Dunnington have one hand on the Yorkshire Premier League trophy after extending their lead to 30 points with just three matches of the season left.
While the York club were taking maximum points at home to Chapel Allerton 2 on Wednesday their only remaining title challengers, Chapel Allerton 1 and Pontefract 1, were taking points off each other in a ding-dong battle which went down to the wire.
Brothers George and Sam Wileman were winners for Ponte in the night’s first two matches. However, Chapel Allerton captain Simon Parke, the 1998 British National champion, thrashed Alex Hodgetts before Welshman Owain Taylor’s marathon triumph over Taminder Gata Aura brought the match level at 2-2.
That left world No.145 Mark Fuller to battle it out with recently crowned British U23 champion Patrick Rooney. It was the latter who came out on top 3-1 to give Ponte a 16-9 win and a 10-point cushion over their third-placed rivals from north Leeds.
Ponte’s win is very likely to be in vain though with Dunnington, the 2015 champions, holding such a dominant lead at the top. With games against mid-table Abbeydale and Hallamshire in the next two weeks they may well wrap the title up with time to spare.
Their 20-1 romp against bottom side Chapel Allerton 2 began with an epic four-game battle between Matthew Stephenson and Richard Hinds. After that though, the traffic was all one-way with Ed Shannon, Danny Hockborn, Gareth Lumsdon and Julian Tomlinson all winning in straight games.
Fourth-placed Barnsley continued their impressive late-season form by dispatching Hallamshire 18-4. Dan Lawrence got three points on the board for the Sheffield side early on, but elsewhere it was a procession for the hosts.
Tom Bamford won in four but Jack Turney thrashed England junior Oscar Beach, while top two Miles Jenkins and world No.63 George Parker won with relative ease. It was Barnsley’s fifth win in six games since Christmas, having won just three out of nine in the first half of the season.
In Halifax, Queens Club had a headstart in gaining their fifth win of the season as fifth-placed Abbeydale turned up with only four players. That gave No.5 Tom Gudzelak the night off and England national coach David Campion made it 2-0 with a four-game win over Oli Turner.
Adam Turner got three points for Abbeydale in a gruelling tete-a-tete with Lancastrian Charlie Cowie which he won 12/10 in the fifth.
Queens’ win was sealed though when James Earles took care of Matthew Broadberry in straight games, rendering Adam Auckland’s win over Connor Sheen at top string a mere consolation.
Former England international Lauren Siddal was the star turn as Pontefract 2 overcame Hull & East Riding 17-6. Siddal, who has sent the last few years living in South Africa, beat Joe Twigge in straight games, although the second was a 17-15 nail-biter.
Glyn Saunders’ relentless retrieving was too much for Ponte No.4 Katie Smith then Matt Godson rebounded from losing the first game to beat Yusef Foster. England junior Elliot Ridge’s straight-games win over Ben Smith clinched the three bonus points for the hosts.
Ponte, who were without British Junior Open champion Sam Todd due to injury, could afford to lose the top string match as Harry Falconer beat Adam Taylor 3-1.