Pilling A had a comfortable win over Hesketh A by 16-8. Both the levels and mixed ended 8-4 which was made possible by Andy Davis winning all his men's and mixed. Sheena Carberry won 5 for Hesketh which included a last set victory, with partner Richard Percival, of 22-20 and 24-22 which gave Hesketh a much needed point.
Reigning champions Fleetwood saw off the challenge from 3rd placed Kingfisher A by winning 15-9 which was established after their ladies won 6-0 whilst the mens ended all square. The mixed also ended evenly and this was enough to earn Kingfisher a bonus point. Fleetwood's Elizabeth Andrew was the star performer on the night after winning 7 games and Chris Foote was Kingfisher's best player.
Poulton maintained their title quest with a narrow 14-10 victory over Albany A. Their strong ladies won 5 and their men 2 to lead by 7-5 going into the mixed. The experienced combination of Michelle Skinner and Nick Hodgson proved to be too strong as they comfortably won all their 4 games to help Poulton win 7 mixed. Michelle was again POTM for winning 8 games and Oliver Hives won 5 for Albany.
These matches mean Kingfisher and Albany will fight it out for 3rd place.
More importantly however, is the fight for the title. Fleetwood currently lead by 1 point but have played an extra game and crucially were beaten by Poulton before Christmas! Fleetwood have won the title a record 44 times and are currently on a run of 23 consecutive title wins!! In contrast, Poulton are a relatively new club and are trying to win their first ever Division 1 title!
The match of the season is to be played next Wednesday 15th.
Struggling Kirkham Charter A fought hard to earn a bonus point in a 10-14 defeat to promotion candidates Project 12. Both Kirkham's ladies and Project's men won 5 and when the first 3 mixed sets ended 3-3 the match was evenly poised at 9-9! However Project then showed their quality by winning 5 of the final 6 games to see out the match and go 3 points clear in second place. Project's Jon Jackson won 7 and Kirkham's Julie Somerside had a great match by winning 6.
Stanley B missed a great chance to get 3 points in their drawn match against Kingfisher C. They were 8-4 up after the levels, as their women won all 6, then 10-4 and 12-8 up !
However Kingfisher staged a great fight back winning the final 4 games. Stanley in a 3 way struggle at the bottom but having played more games than their rivals whilst Kingfisher sit respectably in mid table. Claire Doherty won 7 games for Stanley and Kingfisher's Adam Cowell split both mens but crucially won all 4 mixed with partner Bernadette Tomlinson.
Top v bottom ended in a surprising result as Kirkham Charter B snatched a draw against favourites Ribby Hall A. Leading 7-5 after the levels, thanks to their ladies winning 6, Ribby looked to be on course as the first 5 mixed sets were even to maintain their 2 game lead. In the final set however Verity Parker and Dave Mackay won the first game 23-21 and then comfortably won the second game to give Kirkham a vital draw and 2 points. Ribby still in second place but Kirkham fighting hard at the opposite end of the table. Emma Nickson was POTM for winning 7 games for Ribby and Ian Cartmel and Dave Mackay won 6 for Kirkham.
Reigning champions and current division leaders Warton A were pushed all the way by 3rd placed Project 12. The match was tied at 4-4 at the halfway stage. Both teams then won and and lost the next 2 sets to leave the match evenly poised at 6-6! In the final 2 Warton proved to be slightly stronger as they won all 4 games for a final 10-6 victory. Project now a distant 3rd with Warton still looking good to retain their title.
Fleetwood stay within 2 points of the leaders after a convincing 12-4 win over Broughton who just miss out on a bonus point. Ant Cross and Jacob Carter won all 8 games for Fleetwood whilst all of Broughton's players won 2 games with James Townson having the best points difference.