GRASSROOTS Football made a stunning return across the region after The James Cropper Westmorland Leagues adapted Cup games made their debut on a dramatic opening round of action.

The league who decided to complete their cup competitions by using a Champions League format rather than the usual knockout formula saw each of the three divisions split into two miniature leagues – North and South – with each team playing the other teams in their section once.

GOAL: Matt Harby

GOAL: Matt Harby

After months of lockdown many have been eagerly awaiting the return of the sport and the easing of restrictions which have prevented play from continuing for the past year.

This format will give teams five or six games before the top two in each league qualify for the semi-finals.

In Division Ones' High Sheriffs Cup, Shap made a stunning start to their season following an emphatic 4-1 win at Ibis.

It was a highly praised beginning to the season despite many fears across the country that players who have been trapped in lockdown would be vulnerable to injuries early on.

Shap proved they had not lost a step with their impressive performance.

Samuel Woods played well and goals from Aiden Young and Ben Palmer saw the visitors run out a very comfortable victory by the end of the match.

In the other games Marsh United defeated Sedbergh and Dent United 5-0, Endmoor battled back as they drew 2-2 with Windermere, thanks to goals coming from Jacob Matthews and Brad Hodgson.

Kirkoswald and Wetheriggs United battled out a dramatic 3-3 draw. The closely fought game showed off both team's impressive play.

Appleby drew 1-1 with Keswick, while Carleton Banks managed to edge out Kirkby Stephen with a score of 2-1.

The Division was praised for its games.

In Division Twos Mason & Freeman Cup, Josh Fords brace and a goal from Matt Harby saw Ibis Reserves win 3-1 at Kendal County Reserves.

Kendal United Reserves also impressed winning 5-3 at Burneside, with braces from Matt Kennedy and Cameron Stewart, while Sam McKee was also on the score sheet.

FOOTBALL: Kendal County Reserves and Ibis Reserves which Ibis won 3-1 (Article and picture from Richard Edmondson)

FOOTBALL: Kendal County Reserves and Ibis Reserves which Ibis won 3-1 (Article and picture from Richard Edmondson)

Appleby Reserves edged out Sedbergh & Dent United Reserves 3-2, Windermere Reserves won by the same score against Cartmel & District Reserves, Penrith Academy and Ambleside United drew 2-2, while Keswick Reserves defeated Greystoke 4-2.

Staveley United Reserves edged out Endmoor KGR Reserves 2-1 in Division Threes Peter Daws Memorial Shield.

The game saw a lot of back-and-forth action which saw both sides praised for their performances.

In the other games, Kendal Uniteds A team put up a gallant display before losing 4-1 at Wetheriggs Uniteds A Team with Ollie Cleasby scoring for the visitors.

Eden Thistle ran out 3-1 winners at Eden United, Ullswater United routed Langwathby United 4-0, Kirksowald Reserves saw off Braithwaite 3-0, while Penrith Royal won 2-0 at Kirkby Stephen Reserves.