In front of a fifty-plus crowd at Eastholme Field Wheatley AFC overpowered Ilkley Dynamos to bag the bragging rights after a 4-0 demolition.
Man of the Match Nick Cockcroft claimed his first hat-trick in a match that delighted manager Mark Powell. Defender Andy Hibbert rounded off an impressive individual performance when volleying home in the 80th minute to complete the rout.
Denton Road witnessed a Wheatley victory last time around, and history repeated itself with a dominating performance. Striker Cockcroft , celebrating his 27th birthday, couldn’t have been happier as he slid home after good work from Andy Wheeler on 15 minutes. Moments later Hibbert came close with a header that left spectators in agony.
Dynamos were frail and Wheatley smelled blood. Al Hey’s trickery produced a chance for Wheeler but he could not test the keeper. As tame as the shot was, Wheatley confidence was high. Chris Quaife, also celebrating his birthday (38) put in several crunching tackles and was guilty of rugby-tackling the Dynamos keeper. Wheatley keeper Kroon had a quiet day but marshalled his back four well.
Danny Bott worked hard all game. The youngster curled in a great cross which was flicked on by Cockcroft, landing at Rick Arundel’s feet. The Wheatley strikers shot was hit with venom but was easily parried away.
On the half-hour mark Wheatley were 2-0 up, courtesy of a second Cockcroft strike, this time left-footed. Sweetly struck, the striker reeled away in ecstasy.
The second half brought more Wheatley glory. Jon Keith replaced Al Hey and worked hard in midfield. Quaife then pumped a superb long pass down the centre to Cockcroft whose pass was intercepted.
An Arundel volley verged on folly, the ball soaring 20 yards over the bar.
It was all Wheatley now and Cockcroft scored his hat-trick with a simple tap-in sending team-mate Turnbull over the edge. His shirt came off in celebration resulting in the games only yellow card!
Hat-trick hero Cockcroft came off to a standing ovation and Ben Woods replaced to ruffle more Dynamo feathers.
3-0 to the good and The Wheatley could do no wrong. A Hibbert header was agonisingly close but the star defender latched on to a pass from Wheeler to slot home the fourth and round off the games most impressive move.
Wheatley thoroughly deserved their victory. The Dynamos were subdued but knew they’d been beaten fair and square.
Special mention must go to the ref who had an excellent game.
Jo Lager Varley