sheffield Hallam’s first team cemented top spot with a 2-1 victory over Durham University on their own patch.
The win keeps Hallam top one point ahead of Bowdon but more importantly five ahead of Durham.
Durham scored first in the match at Maiden Castle but within 10 minutes Hallam were back level through Gareth Furlong’s second of the season.
Mike Shaw then made sure of the points with a second-half penalty corner goal.
This week Hallam play Wakefield at Abbeydale Park (Sunday, 1.30pm start) in the first return match of the season and last before the mid-winter outdoor league break.
Hallam’s second team couldn’t match the first team’s winning habits, however, going down 2-0 to second-placed Gateshead.
Hallam’s team are weaker than last season when they challenged for promotion and at present they find themselves in an uncomfortable eighth place.
This week they can do something about that when bottom team Crewe Vagrants come visiting (1.30pm at Abbeydale Park).
Crewe have only one point to their name and are seemingly firmly anchored at the bottom. A Hallam win would move them closer to the top half of the table and with three of the four bottom teams to play in the next four matches Hallam could make a significant move upwards over the Christmas period.
The third team also tasted defeat, their unbeaten run coming to an end with a 2-0 defeat at Driffield.
In the end it came down to two penalty corners, one in each half, to separate the two teams.
With five minutes to go, goalkeeper Adursh Ruperalia was sacrificed for an additional outfield player, but Hallam couldn’t get on the scoresheet.
The games don’t get any easier, either - next up are league leaders Brigg, who are six points ahead having played two games extra.