Yorkshire Squash League: Top-of-the-table showdown leaves Barnsley firmly in driving seat over Hallamshire

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Barnsley are now firm favourites to win the Allam Marine Yorkshire Squash League title, after beating second-placed Hallamshire 17-10 this week.

The home triumph moved them 18 points clear of the Sheffield club with only three rounds to play and one of those is at rock-bottom Heaton.

As befits the potential title decider, the South Yorkshire derby was hard fought, with all five rubbers extending to at least four games.

In the end South African Shaun le Roux, Andy Whipp and Oli Harris were their match-winners, beating Mark Fuller 3-1, Chris Fuller 3-2 and Dan Lawrence 3-1.

However, Jack Alcock and Neil Guirey ensured the fixture went the distance, scoring 3-2 and 3-1 victories for Hallamshire over Tom Bamford and Millie Tomlinson respectively.

In contrast, the tussle for third place threatens to go to the wire, with just four points separating Dunnington (198) and Pontefract (194), after both registered away successes this week.

Dunnington triumphed 17-6 at Hull and East Riding, where their only loss was a walkover to Yusef Forster at fifth string as Chris Simpson, Gareth Lumsdon, Matt Marshall and Matthew Stephenson eased home against Harry Falconer (3-0), Andy Cockerill (3-1), Fi Moverley (3-1) and Glyn Saunders (3-1).

Meanwhile, Pontefract notched a 15-8 win at Chapel Allerton thanks to their bottom three, with Lewis Doughty, Sam Wileman and Adam Taylor defeating Declan Christie 3-0, Ian Chappell 3-0 and Portugal’s Pedro Pinto 3-2.

Eddie Charlton and former world no.3 Simon Parke kept the match alive by beating Alex Hodgetts 3-1 and Taminder Gata Aura 3-0.

At the bottom of the Premier Division, Pontefract 2nds and Heaton fell further adrift after home losses this week, the former by a 17-9 margin to Queens and the latter 20-5 to Abbeydale.

Pontefract are now 48 points behind Hull and ER on 109, but they did resist strongly against Queens, with teenagers Patrick Rooney and Sam Todd notching 3-1 and 3-2 wins against James Earles and Tom Gudzelak respectively.

However, it was the middle three rubbers that proved decisive, as Matt Sidaway, Connor Sheen and Danny Bray overcame Elliot Ridge 3-0, Matt Godson 3-1 and Ben Hodgetts 3-2.

It was a clean sweep for Abbeydale at Heaton, though, Adam Murrills, Matthew Broadberry, Nick Wall junior, Oli Turner and Omar Badr defeating Belgium’s Jan van den Herrewegen 3-0, Stuart Macgregor 3-2, Isaac Rawcliffe 3-2, Mathew Powell 3-1 and Phil Bowker 3-0.

The Bradford club now prop up the table on 74 points.