Grindleton progress to next round of the Northern Plant Hire Cup

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AFTER a great win to achieve the league double over Ighten Leigh the previous week, the home side picked up where they left off in a tricky encounter against a good Hellifield side.

Grindleton had the first opening as Dobson cut in from the wing but unfortunately couldn’t finish off the move, slamming the ball into the side netting.

After trying his luck himself, Dobson yet again found himself running in on goal but squared the ball into Walker, who tried to step over the ball for the oncoming Sharples, but a tangle of legs resulted in the Hellifield defence clearing their lines.

Grindleton continued to build pressure, and a fantastic through ball from Jackson cut the Hellifield defence in half, with Sharples bringing the ball down expertly before shooting across the keeper and into the bottom corner.

Sharples should have doubled Grindleton’s lead when a great move involving Dobson and Driver down the left saw the former played the ball across the box to an unmarked Sharples at the back post for a simple tap in, only for the ball to bobble over his foot and away from goal.

Grindleton didn’t let their creative standards drop in the second half, and a fantastic move saw them double their lead when Fawcett, Driver, Cromie, Sharples and Jackson combined to find Ball, whose volley went in off the underside of the bar.

And it was 3-0 when Bateman was picked out by Driver and a cushioned header gave Sharples chance to rifle in his second.

Hellifield pulled one back from a free kick, and they thought they had made it 3-2 from a corner, only for Bateman to head clear off the line.

But they did add a second from a counter attack, as their forward produced a quick turn and unbelievable strike from distance.

But after a nervy end to the game, Grindleton managed to hold on to their lead, which sees them through to the next round of the Northern Plant Hire Cup.

Final Score: Grindleton 3, Hellifield 2