Dunnington took a major step in their quest to reclaim the Yorkshire Premier League title as they beat rivals Pontefract 1 to go 14 points clear at the halfway stage of the season.
World No.36 Chris Simpson applied the finishing blow to a Pontefract side weakened by the absence of usual No.1 Patrick Rooney. Taminder Gata Aura was pushed up the order from two and Simpson saw him off in straight games.
Guernseyman Simpson has won on all five of his appearances for York club Dunnington this season, matches that have formed an important part of his recuperation after nine months out of the game due to hip surgery.
Before his win, the match had been poised at two matches apiece. Dunnington No.4 Michael Andrews won his sixth straight YPL match and Julian Tomlinson clinched his fifth in a row. For Ponte, George Wileman and former World Championship runner-up Lee Beachill (a day after his 40th birthday) both won, but the scoreline finished 17-7 in favour of the 2015 champions.
Defending champs Chapel Allerton 1 moved above Ponte 1 into second after hammering Queens of Halifax 20-2, boosted by the return of their top two, Mark Fuller and Owain Taylor. Fuller had a cracking match with James Earles at No.1, winning in four, while Taylor beat his namesake Josh, the England National Performance Coach.
Young Kiwi Jackson Beresford, Declan Christie and Matty Powell made it a clean sweep, with Chapel barely noticing the absence of captain and ex-world No.3 Simon Parke, who was away commentating on the World Team Championships in Marseille for SquashTV.
After a somewhat dodgy start to their season, Barnsley have now moved up to fourth after a cracking comeback against Hull and East Riding.
Mike Read and Glyn Saunders got Hull off to a flying start with 3/2 wins, but higher up the order ex-world champion and world No.1 Laura Massaro beat world No.24 Fiona Moverley in an all-female clash at No.3, before Miles Jenkins and Chris Fuller completed the 18-7 triumph.
A youthful Pontefract 2 side are up to fifth, despite having played a game fewer. They took care of Hallamshire 19-6, with juniors Sam Todd and Elliot Ridge once again jewels in their crown.
Todd, the 14-year-old prodigy with a huge future ahead of him, beat Hull’s Dan Lawrence 3/1. Ridge, England’s sixth best junior, beat Alex Cutts 11-3 in the fifth. Katie Smith and Matt Godson won at Nos. 4 and 5, while the talented top string Nick Wall earned a consolation for the visitors from Sheffield.
There were celebrations for bottom side Chapel Allerton 2 as they belatedly earned their first win of the season at the ninth attempt. Abbeydale were the embarrassed victims, crashing 18-4 as Chapel Allerton stalwarts Phil Young, Dominic Hamilton, Niall McKinnon and Stuart MacGregor dropped only one game between them. Adam Turner grabbed Hallamshire’s three consolation points.
The YPL now breaks for Christmas, but Dunnington may want to lay off the mince pies and brandy – their first fixture when the league resumes on January 10 is a huge clash with second-placed Chapel Allerton 1.