Strong defence sees Dun Cow make another county cup final

Dun Cow secured their place in a third county cup final in four years thanks to a terrific defensive display away at Oakview. In an extremely tight first half, the home side had more of the ball but could not break down the Dun Cow defensive unit well mar

Dun Cow secured their place in a third county cup final in four years thanks to a terrific defensive display away at Oakview.

In an extremely tight first half, the home side had more of the ball but could not break down the Dun Cow defensive unit well marshalled by 42-year-old Tony Heath.

The second half saw a much more positive Dun Cow take control of the proceedings with opportunities falling to Danny Huggins, Mark Phillips and Shaun Marshall.

Unable to penetrate the Dun Cow defence, Oakview's fate was effectively sealed in the 75th minute when Danny McIver slotted home from the penalty spot.

Manager Mick Clements, in charge for his fifth successive county cup semi-final, was full of praise for his team especially the defensive unit of Heath, Mick Gregory, Adam Paine and Glen Draper.

They will meet the winners of the postponed Queens Head Sandridge or Red Star ICL from Hitchin in the final.

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It will take place on April 2 at the Herts FA headquarters of The County Ground in Letchworth (2pm ko).

Nirankari Sports Sabha booked themselves a place in the Premier Division Cup final as they will receive a semi-final bye due to Clifton's withdrawal. Bottles did strike a post in a goalless first half but Sabha did have a few chances themselves. It sparked into life when Darren Arquart scored twice early in the second-half. Ricky Case added a third before Bottles lost a man due to violent conduct and Mark Barnes finished the rout.

In Premier Division action, Sam Gittings and Marvin Bates scored twice apiece as Stevenage Fencing got back on track with a win over Royal Oak, for whom Steve Bush and Terry Pateman were on target.

Division One champions Mallard just about maintained their 100 per cent record with one game remaining with a solitary goal win over MBDA. Adam Hazelton's cross was fumbled over the line by Ian Mann.

Sporting failed to field a full side yet again but debutant Louis Curtis brought them back to within a goal, Tony Lister (two), Michael Bunker and Kenny Slack giving FCFL the points. The teams meet again on Sunday week for a place in the divisional cup final.

Rising Sun jumped back into second after a struggle of a win over Stevenage Colts. Dean Chadderton opened the scoring with a deflected shot and Danny Hillard pounced on the second after a tackle fell into his path but it may have been more had either Kaan Fehmi or Damian Rushton not had penalties saved by Barry Simpson.

RD Newcotech may fold this week, just half a dozen players were ready to make the trip to Breachwood Lions in Division Two, so they forfeited.

Leaders Coopers were also involved in a non-event as ProCladd again fielded less than the required number. They started with eight, but after the leaders netted through Chris Goodyear and Brad Harrison inside 20 minutes, two injuries took ProCladd down to six, so the game had to be abandoned. The league committee will decide the outcome.

Danny Hacker headed King Pin United into the lead against Station after 20 minutes after Nick Collins' effort was cleared off the line. A goalkeeping error let the Knebworth-based side back in it through Elliot Bunn before David Price grabbed the winner after a scramble.

Newman were surprise winners over Triage. Gary Pitts (two), Ben Dance and Dean McKeown netted without reply.

The side in red hot form are SBS. On Sunday they showed their resilience after coming back from four goals down against White Diamond Security! John Abnett (two), Ricky Bridge, Ashley Reynolds and Lee Hewitt had done the damage. Luke Mitchell banged in a hat-trick for SBS, including a penalty, Chris Bunker, Matt Lawless and John Hughes were also on target, although one of the goals was claimed as an own goal by Barry Bing.

Division Three saw a pivotal double header where leaders Granby St George were edged out by the narrowest of margins in both matches by unbeaten Pin Green, who now look good for a title shot with their games in hand.

Richard Griffiths pounced with the only goal of the first one-hour encounter with just five minutes remaining from the edge of the box.

He netted again in match two after just 22 seconds. Dave Baldwin got the second with a long shot from distance before James Wilson pulled back a consolation after a goalmouth scramble.

Hogshead maintained their charge thanks to Lee Dowsett's goal just before half-time against White Horse.

Dave Byatt's trickery in the box won MBDA Res a penalty as they pulled away from the pack slightly - he smashed home the kick himself with just four minutes left to leave Fox deflated.

AFC Stevenage bounced back from a horror defeat against MC Racing last week. John Cragg gave North Herts Celtic the lead before Carl Green equalised. Kyle Brown netted on his debut to turn the game around before Murray Fastier equalised for Celtic.

AFC captain Terry Lock netted dubiously with a lob before smashing home a beauty off the underside of the bar from 25 yards to seal the points. Leigh Pollard missed a penalty in an attempt to reduce the deficit.

After a good run of games, MC Racing were brought back down to earth by Hen and Chickens, who took the lead through Paraic Williams. Debutant Chris Thomas headed home the second before Nik Tribe made the game interesting by pulling one back. Rob Barnes added a third.

In the Invitation Cup, a hastily-arranged game saw Joel Mason sew the game up with a terrific strike from the edge of the box. A hat-trick for the league's top scorer and one from Steve Underwood for Bedwell Athletic saw them effectively come back from four down to draw the game due to the two-goal advantage to Breachwood Lions, who led through Adam Burnage and John Harvey.

Broadhall beat Broadhall Res as Shaun McDermott went nap, Ross Woodbridge, Paul Banks and Danny Miller also scored, hotshot Steve Teale netted twice on the day for the Division Three side.

Rileys did not hold back, hitting Marquis of Lorne for double figures. Michael Wenn and Andy Parrish hit hat-tricks, the latter using his height to power in two headers. James Khakpour-Smith (two), Graeme Hulstrom and Keith Swift were also on target, Nick Wrate hitting the consolation.

* Compiled by Darren Statto Jones (,