LOCAL FOOTBALL: It has all the Hall-marks of another AFC Barley Mow title challenge

Jonny Hall starred in his AFC Barley Mow debut. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

Jonny Hall starred in his AFC Barley Mow debut. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

A star signing has helped AFC Barley Mow step up their challenge for a third Cambs League title in as many seasons.

Sean Sweeney’s men climbed to the Division 1B summit last Saturday after thumping lowly Littleport Town 9-0.

Ben Colmer fired four of the goals and debutant Jonny Hall hit a hat-trick in the Huntingdon side’s biggest win of the season.

Hall is better known as a full-back at considerably higher levels of football with the likes of St Ives Town, St Neots Town and Godmanchester Rovers, but excelled in an attacking role for his new club.

Leading scorer Josh Turner and Salv Merola also found the net for the Barley boys who have captured title crowns in Division 2B and Division 3B in the past two seasons.

Player-boss Sweeney said: “We were confident we could challenge again with the players we have – and that’s how it has turned out.

“It’s an exciting division to be in. Almost any team can beat any other on any given day and there are loads of local derbies which add a bit of spice.

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“We lost to Houghton & Wyton on the opening day of the season, but we’ve been excellent ever since.

“Getting Jonny on board has created a real feelgood factor. I’ve known him since he was five or six and also played with him when we were teenagers.

“I saw him tweet that he wanted to get back playing to build his fitness up so got in touch.

“We’re delighted to have him on board. He has definitely still got it.”

AFC Barley Mow leapfrogged previous leaders Alconbury by virtue of boasting a superior goal difference.

Alconbury were held to a 2-2 draw at Fordham last Saturday despite twice hitting the front thanks to goals from Ryan Palmer and Jake Shepherd.

Hemingfords United Reserves enjoyed a sweet slice of revenge as they claimed their first Division 1B win of the season. Jake Asby made a late breakthrough to earn a 1-0 success against a Fenstanton side who had thumped them 6-0 the previous Saturday.

Two other local teams – St Ives Rangers and Houghton & Wyton – battled out a 2-2 deadlock at that level. Jack Haycock hit both Rangers’ goals.