WITH St Lukes and Branthwaite both recording wins against Kendal 14-4 and 12-6 respectively, the former opened up a 15-point gap over Arnside and a further five points to Branthwaite.

The latter still have two games in hand over the leaders though and are still in pole position.

Kirkby Stephen did themselves a power of good by beating Ambleside 11-7 to lift them above their opponents and clear of bottom club Bowness.

The last match before the Christmas break saw Ambleside host their rivals Bowness.

Ambleside started the better with their top pairing of Stead and High taking the opening two sets against Hadland and Postlethwaite before Tweedale and Tanner took the next set.

But Bowness struck back with Telford and Bascombe taking the forth set, and when Clarkson and West won both at third against Faulkner and Sandham the match was 3-3.

The cross over doubles were then taken 3-1 by Bowness, who were leading the match 6-4 at the start of the ladies and mens doubles.

The Bowness pair of Telford and Clarkson took both top ladies against Stead and Faulkner to increase the lead to 8-4.

Things looked even better when Bascombe and West took the first set against High and Sandham to give Bowness a 9-4 lead and a minimum of a draw.

This seeded to spur on the Ambleside pair of High and Sandham and they took the next set to keep the match alive.

Tweedale and Faulkner then took both the second ladies against Hadland and Clarkson to reduce the arrears to 9-7 and give them a chance of the tie.

Ambleside mens second pairing of Sandham and Tanner won both sets against Postlethwaite and West to draw the match.

Branthwaite A continue their way to a second league title with wins against Strickland and their ‘B’ team 14- 4 and 16-2 respectively.

They lead by 43 points ahead of Strickland.

Bowness A remain leaders of the third division after they played out a 9-9 all draw against their main rivals for the title.