THE battle for the Premier League title in the Lancashire and Cheshire Amateur Football League remains firmly in the balance as the only two contenders for the top spot both posted emphatic wins.
Whalley Range, with just two games to play, hold top spot and showed their intent, as they hosted Newton, by netting twice in the first five minutes.
On target were Joey Kinsella with a bullet header from a corner and Luke Scarry with a solid strike and although Newton gave as good as they got for the rest of the game they were unable to prevent a 4-1 win for Range.
Mellor, who remain six points behind Range with two games in hand, had few problems in a convincing 5-0 win against South Manchester.
The other game saw Tintwistle Athletic recover well from their narrow 2-1 defeat in the Derbyshire Cup final by Matlock Town in midweek at Buxton to win 2-1 at High Lane.
In Division One Bury Ams were in double action as they followed up a 6-1 midweek defeat by Trafford United with a 2-2 derby deadlock against Swinton.
Just two games were played in Division Two that did not affect the title race and they ended in 2-2 draws between Newton seconds and Spurley Hey and South Manchester seconds against Moston Brook seconds.
South were a goal down in the first minute from Kyle Atkinson but Prince Yossuf restored parity before the break.
Brook again took the lead before South missed a spot-kick, then grabbed a point with a neat finish from Ross McGuigan.
A mid-table battle in Division Three saw Heaton Mersey in bright form as they beat Santos 3-1 after Dean Walker had put Santos ahead.
Hollingworth are Division A champions as J Boon, C Dodson and A Dickson netted in a 3-0 win against Mellor thirds.
Their title rivals faltered as Chorltonians Rovers lost to the only goal of their game at Hargreaves Bury and Whalley Range thirds were held to a 1-1 draw hosting Bury Ams seconds.
Division B produced two close contests with Hillgate beating Old Trafford and Gorse Hill seconds by the odd goal in seven and a last-gasp strike by Bedians seconds earned them a point in a lively 2-2 draw with Rochdale Galaxy.
Moorside Rangers seconds are within touching distance of winning the Division C title after a 5-3 win against Manchester Rovers took them well clear of their rivals.
On target for Rangers were Birchall plus braces from Bardsley and Collins.
The other game in the division had Salford Vics thirds beating Oldham Vics 3-2.
In Division D Chadderton Park seconds moved up to fourth place with a 2-0 win against Bury Ams fourths.
Staly Lions thirds finished their season with a 5-2 defeat at AFC Oldham fourths and Droylsden JFC enjoyed a 4-2 win against Chorltonians Athletic.
The league has received several applications for membership from clubs to join the league next season.
There are still opportunities for clubs with good organisation and facilities to join. For more details contact the secretary on firstname.lastname@example.org or assistant secretary Graham Ellis on email@example.com.