MOST of the top dogs in the Crewe Open League’s Darts Divisions were able to improve their positions when fixtures resumed after the festive break on Monday.

Premier Darts’ top two were in red hot form, with leaders Pioneers Club A whitewashing bottom team Nantwich Road A to go four points clear of West End LMR B, who hit seven at lowly Kings Arms A.

Pioneers A’s hotshots were Fred Smith and Pete Boughey with 16 and 17 dart legs, backed up by John Cooper with 18 and 19 darts, a 118 checkout and Wayne Plant’s 19 darter.

LMR B’s star men were Daniel Ayres and Chris Townsend, with Daniel winning in 15 and 16 darts and Chris in 16 and 19, both also registering 180s.

Division One’s top four teams won, with pacemakers Prince of Wales C – who beat Amalgamated A 5-3 – now facing a challenge from Nantwich Road ASLEF, who beat Broughton Arms 6-2.

Third-placed Duke of Bridgewater A beat Express 6-2, with Earl of Chester hanging on in fourth after a 5-3 win at White Lion A.

Stewart Bennett (Prince C) hit an 18-dart leg, while teammates Aaron Russell and Steve Sutton added 19 darters to their side’s victory.

Tom Kelly (Duke A) checked out on 106 and Ben Barnes (Prince C) hit a maximum, but was bettered by Dan Smith (Broughton) who bagged a brace of 180s.

Division Two pacemakers Sydney Arms won 5-3 at third-placed Amalgamated B, but have been joined on points by Cheshire Cheese after their 6-2 defeat of Horse Shoe gives both teams identical records.

Dene Smith (Cheese) was top thrower in the division with an 18-dart leg, while Kev Thackwell (Pioneers B) enjoyed a 20 darter, Bob Mason (Amalgamated B) a 110 kill and Mick Gill (Sun A) a 180.

Division Three leaders Oddfellows Club won 5-3 at fourth-placed Hawk but are now facing a big challenge from Rileys Club B, who whitewashed bottom team Vine C and also have a match in hand.

Brunel A’s 5-3 defeat of Liberal demoted them to third, a point behind Rileys.

Division Four toppers Swan and Chequers overturned a 4-2 deficit to scramble draw with visitors Nantwich Road B, but remain seven points clear due to challengers Raven letting slip a 4-1 lead in their draw with visitors Rising Sun B.

Division Five’s potential champions Willaston Club were somewhat surprised when hosts Cheese Hall took a 2-0 lead, but quickly re-established top form to emerge 6-2 victors.

Second-placed Duke of Bridgewater B whitewashed bottom-placed hosts Hop Pole B to keep clear of Nags Head.

The Nag are now on level matches after a 6-2 win at Prince D, but a return visit saw them lose 5-3 to Prince A, so they effectively failed to take advantage of their match in hand.

Sarah Goodwin and Ron Beech (Prince D) staved off a whitewash at improved Foresters Arms B with a last game win.