STRONGLY-fancied Newton spurned the chance to assume pole position in the race for the West Cheshire League's Division One title after they had Rob McDowell and Ged King on target, but capitulated 3-2 at Hale, and as a result forfeited third place in the table to their opponents, who sealed the issue courtesy of a smart double from Ryan Stratulis and a Graeme Walsh strike.

Upton AA were indebted to efforts from Sam Pickering, Chris Coughlin, Nathan Mapletoft, Josh Clayton and an own goal which secured a 5-3 result over Marshalls while Chester rivals, Chester Nomads also had cause for celebration in their bid to avoid relegation after they eclipsed Neston Nomads 2-1 with goals from Chris Simmons and Mitch Mowatt.

Ashville's 3-1 victory over Ellesmere Port Town was confirmed by efforts from Ricci Neil (2) and Ryan Smith and another two goal hot-shot was Vauxhall Motors Reserves' Jay Harvey, who took the plaudits in his side's 3-0 success at South Liverpool.

Elsewhere, Paul Hynes, Chris Davidson, Steve Melville and Alex McMillan made the scoresheet as Rainhill Town savoured a 4-1 win at Redgate Rovers.

Capenhurst Villa stayed five points in credit at the top of Division Two, after emerging 3-2 victors at Mossley Hill Res.

Danny Page (2) and Steve Rowlands netted for Cape with Mike Fernehough and Mike Garriock in reply for Mossley.

Second-placed Heswall maintained their bid for an immediate return to the top flight, after winning by the same scoreline at Mallaby who boasted the game's best goal, a stunning 25-yard free kick from Jack Ledsham.

A Jason Rigby hat trick was supplemented by a double from Luke Fitzgibbon, as Ashville Res romped home 5-1 at Litherland Remyca Dev, but despite goals from Jack Watts and Matty Quinn, third-placed Page Celtic had to settle for a share of the spoils, after West Kirby Res hit back via Matty Madden and Connoe Egan.

In Division Three, South Sefton Borough Res. went level on points with current leaders, Aintree Villa, after they humbled Redgate Rovers Res 15-1.

The goal tally was shared between Tom Seddon (5), Danny Boulger (4), Liam Van Gelder (2), Joe Rimmer (2), Anton Yool and Wayne Law.

Callum Blondel, Ben Pearson, Nathan Davidson and Dave Adams all found the net at Neston Nomads Res. overcame Pulton Royal 4-2 and in another goal laden tussle, efforts from John Britton, Jack Foster, John Sheridan and Mason Flavel were enough for Capenhurst Villa Res to clinch an odd goal in seven win against Chester Nomads Res who replied through Charlie Mann, Harry Farley and John Cadwallader.

Mersey Royal's chances of closing the gap on the leading duo foundered after they had Ryan Coles and Adam Smith on the mark, but finished 2-2 with Marshalls Res. Jake Skynner and Eddie Hawthorne were the hosts' scorers.

Saturday's Youth Division action saw Marshalls U18 post a 7-1 result over Bootle Academy, highlighted by hat tricks from Francis Lloyd and Brandon King.