CO-OP stole a march on their Alan Myerscough Ulverston and District Bowling League rivals with a double win.

The top teams were all looking to take advantage of the extra fixtures in what is shaping up to be the closest finish for years.

But only Co-op could win both games to set the cat among the pigeons and move within six points of the leaders in third, with a game in hand.

Their first game saw them take on leaders Salthouse at Dane Avenue and they will have been delighted with a 9-5 win. Kyle Brown, Peter Phizacklea and Ian Hall all bowled well, with John Taylor and Joe Wardman replying.

They followed this victory up with an 11-4 win at Glaxo, where Hall was again among the best on show, along with Derek Nailer and Chris Johnson. Glaxo’s Chris McIlroy and Derek Bell were in fine form.

Salthouse bounced back with a 9-5 victory at home to Post Office, in a game where just five chalks split the teams. Wardman made it two from two, with Danny Rogers and John Mason supporting well. Ian Pullin was in fine form for the Posties on his old stamping ground.

Second-placed King Alfred had a funny week.

They visited Red River and were on the end of a 10-4 defeat, but put that to bed when they hosted last year's champions, Ulverston Cons A, and destroyed them 12-2.

Eddie Backhouse, Graham Rawley and Mike Hool all were double winners. Stuart Aspinall was unstoppable for Red River, along with Keith Roebuck, who taught recent Federation call-up Jonny Richardson how to play a tricky green.

Still in the hunt in fifth are perennial challengers Hawcoat Park, who bounced back from a 10-4 loss at Askam with an excellent 12-2 home victory over Lindal Moor, with Colin Knipe, Bob Stewart, Peter McDonald and Paul Cain all securing double wins.

Ulverston Cons A are the only other team with a chance of the title, keeping themselves in the hunt with an 8-6 triumph over Glaxo. Paul Clark, Billy Harding and Steve Carruthers were in scintillating form, while three of Glaxo’s victories were by a 21-20 scoreline.

Post Office had a good week, following up their close game with Salthouse with a resounding 10-4 defeat of Walney Park. Gordon Walker and grandson Zach led the way, with single-figure wins and Mark Lamb won the sweep for Walney Park.

Askam also had a terrific week, with an 11-4 victory over Walney Park added to the defeat of Hawcoat Park. Richard Wearing was in fine form in both fixtures, along with Ian Jones.

Mid-table mediocrity seems to be the best Red River can hope for. They followed up their defeat with a 7-7 draw at West Shore, taking seven games but losing the aggregate by 10 chalks after giving a game away.

West Shore did have three single-figure winners in Dougie Day, Lol Wilson and Dave Linton.

Other results saw Roose defeat Kirkby 10-4 and then suffer a 10-4 reversal when they travelled to Lindal Moor.

Kirkby had their best result of the season when they beat West Shore 12-2.