Yorkshire Squash League: Barnsley see off struggling Pontefract to edge towards Premier title

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Barnsley moved another step closer the Allam Marine Yorkshire Premier Squash League title this week with a hard-fought 18-7 victory at lowly Pontefract 2nds.

Despite lying second from bottom, the home team pushed Barnsley all the way to their sixth consecutive triumph, with George Wileman and British Junior Open under-13 champion Sam Todd scoring 3-2 wins over Ashley Davies and Josh Greaves.

Straight-games successes by newly-crowned Italik Yorkshire closed champion Tom Bamford and world No 48 Millie Tomlinson over Matt Godson and Ben Hodgetts proved crucial as English under-19 champion Patrick Rooney took a game off world No 44 Declan James at first string.

Barnsley now stand 16 points clear of Hallamshire with six rounds left, after they suffered a shock 17-8 home loss to Sheffield rivals Abbeydale.

The visitors halted Hallamshire’s eight-match winning sequence thanks to wins by Adam Murrills (3-1), Nick Wall Jnr (3-1) and Oli Turner (3-0) over Chris Fuller, Jack Alcock and Dan Lawrence.

Mark Fuller and Alex Cutts guaranteed the home team some reward from the derby fixture by beating Matthew Broadberry 3-1 and Adam Turner 3-2.

The title race now appears to be between Barnsley and Hallamshire, as third-placed Pontefract are 42 points behind the Sheffield club on 150.

They also registered a tough away win this week, by a 17-10 margin at Dunnington, with Alex Hodgetts, Lewis Doughty and Adam Taylor their match-winners against Gareth Lumsdon (3-1), Matt Marshall (3-2) and Matthew Stephenson (3-1).

Danny Hockborn and Ed Shannon ensured the gap between the third and fourth-placed teams is only four points by beating Taminder Gata Aura 3-2 and Sam Wileman 3-1.

There was another away triumph at Hull and East Riding, where Chapel Allerton were 18-7 winners via victories for former world No 3 Simon Parke (3-0), Dom Hamilton (3-2), Ross Williamson (3-0) and Michael Graham (3-2) over Harry Falconer, Glyn Saunders, Paul Norton and Nathan Kaiser.

Yusef Forster underlined why he has been awarded a place in the qualifying competition of the forthcoming Allam British Open by overcoming Declan Christie 3-1 at third string.

The sole home winners in the YPSL this week were Queens, who defeated bottom side Heaton 18-7.

James Earles, Matt Sidaway, Connor Sheen and Sarah Campion secured the victory by beating Julian Tomlinson 3-0, Stuart Macgregor 3-2, Isaac Rawcliffe 3-0 and Phil Bowker 3-2.

Matthew Powell notched Heaton’s solitary success by defeating Campion’s husband, England assistant national coach David, 3-1.