Dunnington tighten grip on top spot

Dunnington extended their lead at the top of the Yorkshire Premier League with a crushing 5-0 victory at Hallamshire in round eight.

With the halfway mark of the season in sight, the York club have now amassed 142 points and lead second-placed Pontefract 1 by ten, with Chapel Allerton 1 not far behind on 125.

The inclusion of Guernseyman Chris Simpson, the world No.36, enabled the rest of Dunnington’s line-up to shuffle down the order. That helped regulars Matthew Stephenson, Gareth Lumsdon and Julian Tomlinson pick up fairly straightforward wins.

Richie Fallows, the entertaining world No.62, thrashed Hallamshire’s Alex Cutts at No.2 and although Simpson dropped the second game 14/12 against talented 17-year-old Nick Wall, his four-game win wrapped up the clean sweep for the 2015 champions.

Pontefract 1 beat Queens of Halifax 4-1. Sam Wileman and Dominic Pegg both won their first YPL matches of the season at Nos. 4 and 5 and former world No.1, Commonwealth Games gold medallist and PSA Chief Operations Officer Lee Beachill was an easy winner at No.3.

Alex Hodgetts beat YPL debutant Daniel Smith in five games at No.2, with Queens’ only winner on the night James Earles – 12/10 in the fifth against Lewis Doughty at top string.

Chapel Allerton 1 captain Simon Parke, the 45-year-old former British champion, was forced to play up at No.1 against Barnsley due to the absence of usual top two Mark Fuller and Owain Taylor. He equipped himself well against current world No.35 Declan James – who is precisely half his age – before losing in four games.

At No.2 Egyptian Omar El Tahry lost in rapid fashion to Barnsley’s Chris Fuller. Luckily for the hosts, they had already wrapped up victory by that point with earlier victories for the lower order – youngster Ben Merchant, Declan Christie and the Kiwi, Jackson Beresford.

Chapel Allerton 2 are bottom by 28 points and still without a win, but they gave Hull and East Riding a big scare. Chapel A squash secretary Ross Williamson – as usual – got them off to a winning start, and Phil Young made it 2-0 with his first win of the season.

However, none of the top three were able to finish the job. Niall McKinnon came closest, beaten 11-7 in the fifth by Ben Smith at No.2, but world No.24 Fiona Moverley swatted Adam Wellstead aside at No.3 and Harry Falconer beat Ian Chappell in four games to spare Hull’s blushes.

The mid-table clash between Pontefract 2 and Hallamshire was postponed.

Next week will mark the halfway stage of the season and will precede the Christmas break. Who will hold the advantage at the top as the tinsel goes up? Next Wednesday will provide the answer.

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