FORGET the Grand National – the Alliance title race is shaping up for one of its tightest finishes in years.
Amble United had Josh Hay and Sean Taylor on target as they maintained pole position with a win at Stocksfield,, who replied through Chris Hall, while Blyth Town won at a canter againstRutherford thanks to strikes from Daniel Beresford (2), John Amos and Stephen Howes.
Heaton Stannington were involved in a thrilling match at Shankhouse, Jonathan Wright taking the plaudits with an impressive four-goal haul.
Although Lee Johnson put the visitors ahead, an own goal and Paul Dunn strike turned things on their head before Andrew Johnson levelled for Heaton.
Wright went nap with a 21st-minute hat-trick but Shankhouse refused to concede defeat and pulled two back from Dean Deagle and Adam Scope before Wright was again on target in a breathtaking end to the match.
Whitley Bay A stay in the chasing pack with efforts from Gav Hattrick and Lewis Burns at Ashington Colliers, with Carlisle City claiming a good win over Walker Central.
Kyle Armstrong, Sean Wilkinson, Tom Lucock (2), and Mark Shepherd all netted, while Fabian Pritchard headed in twice late on in reply.
Jonathan Simpson and Darren Addison (pen) put Harraby United in control at Hebburn Reyrolle, who pulled one back through Dean Stewart before Dean Armstrong extended United’s lead.
The Cumbrians had been comfortable but endured a nervy finish when Steven Wood shot home with five minutes to go.
Chris Bell shot Percy Main ahead against a young Seaton Delaval side on the hour, but the Red Devils took a point when Michael Fenwick netted in the 80th minute.