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Oxenhope too slick for City
Oxenhope Rec 6 Ripon City 0
Oxenhope continued their rich vein of form with a superb second-half performance against a side who were five places above them and had defeated them 5-1 earlier in the season.
The best of the first-half action saw a fierce strike from the returning Michael Garnett produce a brave block from the Ripon keeper after Tom Marshall had played him in.
At the other end Oxen-hope keeper Nick Hudson made a brilliant full-length diving save to tip a rasping shot round the post.
Early in the second half the deadlock was broken when Sean Quinlan delivered a measured ball to Garnett, who turned his marker and hit a powerful shot. The keeper blocked his strike but Dan Moriarty was on hand to tuck the ball away from a tight angle.
Minutes later, a corner from Moriarty was cleverly delivered to the near post. Quinlan turned and rolled the ball across the front of the goal for Marshall to fire in from close range.
Moriarty was again the provider when Oxenhope were awarded a free-kick 30 yards out. His inch-perfect delivery was hammered in by Garnett.
The home side were now in the ascendancy and had Ripon chasing shadows.
The visitors’ frustration became evident when their midfield skipper was shown the red card for a second bookable offence.
Midway through the second period, a long ball over the defence was chased down by Marshall, who wrong-footed the keeper before stroking into the net for his second.
Another precise free-kick by Moriarty saw Garnett rise to powerfully head home his second and Moriarty claim-ed his brace when Marshall put him through and he confidently rounded the keeper and passed the ball into the far corner.
The game also saw two encouraging first-team deb-uts by promising youngsters Connor Madden and Liam Walsh.
Excellent performances and encouraging results over the last three weeks against teams in the top five have seen Oxenhope move up to a comfortable mid-table position.
With several games in hand over teams around them, a top-six finish is possible if they can keep momentum going.
On Saturday they travel to Hunslet (2.30pm).
Oxenhope: Hudson, Bentham (Madden), Ritson, Nelson, Walton, White (Walsh), Quinlan, Moriarty, Garnett, Day, Marshall.
* Oxenhope Thirds will hope to emulate their first and reserve teams by reaching a cup final this season when they meet Broomhill on Saturday (2pm) at Marley in the Craven League Division Three Cup semi-finals.
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