GLADSTONE C recorded a victory over their closest-rivals that all but makes certain they will recapture the Northwich and District League’s top-flight title this season.

A narrow 4-3 win against Castle D, the defending champions, leaves them seven points clear ahead of ahead of their concluding game against Barn Owl E.

Only an unlikely combination of results can prevent them from claiming first prize for the third time in four years.

Castle had to rally three times to force a decider on Wednesday before Darryl Fallows took a deciding frame.

A double remains a possibility too when they meet Witton Chimes A in the Team Knockout final later this month.

At the bottom, Gladstone A boosted their survival hopes by beating clubmates Gladstone B.

Captain Andy Hollinshead prevailed in a decisive seventh frame to leave his side two points clear of Rudheath, who did not play.

The men from Middlewich Road must win three frames when they visit Gladstone E on Wednesday to avoid relegation.

Elsewhere Steve James posted a second maximum break of the campaign for Barn Owl E, although it wasn’t enough to help them avoid a defeat.

Castle C moved back into the lead in a race to be promoted from Division two following a 4-3 win at Gladstone D.

They trailed 3-2, and were grateful to Andy Egerton and Stu Eyres for taking their frames to complete a comeback.

Owley Wood B slipped from the table’s summit after losing at Barn Owl B, who start the season’s final round only two points short of second spot.

Their next opponents? Castle C.

Greenbank A’s hopes of sneaking into a promotion position dealt a hefty blow when they succumbed to visitors Lion A.

Meanwhile Greenbank C ensured they won’t be holding the wooden spoon at the campaign’s end after their triumph at Wheatsheaf.

Iron Bridge A took a significant step towards their objective of claiming the second promotion place in Division Three after besting newly-crowned champions Broken Cross.

Skipper Lee Walker won a decider that leaves them eight points clear of third-placed Greenbank B, who squeezed past Slow & Easy.

In their meeting, it was Matt Capper who took a decisive seventh frame.

There were wins too for Iron Bridge H, against neighbours Blue Barrel A, and Moulton Legion edged out Green Dragon.


Northwich and District Pool League

Week 17

Division One: Barn Owl E 3-4 Gladstone E; Castle A 3-4 Castle B; Castle D 3-4 Gladstone C; Gladstone A 4-3 Gladstone B. No game: Rudheath.

Division Two: Barn Owl B 5-2 Owley Wood B; Gladstone D 3-4 Castle C; Greenbank A 3-4 Lion A; Owley Wood A 1-6 Witton Chimes A; Wheatsheaf 2-5 Greenbank C.

Division Three: Blue Barrel A 3-4 Iron Bridge H; Greenbank B 4-3 Slow & Easy; Iron Bridge A 4-3 Broken Cross; Moulton Legion 4-3 Green Dragon; Witton Chimes B w/o Blue Barrel B.

Fixtures for Wednesday

Week 18

Division One: Castle A v Castle D; Castle B v Gladstone B; Gladstone C v Barn Owl E; Gladstone E v Rudheath. No game: Gladstone A.

Division Two: Barn Owl B v Owley Wood A; Greenbank C v Greenbank A; Lion A v Gladstone D; Owley Wood B v Castle C; Witton Chimes A v Wheatsheaf.

Division Three: Blue Barrel A v Iron Bridge A; Broken Cross v Moulton Legion; Green Dragon v Greenbank B; Iron Bridge H v Blue Barrel B; Slow & Easy v Witton Chimes B.

Additional reporting by Rob Winnington