Dunnington the team to stop in Yorkshire’s top flight

Dunnington are emerging as strong favourites to win the Allam Marine Yorkshire Premier Squash League.

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The York club staked a firm challenge for the title with a 20-2 romp at bottom club Pontefract seconds, their fifth consecutive victory moving them to within a point of leaders Hallamshire with two games in hand on 243.

Liam Gutcher, who edged out Jack Cooper 3-2 at third string, was the only Dunnington player not to triumph in straight games as Shaun Le Roux, Gareth Lumsden, Ed Shannon and Matt Stephenson all eased to victory.

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Hallamshire bounced back from their 20-0 home loss to Barnsley – which included a five-point fine for posting the result late – with a 16-8 victory at Sheffield rivals Abbeydale to stay top of the table.

This was a hard-fought local derby, with victories from Mark Fuller (3-2), Jack Alcock (3-0) and Rahul Bansal (3-0) at first, third and fifth strings proving decisive for Hallamshire.

Bansal’s win came against Nick Wall junior – but there was joy for his father, Nick senior, who defeated Alex Cutts 3-1. There was also a 3-1 consolation success for Neil Guirey against Dan Lawrence.

Queens still have an outside chance of the title after winning 16-10 at Barnsley, as, like Dunnington, they have played only 15 matches. They are 22 points behind the York club.

The Halifax outfit owed their victory to wins by James Earles against Andy Whipp (3-2), Matt Sidaway against James Peach (3-2) and Connor Sheen against Mike Lowery (3-0).

Peter Billson and Mick Stead made them battle hard for the five bonus points, though, by beating Patrick Rooney and Daniel Bray 3-1 respectively.

At the other end of the table Pontefract seconds now look certain to be relegated, as they are 56 points adrift of second-bottom Hull and East Riding.