DUNNINGTON and Queens are setting the early pace in the Allam Marine Yorkshire Premier Squash League.
Dunnington head the table on 80 points after five matches, but only by three points from Queens, who have played one less fixture than the York side and are the only remaining unbeaten team in the division.
Dunnington have well and truly put their opening-round loss at home to Hallamshire behind them by winning their last four matches, with world no.23 Chris Simpson leading by example at no.1 with a hat-trick of victories.
His most recent triumph came against Andy Whipp in Dunnington’s 18-7 success at Barnsley, which was the reigning champions’ first defeat of the season.
Queens, meanwhile, are laying waste to all before them, with world no.14 Madeline Perry’s surprise 3/2 reversal to Heaton’s Matt Fielding only the second rubber the Halifax team have conceded so far this campaign.
Straight-games victories for James Earles, 17-year-old Patrick Rooney, assistant national coach David Campion and world no.19 Sarah Kippax, Campion’s wife, assured Queens of another comfortable victory, this time by a 19-3 margin over the Bradford outfit.
Following that loss to Dunnington, where Peter Billson’s and Millie Tomlinson’s respective 3/2 wins over Gareth Lumsden and Matt Stephenson were insufficient for Barnsley, they have slipped back into third place, seven points behind Queens.
The defending champions are in turn seven points ahead of South Yorkshire rivals Hallamshire, although the Sheffield team have played a game less.
They hit back from a surprise 17-10 reversal at Pontefract seconds by routing Hull and East Riding 20-4, Mark and Chris Fuller, Alex Cutts, Jack Allcock and Dan Lawrence completing a clean sweep for Hallamshire.
That shock win for Pontefract seconds was their first of the season and came via victories from Taminder Gata-Aura, Tom Bamford and Eliot Ridge over Danny Massaro (world champion Laura’s husband), Allcock and Guy Tallentire.