Premier League Week Five: Three-horse race

The 2017/18 Yorkshire Premier League is already looking like a three-horse race for the title with Pontefract 1, Chapel Allerton 1 and Dunnington 1 jostling for top spot.

Week five saw leaders Pontefract and defending champions Chapel both record thumping wins to maintain their 100% starts to the season. Next week, one of those records will end when the top two meet. Dunnington, last year’s runners-up, also dished out a thrashing to remain hot on their heels in third.

World No. 100 Patrick Rooney won for the fourth time in succession to lead Ponte 1 to a 5-0 home win over Hull and East Riding. The Merseysider beat Ben Smith at No.1 string, with Belgian champion Joeri Hapers making short work of women’s world No.24 Fiona Moverley at No.2. Taminda Gata Aura, Lewis Doughty and Alex Hodgetts had by then already sealed Ponte’s triumph.

Chapel Allerton 1’s home win over Sheffield club Hallamshire was only slightly less emphatic. Regular No.1 Mark Fuller benefited from an injury to Ashley Davies at one game all in their top-string encounter, and 1998 British champion Simon Parke, mercurial Egyptian Omar El Tahry and Declan Christie all won pretty comfortably. Dan Lawrence earned three consolation points for Hallamshire at No.5 string by beating Cameron Ward 3/1.

Dunnington profited from the presence of world No.36 Chris Simpson in their 5-0 thrashing of Pontefract 2. Guernseyman Simpson flew straight in from the Qatar Open following his first-round defeat by Mohamed Elshorbagy, to beat Adam Taylor 11/8 in the fifth.

The York club had long since clinched the win by then, with Matthew Stephenson winning for the fourth time in a row, Michael Andrews keeping up his personal 100% YPL record this season, Gareth Lumsdon winning a thriller with 14-year-old prodigy Sam Todd, and Julian Tomlinson’s experience proving too great for 18-year-old Elliot Ridge.

Elsewhere, Barnsley put out an all-star line-up featuring three women in the world’s top 32, but still went down 3-2 at home to fourth-placed Abbeydale.

Laura Massaro, the current world No.4 and former world and British Open champion, dispatched Oli Turner 3/0 and world No.22 Millie Tomlinson won with similar ease over Frenchwoman Coline Aumard.

However, that was as good as it got for Barnsley, with Abbeydale’s Phil Scully and Murray Scot beating Barnsley-born Canadian Hollie Noughton and Phil Bowker at fourth and fifth string respectively. Surprisingly, world No.35 and England team member Declan James then lost the top-string decider to Adam Auckland.

The night’s other encounter saw bottom side Chapel Allerton 2 fall to their fifth successive defeat, this time at Queen’s in Halifax.

Ross Williamson continues to do himself proud, winning his fourth YPL match of the season, this one over Tom Whiteley. Again, those above him in the order couldn’t build on his good start though.

England national coach David Campion and Charlie Cowie both won in straight games, with Liverpudlian Connor Sheen and James Earles completing Queen’s’ 4-1 victory.

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