OUR local women’s football teams have been involved in a mixture of friendlies, cup competitions and league fixtures, with many matches switched to all-weather facilities.

Bradford (Park Avenue) and Farsley Celtic Women met in a friendly at a rainy Laisteridge Lane.

Bradford have three ex-Celtic players in their current squad, Megan Dunlop, Millie West and Kerrie Zserdicky-Shirt.

Despite being a friendly, the game was played at a frantic pace, and after only five minutes, Farsley were ahead through Olivia Wheatley, with Shirley Murphy making it two on 20 minutes. On the half-hour mark, Avenue pulled one back, Lois Cooper hitting a cracking strike from the edge of the box. The miserable weather was forgotten about, after ex-Celt Millie West scored two spectacular goals to put Avenue 3–2 up at the break.

Georgia Bull had all the time in the world to grab an equaliser, but it was Bradford’s night as they scored two further goals to win 5–3.

Last weekend, Avenue had an away tie in the League Shield Quarter-finals against Pontefract Collieries.

The first half saw Colls fighting against the wind and a relentless Bradford, who dominated the first half to lead 3-0 at half time, with a couple more hitting the woodwork.

Despite Pontefract Colleries’ comeback effort leading to two brilliant second-half goals from Cat Boylan and Holly Johnston, Bradford maintained their lead, securing their spot in the semi-finals. The 4–2 win featured a brace from Player-of-the-match Kirsty Russell-Holt, plus one each from Kerrie Zserdicky-Shirt and Beth Vickers.

Avenue are away to Rangers Athletic in the semi-finals, with the game scheduled for 5th May at Oxford Road.

Farsley Celtic put in a strong performance in their League Cup Quarter-final at Sherburn White Rose, but, despite many chances, it was a 2–0 loss to their Premier Division opponents.

Celts have had good league results recently, which has seen them sitting second in WRCWFL First, just one point behind Ilkley Town.

In County Premier, Skipton Town were away to Brighouse Sports.

Skipton’s team included three young players, Mahek Khuram, Rosie Moor and Ruby Reynolds, who have all progressed from the Juniors/Soccer Hub partnership.

Skipton went 2–0 in front, thanks to Poppy Saffery and an unfortunate own goal, with the ball hitting the post twice. Following this, a fantastic free-kick from Kirsty McCluskey brought the score to 2–1 at the break.

In the second half, Ali Smith put Skipton further ahead before Brighouse pulled another back. But Holly Morgan added another late-on to secure the points in a 4–2 win.

Bradford City’s u21s went 2–0 up in their County Second game at home to Burnley Trojans after a Crystal Boyce brace, before Troggs got it back to 2-1 with a great finish from Heather Fisher from distance. Ellie Walters added City’s third and a late goal from Bethan Smith made it 3–2 to City at the end.

Sunday’s league programme sees Bradford (Park Avenue) over at Skipton, and home fixtures for Brighouse Sports, Silsden, Bradford City’s u21s, Field and Tyersal, with Queensbury Celtic involved in a double-bill against Burley Trojans at York Road.

Ilkley Town hosted the England Fans’ Lionesses, who included six players who ply their trade in the WRCWFL.

The result was a 12–0 win for Ilkley, but manager Claire Armstrong was mainly pleased at the good workout preparing them nicely for the last three games of the season.

The England Fans’ Lionesses bounced back with a 12–2 win against Fylde, including two ‘worldie’ goals for Brighouse Sports striker Shauna Messenger.

Halifax FC and Huddersfield Town met in a mid-week FA National League fixture, as both teams strive to remain in the Northern Premier Division.

Huddersfield have been playing much better in their last few matches, and went into the game after a 1–1 draw with Liverpool Feds, when Layla Proctor had headed home from a corner, but a second-half penalty limited the Terriers to just the one point since January.

Halifax’ line-up included Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Shan Turner, on a short-term loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, and skipper Shauna Legge, making her 100th appearance for the club.

An equal first half saw both sides very much in it. Despite many chances, neither side could score, and the 0–0 draw made for a frustrating evening for both managers.

The pair of draws had given Terriers hope that they could play well and get something against their forthcoming opponents. It may, unfortunately, be too little, too late to save them from the drop despite two games-in-hand over fellow-strugglers Stourbridge, as recent games have seen a 2–0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers and a 3–1 away defeat to Burnley.

Looking ahead, Huddersfield Town have a Sheffield & Hallamshire County Cup Final against Doncaster Rovers Belles on Sunday 28th April at Hillsborough, with a 7.30 kick-off.

Meanwhile, Halifax were at Stoke City for their Easter fixture, where they took an early advantage in the fifth minute through Drew Greene’s tidy finish. But the Potters’ determination saw a clever short-corner routine beat Becky Flaherty, as Halifax recorded yet another draw. The Eagles went 2–0 behind at the break, after scoring two own goals against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Watling Street. Wolves scored three second-half goals before Lucy Sowerby scored a late consolation in a 5–1 loss.

Halifax switched their delayed home game with second-place Burnley to Fleet Lane.

An entertaining and action-packed match saw Halifax behind on the quarter-hour mark. However, Halifax were level after a second-half goal from Katie Ramsden. There were many chances for both teams, but, in the seventh minute of time-added-on, substitute Laura Elford hit a last-minute winner for Burnley.

Halifax’ first game at their new home of Roxholme Road (Yorkshire Amateur FC) is on 14th April, the first of four consecutive home matches.

Following a narrow 3–2 defeat to promotion-chasing Durham Cestria, Leeds United have had mixed results in the FA National North Division 1.

With a goal inside the first 30 seconds, Jess Rousseau got the Whites off to a dream start against York City, before completing her hat-trick in an emphatic 5–1 victory. A few days later, Leeds were left frustrated by Norton & Stockton Ancients’ resolute performance, having to settle for a goal-less draw despite enjoying large spells of possession throughout the match. Against Barnsley Women, a fiery Yorkshire derby saw United behind at the break, before skipper Olivia Smart’s in-swinging corner from the left loop over everyone and nestle in the far corner for a hard-fought draw.

Leeds’ latest game was a reight ding-dong battle with FC United of Manchester at a wet Broadhurst Park.

Ellie Dobson calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner with less than 10 minutes played, before Reds’ skipper Shaunna Jein let fly from range, her effort skidding across a wet surface and finding the net.

The second half saw Dobson fire a rocket into the net to gain a short-lived lead, as a goal-bound free-kick was fumbled by Carrie Simpson. Ten minutes later, Katie Astle converted a corner to once again re-gain the lead, but once again, FC got an equaliser. With less than five minutes to go, Manchester took the lead with two well-taken goals. As the clock entered injury time, Leeds’ late rally resulted in another goal, but it was a 5–4 loss on the evening.