Trio of teams level on points at league summit
Three teams are level on points at the top of the East Sussex Football League Premier Division with three games remaining.
Battle Baptists moved to the head of the affairs - above Bexhill Town and Sidley United on goal difference - following an 8-1 win at home to St Leonards Social on Saturday.
A Dean Boyd hat-trick helped fire Battle to their biggest victory of the season, and he was joined on the scoresheet by Jamie Strong, Adam Staplehurst, Joe Brister, Glen Carrick and Josh Pickering.
The result also means that Social, who beat Bexhill Town the previous weekend, will finish second-from-bottom.
See also: * Hastings United game postponed after wind damages ground* Hastings United triumph after hot shot scores on comeback* Hollington United reach county cup final for first timeThe JC Tackleway moved up to third in Division One on the back of a 5-2 success away to a Herstmonceux side which is now guaranteed to finish second-from-bottom.
Kale Williams bagged a brace to become the division’s leading scorer, while Nathan Smith, Toby Payne and Danyal Aldous also hit the net for Tackleway. Rory Collins and Scott Sales replied for Herstmonceux.
It was honours even in the battle of Division Two’s top two as St Leonards Social II and Battle Baptists II played out a 0-0 draw.
Still unbeaten Battle remain two points behind Social with three games in hand. And with Social only having one match left, Battle need six points from their remaining four matches to be crowned champions.
Division Three champions Bexhill Rovers suffered only their second league loss of the campaign with a 2-1 defeat at home to runners-up South Coast Athletico.
Victory in Athletico’s last league game of the term moved them within a point of Rovers, who still have two league matches remaining.
Third-placed Victoria Baptists were beaten 2-1 at home to a Sandhurst side already guaranteed to finish second-from-bottom.
Oliver Bryan-Kerr and James Found scored for Sandhurst, while Jake Adams was on target for Victoria.
The two Division Four matches involved the bottom four at the start of play and both ended in convincing victories.
West Hill United climbed into the top six following a 4-0 success away to Sedlescombe Rangers III, who must win their remaining two fixtures to stand any chance of escaping the bottom two. Alex Southall and Tyler Smith scored two goals each for West Hill.
Third-bottom Parkfield moved five points ahead of Sedlescombe with a 6-0 win at home to a Ticehurst team which is all but certain to finish bottom.
Charlie Truman netted a hat-trick, and there was one each for Lawrance Odulawa, Charlie Chambers and Fabio Da Silva Oliveira.
Hooe wrapped up their Division Five programme with a 3-2 triumph at home to Herstmonceux II.
Jack Walker, Callum Holt Burgess and Liam Elphick netted for sixth-placed Hooe, while Liam Nulty struck for Herstmonceux.
Several more cup semi-finals were played last weekend and Sedlescombe Rangers booked their place in a final for the second successive Saturday.
Sedlescombe won 5-1 away to fellow Premier Division outfit Hawkhurst United to reach the Hastings & District FA Intermediate Cup final.
Ben Gardner, Harvey Monk, Ryan Edwards, Kye Phillips and Philip Hatch found the net for Sedlescombe, who will play Bexhill Town or Robertsbridge United in the final. That semi-final will be played this coming Saturday.
Wadhurst United are through to the Hastings & District FA Junior Cup final following a 3-2 victory away to fellow Division One high-flyers Icklesham Casuals.
Strikes by Harry Bateman, Oliver Vidler and Anthony Alder gave Wadhurst the edge even though they had a player sent-off. Steffan Davies and Liam Sayer were on target for Icklesham.
Wadhurst’s reward is a showdown against Bexhill Rovers.
AFC Hollington made it to the Hastings & District FA Lower Divisions Cup final on the back of a 3-0 triumph at home to Burwash.
Goals from Joshua Blanche, Kelvin Lowes and Mark Blanche gave Hollington victory in an all-Division Five encounter, despite having a man sent-off.
Both semi-finals were played in the Robertsbridge Charity Intermediate Cup, and Punnetts Town and Robertsbridge United progressed to the final in rather contrasting ways.
Division One leaders Punnetts pulled off a splendid 5-1 win away to Premier Division outfit Northiam 75, whose consolation was scored by Stephen Housago.
Robertsbridge had to work somewhat harder for their place in the final, eventually edging out fellow Premier Division team Rye Town 4-1 on penalties following a 3-3 draw.
Guy Ballard, Curtis Coombes and Paul Barnes scored for Robertsbridge in the game itself.
Rock-a-Nore advanced to the Robertsbridge Charity Junior Cup final after scoring right at the end of extra-time to win 3-2 in an all-Division Two affair at home to Sedlescombe Rangers II.
Reece Johnson’s brace and one by Connor Benton Powell won it for the Rocks. They will take on Robertsbridge United II or Northiam 75 II, who will meet in the other last four tie this Saturday.
The first three games were played in the ESFL Supplementary Cup Competition, which has been created to give extra matches to teams finishing their seasons early.
Division One club Crowhurst made a super start in group B with a 5-2 victory at home to a Cranbrook Town team lying second in Division Four.
Sean Lennard and Aaron Jamieson netted twice each for the Crows, whose other scorer was Tom Winch.
Two matches were played in group D and one was a good deal closer than the other.
Division Five leaders Little Common III recorded a very good 2-1 success away to Division One’s bottom side, Mountfield United. Andrew McTear and Sam Slayford netted for Common.
Orington, of Division Three, won 6-0 at home to Battle Baptists III, from Division Four, via an Ashley Jamieson hat-trick, James McGrath double and one from Andy Swindles.
On the agenda this coming Saturday are a few more cup semi-finals, plus league games in all six divisions, including matches for two of the Premier Division’s three title hopefuls.
Dates have been set, meanwhile, for the finals of the league’s three knockout competitions.
The Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup (Divisions 2 and 3) final, between Victoria Baptists and South Coast Athletico, is first up on Tuesday March 26.
That will be followed by the Coopers Construction Challenge Cup (Divisions 4 and 5) final, involving Sovereign Saints II and Welcroft Park Rangers, on Monday April 15.
The Premier Travel Chauffeurs Challenge Cup (Premier and Division 1), featuring Sedlescombe Rangers and Robertsbridge United or Sidley United, will take place on Monday April 29.
All games will be played at The Pilot Field, home of Hastings United FC, and will kick-off at 7.30pm.