ALMOST all of our local teams were playing their first League game of what promises to be an interesting, challenging season.  

Thackley were at Brighouse Sports for their West Riding County Premier opener.  

Lois Cooper latched on to a lovely through ball to open. The hosts got an equaliser with a Sarah Hemingway long-ball and took the lead from a Leanne Smith free-kick.  Chelsea Morton played a lovely well-placed free-kick to take it to 2–2 on the 22nd minute.  

More goals came in the first half as Cooper recorded three more goals, and Sports’ new captain April Richardson was also on the score-sheet, the Dennygirls going  into the break 5–3 up.   

As the temperature increased,  the second half was a more subdued affair.  Brighouse did score another  through new signing Krystall Allott,  but were disappointed not to get any points.  

Final score 5–4 to the Dennygirls.  

Tyersal’s friendly with Wortley got off to a quick start,  with Wortley getting a deflected goal.   Tyersal’s Naomi Reid did save a penalty but Wortley scored another for a 2–0 advantage.    Hayley Potter continued her good pre-season form to pull one back for the Robins but Wortley went 4–1 up.  Tyersal’s Jess Matthews scored a fine solo goal on her début, and Potter shot from outside the box but it was Tyersal 3–4 Wortley at the end.  

Bradford United started strongly in their friendly at Hyde Park, then kept up the pressure to go 3-0 up.   But Leeds’ determination led to them going 4–3 in front. Bradford struggled, but managed to score another to make it a 4–4 draw.   

Bradford United’s first game under their new management and with a new line-up, saw them scoring three in a tough County Third match against Tyersal.  There were two epic headers from Zahra Batool  and a stunning long-range free-kick from Zahraa Khan put them 3–0 in front.  Tyersal’s good football was rewarded with Lillie Lawson's début goal, then skipper Lauren Burnett turned striker to get another well-deserved goal.  There was good play from midfielder Shelby Robinson as energy levels dropped and Tyersal gained control of a fantastic game,  leading to them playing a through ball down the channel for Hayley Potter’s equaliser, 3–3, although there was a last-minute chance for Sophie Woodrup with a narrow miss.  

Silsden completed their pre-season with a 3–3 draw with Clitheroe Wolves before their County Premier opener at Harrogate Railway.   

An even first half saw Rail take their chances for a 3–0 advantage.   Gabby Whitham scored on her début,  but Rail were 7–1 winners.  

Silsden are in FA Cup action on Sunday, at home to East Midlands Regional side Dronfield Town.   Please note that there will be a small admission charge for this game (cash only).  

Bradford (Park Avenue) are away at Oughtibridge War Memorial in the same competition.   

Avenue ’keeper Annie Roberts made several good saves in their League game against  promoted Skipton Town Firsts but it was a disappointing 5–0 loss.   

Bradford City’s u23s drew 2–2 Halifax FC in the FA National Reserve Division, thanks to Ellie Walters and new signing Becky Aykroyd.   

City’s u21s played Leeds City, who’d earlier beaten a Farsley Junior Ladies XI 3–0, and came out 3–1 winners, thanks to Crystal Boyce and skipper Summer Hughes.   

Several local teams were playing their first-ever League games in the County Fourth Division.   

Brighouse Town Juniors’ new open-age set-up lost 4–1 at home to Wakefield AFC Reserves,  Crossley Belles beat Shadwell United 9–1,  Eccleshill United recorded a 9–0 victory over Harrogate Town Reserves, and Halifax Friendly,  led by newly-appointed captain Amy Hembleys, won 11–0 at Sherburn White Rose Devs.  

Ilkley Town Development wound up their pre-season against Harrogate Railway Reserves. 

Ilkley seized on a ricochet ball outside the area and placed the ball top bins to open the scoring but Railway managed to capitalise on an extended portion of pressure to bring the score level. 

Railway took the lead, but many chances were dealt with by Ilkley Devs’ back four and ’keeper Maisie Green, who was absolute class.  The Devs put away a last-minute equaliser to give them a 2–2 draw.

  In their League début against Goole, Ilkley Devs found themselves 10–0 down at half-time.  However Ilkley never stopped working,  scoring two good goals from Alice Atkinson and Evie Woolford.  The final score saw a 15–2 loss for Ilkley Devs.  

Halifax FC Women have a busy week,  with three FA National League games at Quaker Lane.   

In an intense game, promoted Stourbridge were leading 3–2 at the break.  As the clock ticked down, Halifax piled on the pressure, and were finally rewarded with an equaliser right at the death, as Issy Dean scored in a goalmouth scramble to rescue a point for the Eagles,  to draw 3-3. 

Thursday saw a local derby with Huddersfield Town, and, in a change of fixture,  a League Cup Preliminary Round tie against Sporting Khalsa has been arranged for this Sunday.  

 Finally, Eldwick Junior Lionesses’ new open-age side lost 4–0 to Harrogate Railway Development in the Women’s Beginners League.  All their games are being played at Rossett Park.