Dunnington leaped a massive hurdle in their bid to reclaim the Yorkshire Premier League squash title after annihilating defending champions Chapel Allerton 1.
The clash of the top two had been eagerly anticipated over the Christmas break, but it ended up being a procession for the York club against a sub-strength Chapel A line-up.
Dunnington’s top four all won in straight games, including top string and world No.45 Chris Simpson and experienced duo Julian Tomlinson and Gareth Lumsdon. Tomlinson notched a particularly fine win over the veteran former world No.3 Simon Parke.
Chapel A 1 were without regular No.2 Owain Taylor, talented Kiwi Jackson Beresford and Declan Christie. Their only crumb of comfort was seeing first team debutant Kieran Wardman acquit himself well by taking Matthew Stephenson to five games at No.5 string, collecting the visitors’ only points in a 20-2 hammering.
The result extends Dunnington’s lead to a very healthy 22 points and avenges their defeat to the north Leeds club on the opening day of the season.
Replacing Chapel A 1 in second place are Pontefract 1 who won the ‘derby’ 18-7 against their stablemates Pontefract 2.
Patrick Rooney, who this month climbed to his highest ever world ranking of 95, triumphed 3-2 in an entertaining top string clash with Adam Taylor.
Regular first team No.2 Taminder Gata Aura overcame 18-year-old Elliot Ridge in four and Lewis Doughty also dropped a game in getting past debutant Chua Man Tong, who is visiting West Yorkshire from his native Singapore.
Club stalwart Matt Godson claimed Ponte 2’s only win of an entertaining evening’s squash by taking out Andrew Cross 3/1.
Barnsley, the 2015/16 champions, are in fourth place after their third win in four games. All five visiting players won as they dismantled Queens 20-7 in Halifax.
Hollie Naughton, the Barnsley-born Canadian, will have enjoyed the kudos of beating England national coach David Campion in a marathon tussle which she finished off 11/7 in the fifth.
No.2 Miles Jenkins kept up his excellent record this season with a five-game defeat of Queens’ James Earles, while Barnsley’s Declan James – now up to a career-high 25 in the world – dismissed Connor Sheen at top string.
Sixth-placed Abbeydale enjoyed their trip to Hull and East Riding with a resounding 20-5 victory, spearheaded by world No.220 Adam Auckland, who beat Ben Smith 3-1 at top string.
Hull’s No.2 string Fiona Moverley had only just flown back from her first-round defeat at the PSA Women’s Saudi Masters in the Middle East, but battled admirably with Adam Turner before succumbing 11/5 in the deciding game. By then, Abbeydale’s Phil Scully, Oli Turner and Murray Scott had already decided the outcome with more straight-forward victories lower down the order.
In Wednesday night’s final encounter, bottom side Chapel Allerton 2 couldn’t follow up their belated first win of the season before the Christmas break as they went down 19-8 at home to Hallamshire. Richard Hinds, stepping up to Premier League squash for the first time, did superbly to overcome Harry Wyld at No.4 string, but that proved the hosts’ only victory.
Teenagers Dylan Martens and Oscar Beach collected 3-1 victories for the Sheffield club while the more experienced Dan Lawrence and Alex Cutts completed the win to push Chapel A 2 closer to the relegation trap door.