OUR local women’s football teams once again had to play through a rather hot and humid Sunday afternoon.

Ilkley Town’s First Team welcomed relegated Brayton Belles to their stadium for a West Riding County League, First Division game.

The previous weekend, Brayton edged a five-goal thriller with Hepworth United and Ilkley were at Leeds Hyde Park, where both teams starting strongly. Unfortunately, an Ilkley player headed into her own goal with less than 10 minutes gone. Ilkley put on the pressure for Isabel Wilks to score an equaliser after a one-on-one with LHP’s keeper. Hyde Park re-took the lead just before half-time, but the second half saw Ilkley’s Izzy Armstrong scoring an equaliser from a deflected ball. But Hyde Park scored another two in the last few minutes to send Town home disappointed with a 4–2 loss.

A competitive first half-hour saw Ilkley and Brayton level, before an own-goal and a brilliant Izzy Armstrong effort gave Ilkley a comfortable 3–1 lead at half-time.

A crazy second-half resulted in Baht’atters’ final score-line against Belles as 9–2, including four from Armstrong.

In County Second, Queensbury Celtic entertained Athletico.

The previous weekend, Queensbury’s Orla Durkin and Katie Waters were on target at Boroughbridge with early goals, but the team suffered a 6–2 defeat on the road to a strong side. Meanwhile, Athletico were losing 2–1 at home to Wortley, but came back despite tired legs and scorching heat to win 5–3. Player of the match Ikra Ali played well to score two from centre-back, with two from Sandhya Akhtar and one from Rimshah Amin.

At Pit Lane, Queensbury were losing 3–0 at the break to an Athletico side who’d had many shots on goal in the first half.

Athletico’s player of the match, debutante Siham Sadiq, put in an exceptional performance and made many vital challenges and created many chances. In the end it was a heavy 9–0 defeat for Celtic at the hands of a rapid, ruthless Athletico side, with seven from Sandhya Akhtar and a Rimshah Amin brace.

In County Third, Bradford United were on the road at Pontefract Sports and Social. The game started off end-to-end with both teams playing well. After ten minutes, the deadlock was broken by Pontefract but United were quick to fight back and equalise through a penalty. Ponte bounced back, going 4–1 up at the break.

The second half saw Bradford United Ladies creating several chances but Pontefract kept a strong line making it difficult for Bradford United Ladies to get through. Ponte added further goals to end the game 11–1 up.

There was a full County Fourth fixture list, in which Brighouse Town Juniors recorded an 18–1 win away to Shadwell United.

Crossley Belles played some amazing football, with ’keeper Kayleigh Bow pulling off some phenomenal saves at Pontefact Collieries, but it was a 13–0 loss. Eccleshill United won 4–0 away to Wakefield Reserves, and Halifax Friendly edged a hard-fought 5–4 win against a tough Dewsbury Moor side. Ilkley’s Development side played well, giving 100% but losing 6–3 to Harrogate Town Reserves.

A limited County Premier programme saw a tough game for a depleted Thackley squad, with five key players away, at home to Leeds Medics and Dentists. Three of Thackley u17’s stepped in and performed well, earning vital experience.

The first half saw Medics’ long-ball tactic cause Thackley’s defence some issues. Long balls, a couple of corners and a nicely-finished free-kick ensured Leeds Medics went into the break with a very healthy 5–0 lead.

After the break, the Dennygirls came out with determined performances, especially Lu Negru who worked tirelessly, meant the second half was goal-less.

Next weekend, most of our local teams are back in League action. There’s a full programme in the West Riding County Premier Division, as Bradford (Park Avenue) welcome promoted Sherburn White Rose to Horsfall, Brighouse Sports play Silsden at Russell Way, and Skipton entertain Thackley. In County Second, Bradford City’s u21s, Burley Trojans and Queensbury are all at home. FA National League games include Halifax FC vs. Liverpool Feds at Quaker Lane, and Leeds United vs. Durham Cestria at Cedar Ridge.