Mark Lund led by example as Halifax installed themselves as favourites for a second successive College Football crown on Sunday morning. It was a Valentine’s Day massacre on the 22 Acres as hat-tricks from Lund, the Captain, and Jack Beadle set Halifax on the way to an 8-1 win against Wentworth.
Having belatedly opened this term’s league with a 1-0 success over Vanbrugh last Sunday, courtesy of Lund’s second-half penalty, they kicked on with a rampant performance, going top of the standings outright and boosting their goal difference, a factor which could prove significant in this truncated competition.
Halifax were further boosted by Derwent and Alcuin, their main title challengers, taking points off each other in an entertaining 2-2 draw. Derwent showed their mettle to twice come from behind; initially through Joel Hughes after Alcuin skipper Miles McDermott had opened the scoring and also in the second-half as Ben Creswell equalised Joe Cooper’s strike.
“We battled hard and did well to come back twice,” said Dom Henney, the Derwent Captain. McDermott, his counterpart, was more frustrated: “We should have put the game to bed. They shouldn’t have been let back in it.”
Elsewhere, Vanbrugh beat James 5-3 in a classic encounter which offered excitement at every turn. Taking advantage of some generous James defending, Vanbrugh established a four-goal lead inside 40 minutes through Phil Taylor’s brace, the first a penalty he earned himself, Ali Prince and Dan Hewitt.
However, two goals just before half-time, from John Carroll and Mark Johnson gave James a glimmer of hope. After both sides spurned a hatful of second-half chances, Vanbrugh added a fifth through Prince before Alex Collins headed a late consolation for James, who were playing their first match of the competition following the abandonment of last Sunday’s match with Alcuin.
In the day’s final game, Goodricke and Langwith drew 2-2. Next weekend, Alcuin square up to Halifax in a game which will provide plenty of clues as to the destination of the championship, James face Goodricke, Derwent play Wentworth and Langwith will tackle Vanbrugh.