ROCKETS beat Runners in the big match in Division Two of the North Bridge LC League this week to set up an exciting three-way battle for the two promotion places.
Rockets were 18-15 winners in the penultimate set of matches on Monday and they joined Runners on 37 points, a tally reached earlier in the evening by Panthers, who had a 22-17 success against White Rose.
The matches between the top trio have all been completed so it could come down to goal difference after three more sets of fixtures.
Runners have still to play RKT, Heath and White Rose. Rockets’ final matches are against Jets, Robins and Blue Mavericks while Panthers have still to face Queens, Blue Mavericks and Jets.
With several sides battling to stay up in arguably the most keenly-contested division, the leaders cannot expect any easy wins.
Rockets are not counting their chickens after a few near misses in the promotion stakes in recent years but their team organiser Helen Whiteley was pleased with Monday’s win.
Teresa Roddis shot well but Whiteley felt the defending of Emily Pearson and young Gabby Greenwood - a replacement for broken fingers victim Lisa Gledhill - had been crucial.
The only dark cloud was an injury to centre Zandra Puddephatt which Rockets fear could cut short her season.
The centre stopped as if shot with a calf injury just before half time and Rockets replaced her with Kirsty Skinner.
Runners’ wing defence Stephanie Mitchell said they needed to keep their spirits up after seeing their lead slowly diminished.
“The heat is on,” she admitted.
At the foot of the table, Blue Mavericks and Heath beat Jets and ROKT respectively to drag their opponents into the relegation fray.
Triangle have gone two points clear at the top of Division Four after they beat bottom club Sapphires 19-12 and long time leaders Old Brodleians seconds slipped again, this time by 17-15 to Impact.
It was business as usual for runaway pair Gems and Wasps in Division Six, who won again in the countdown to their head-to-head on May 28.
RESULTS - Division Two: Panthers 22 White Rose 17, ROKT 13 Heath Ladies 17, Robins 20 Queens 22, Rockets 18 Runners 15, Blue Mavericks 19 Jets 14.
Division Four: Impact 17 Old Brods 2 15, Ravens 15 Falconers 16, Tommos 10 Twinkles 9, Triangle 19 Sapphires 12, Sparkles 10 Emeralds 17.
Division Six: Sowerby Stars 16 Barki Belles 15, Gems 29 Average Joes 4, West End Girls 15 Pink Fizz 9, Diamonds 15 Lady Birds 13, Harlequins 21 Wasps 27.
FIXTURES: None on Monday due to bank holiday.