Champions too strong for Owls
Malt Shovel prove clinical in front of goal
Shovel dominated the opening 45 minutes but, despite their dominance, it took a goalmouth scramble for their first goal as veteran Chris Harkin swept the ball home following a corner.
Malt Shovel then doubled their lead when a ball over the top beat the Owls back four and the winger scored in the bottom corner with a neat flick past Hambleton keeper Graeme Parker.
Hambleton started the second half more brightly having adjusted their formation to deal with Shovel’s threats. They scored within 2 minutes of the restart as Phil Newstead finished smartly, lifting the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.
However, Shovel responded immediately as the striker was allowed to waltz through the back line and round Parker for 3-1.
Hambleton then halved the deficit again as the Shovel keeper brought down Hambleton skipper John Matthews in the box. Nathan Parker converted the penalty sending the keeper the wrong way.
Shovel then went 4-2 with a brilliant header from a corner.
Back came Hambleton again as Nathan Parker got his second following smart work down the left from Kane Snelson.
But then Shovel restored their two goal advantage as the tricky winger twisted and turned in the box before firing low into the corner through a sea of legs.
Hambleton tried desperately to get back in the game but they open their Division One campaign with defeat.
Graeme Parker was the referee's man of the match for a string of saves in the first half.
Hambleton now travel to Leeds in the WRCFA Sunday Trophy next weekend as they take on unknown outfit FC West Leeds at Armley Park.