CHAMPIONS Dunnington kept alive slender hopes of overhauling Old Malton St Mary’s at the top of the York Minster Engineering League as they beat Poppleton 3-1 in one of only two premier division matches to beat the weather.

The victory moved Dunnington up to fourth in the table, nine points behind the leaders with a game in hand. Second-placed Riccall remain the favourites.

Church Fenton White Horse inched a point closer to ending Brooklyn’s slim hopes of nicking the second promotion place in division one.

Brooklyn are 12 points off second-placed Osbaldwick with four games to go so need the east York side to lose each of their remaining matches and then hope Church Fenton, who are best place to take runners-up spot, also slip up badly.

Fenton missed a chance to close the gap further when held to a 1-1 draw at Tockwith.

Basement side Malton & Norton look doomed for the drop after Luke Zacharenko hit a double to help Hemingbrough United beat them 5-2.

Callum Holmes hit a brace for the Ryedale side, who now have only two games left and need to win them both as they sit three points from safety with both the two teams above them having games in hand.

Malton & Norton reserves were also put to the sword on Saturday as they lost 5-1 to reserve ‘B’ champions-elect Tadcaster Magnets reserves. Tristan Midgeley got M&N’s goal.

Matthew Bean hit a second-half hat-trick as Brooklyn reserves returned to action after a couple of postponed games with a 4-1 reserve ‘C’ win over Hemingbrough’s seconds.

The result kept up their championship charge in reserve ‘C’.

Hosts Brooklyn created a few early chances but the visitors took the lead against the run of play.

Brooklyn’s Steven Boyd hit a post with a diving header but, with the pressure relentless, it was only a matter of time before the home efforts paid off and the equaliser came when Boyd’s cross was headed on by Max Fraser with Tom Everitt challenging the goalkeeper and bundling the ball home.

Brooklyn stayed in the ascendancy in the second half and dominance was rewarded. Good midfield work from Brad Spink found Fraser who put a neat ball into the box for Bean to convert from six yards.

Bean then finished well from 20 yards – with the ’keeper out of his area, he side-stepped a defender and planted the ball high into the net.

Man-of-the-match Bean’s hat-trick goal came after an excellent run from Spink down the left. He slid the ball to the front post for Bean to nip in ahead of the goalkeeper.

Brookyn manager Cirk Newton said: “That was great to watch and a fantastic all-round team performance.”

Meanwhile, in the wake of the loss of several teams, including 100-year-old Rowntrees, the league structure will be reorganised for next season.

The premier division will again be made up of 15 teams, followed by three divisions of 14. There will be three leagues of 12 reserve teams.

Promotion and relegation will take place as normal and positions will decide the new league cut-off points.