 points away from safety, with 40 points still left to play for this season – and they play The Northern 2 next week, for what is certainly a survival ‘all-or-nothing’ match-up.

This week COM had an incredible win against a Wigan team who have struggled more than expected since Christmas, mainly due to the loss of injured club coach, and league stalwart Julian Tomlinson.

COM won 4-1, but the tuning point in the match was when Adam El Shazly beat banter maestro Ryan Atherton 3-2. This gave the whole team the confidence required to come away from Wigan with a mightily impressive 18 points.

Wigan 1-4 City of Manchester (8-18)

Grove Park have well and truly cemented their third-place finish with a nice win over The Northern 2. Grove Park were once again bolstered by the services of Temwa Chileshe and Dawald Van Nierkerk. Temwa will be pleased with his 3-1 victory against Ali Khawas, and Dewald beat the tricky Josh Owen.

And of course, a Grove Park match wouldn’t be a Grove Park match without Ky Hibberd having a 3-2! He prevailed against his team captain’s son, Jules Silvera-Abbas, surely with some insider information proving pivotal in the last game to see him over the line.

Northern 2 1-4 Grove Park (6-17)

Alderley Edge had an awful night as they were done and dusted and drinking beers in the bar shortly after 9pm. They succumbed 5-0 to a strong Northern First Team. When Elliot Morris Devred is available for The Northern, and pushing the likes of Matt Roberts and Matt Wagg down the order, they become a very tricky side to play against.

Alderley Edge 0-5 Northern I (2-20)

Warrington had a nice outing against Liverpool. Liverpool beat the champions in the first half, but a repeat was not to be as an in-form Adrian Waller and Jonah Bryant led the line. Even-though local-lad Lewis Harding lost 3-0 to Jonah, it was one of the best I’ve ever seen Lewis play. And speaking of best performances, Lewis Doughty was absolutely flawless against Cory Harding, who himself is one of the top U19 players in The UK. Charlie Cowie also turned-in his best match of the season. Liverpool got some consolation as Connor Sheen’s hold and drop shots were too potent for Ollie Hudson.

Warrington 4-1 Liverpool (18-3)

Finally, Cheetham Hill showed that they are not willing to surrender the league without a fight, as they beat Bowdon 5-0, recording the maximum 20 points on offer, when on paper it looked like they would likely drop points. Bowdon appeared to be favourites at numbers 3 and 4, but sublime performances from Stephen Hearst (pictured at top) and Lowri Roberts helped Cheetham keep the pressure on leaders Warrington.

Cheetham Hill 5-0 Bowdon (20-5)

We have two weeks remaining to see who will be crowned the 23/24 league champions, and who will win the battle for survival and be guaranteed to keep their place in the league next season.

Andy Whipp 

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