WITH some good scores by the leading teams in the Whitby and District Rifle A league, each of the three matches was won decisively.
With 99’s from the dependable Jackie Hay and Nigel Scarth, Esk Valley were always going to beat Average doing so with ease to maintain their unbeaten run of 14 matches and a lead of 12 points.
With six matches still to be shot Esk Valley need only one more point to be sure of the A League title.
Phoenix in second place did their chances of finishing as runners up no harm by easily accounting for Castle Park who could not live with Phoenix in this kind of form.
Top score in the match came from Matt Marsay with 98.
Country Lads again showed that they are up there with the best when shooting with a full strength team.
Only one behind Esk Valley on the nights scores, Country Lads had six points to spare in their victory over Whitehall.
A 99 from Steve Baker was equalled by Derek Atkinson for Country Lads who occupy a somewhat false fourth place in the league table.
Occasionally in a shooting career, a shooter experiences an occasion when everything seems to go right and, with just that a little bit of luck, a personal best score is the result.
Mark Noble had just such a night in Round 14 with a 95 for Farmers in their match against Patch.
The only thing not to go his way was the match result which Farmers unfortunately lost by six points.
For Patch, Colin Rutland’s 97 was the main difference between the two teams.
Back to back defeats for Firemen saw them drop from B league leaders into third place.
In a low scoring match where the highest score on either side was 93, Firemen lost to title rivals Watkinson’s by the narrow margin of two points.
With the season two-thirds of the way through it could not be tighter at the top with only two points separating the top three teams.
Despite their poor start to the season, Patch remain favourites to take the tile with their more consistent performances mainly in the mid part of the season.
Round 15 is a big round for both Patch and Firemen when the two teams meet again.
It remains to be seen if Firemen, stung by two defeats in a row, can bounce back to beat Patch to leave the title race wide open.
Results, A League: Phoenix 385 M Marsay 98 J Halley 97 P Hurworth 97 S Darrington 93 beat Castle Park 375 M Dossor 96 C Moore 95 A Eddon 93 R Oliver 91, Country Lads 386 D Atkinson 99 S Atkinson 96 R Lamerton 96 M Atkinson 95 beat Whitehall S Baker 99 T Coates 97 D Lawrence 93 M Ware 91, Esk Valley 387 J Hay 99 N Scarth 99 M Robinson 95 C Williamson 94 beat Average 391.5.
B League: Patch 371 C Rutland 97 P Rutland 92 J Wood 91 I Harrison 91 beat Farmers 365 M Noble 95 G Flower 92 Y Williamson 89 D Hill 89, Watkinson’s 370 M Bennett 93 I Addams 93 J Kenworthy 92 M Troughton 92 beat Firemen 368 B Gibbons 93 I Clarkson 93 P Cattermole 91 M Geer 91.