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A three-gorse title race
The race for the championship looks to be a three-horse one after last week's results saw clear daylight emerge between the leading trio and the rest.
And although Esh Winning are in pole position at the moment the unique league format in this historic season means there is still every chance that the other two can mount a serious challenge with all the leading contenders having to meet twice more before the end.
There are only seven matches to go in the regular season which ends with the August 4 programme.
At that point the league is split in two halves based on positions after 18 games.
Points are carried forward into the last four matches as the top five meet each other, the bottom five likewise.
For third-placed Willington, who are 31 points behind Esh, this leaves their fate still very much in their own hands, and ahead of their game against the leaders next week they travel to Tudhoe trying to build on the form that saw them dominate Evenwood last time out.
That 49-run win was highlighted by a virtuoso performance from the evergreen Gary Cummings.
He has suffered from knee problems recently which have restricted his cup appearances, has enjoyed some great days over the years, but last Saturday was one of the very best.
After making 84 as his side notched up over 200, he then went on to take six wickets, with four of those coming in consecutive deliveries for the first four in four of the 44 year-old's career.
Esh continue their bid to retain the title with a home game against a Brandon side who have won just once.
The home team are strong with the return of David Watson and Stuart Hall, their sole absentee being Chris Moore who only makes the occasional appearance these days as he works in London.
Ian Myers is the only one missing for the visitors, so the return of Jamie Robinson is timely.
It is likely that Greg Coates will be handed an opportunity after some good performances for the seconds.
Mainsforth, basking in the glow of a first win of the season in midweek, include Matthew Cowell and Callum Walton for the visit of Ushaw Moor, and Evenwood select 17-year-old all-rounder Lewis Leng when they take on unchanged Shildon.
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