Uncredibly both TJ's D and Bears won their games frame per frames identically to each other. Both matches were in the balance after 7 frames as both led 4-3 and needed to win the last frame to stay (joint) top of the league.
Bears were playing McGuigan's C knowing McGuigan's would be back in the title hunt should they lose to their Monaghan street rivals. A win for Bears would guarantee promotion.
McGuigan's have a very strong squad now and were on a good run of form.
But it was Bears that flew out of the traps as they hunted down their victims from the start. Garry Powell, Sean McKevitt and Ralf Crummy ripped into McGuigan's C to give them a brilliant 3-0 lead. Noel Bradley, the talented Joe Poucher and then Mickey McClelland Were the wounded party.
The 'Baby faced assassin' Neill Heaney couldn't finish off Conor McCarten and McGuigan's had a lifeline at 3-1.
Seamus Keenan needed to use his vast experience to beat they very reliable Rony O'Relly and now it was looking like the chickens were coming home to roost for Bears as they led 4-1.
The unlikely Johnny Sloan and the useful Liam Bradley responded for McGuigan's C and the mighty Bears were under severe pressure. It was squeeky bum time and Paul Murphy of Bears v Danny Cinamond McGuigan's C would go head to head in the final frame showdown. Bears had to win. Cinamond was favourite but there's an old Canadian saying "never corner a wild Bear". Well with backs to the wall Paul Murphy held his nerve and with some brilliant pressure potting he was able to seal a precious frame and secure a great win against a very strong McGuigan's team.
The Bears can now look forward to playing top teams like TJ's A, McGuigan's A, Sheepbridge A and trips to Whitecross. Now they have to wait and see if they win Division 1.
TJ's D made sure they would at the summit going into the last round of fixtures after an exciting game in Nan's Rams. Not that long ago the Rams were right up there in the title chase but just like cold winters days, it's just a distant memory.
TJ's D made a blistering start just like Bears when the took the 1st 3 frames.
Nicky Irwin moved up the pecking order to win the 1st and wins from Jason Lennon then Adrian Annett put the 'Deadly D's' 3-0 up. Pat McClenaghan, Jimmy O'Hare and Mark Pentony with fresh defeats beside their name.
Barney Preece has been virtually untouchable all season for Nan's Rams and when he got Phil Cousins TJ's knew they'd dodged a bullet. Preece would normally play 1st and might have got a tougher opponent than Cousins. Preece had no problem making it 3-1.
Niall O'Hare was up next for the 'Deadly D's' and we were denied a classic when O'Hare missed out on a mouth watering Preece clash. O'Hare blasted TJ's into a 4-1 lead when he stuffed Malachy McGuire.
Mickey Nugent and Leigh McAlinden were on a mission to stop the TJ's bandwagon marching on as they pulled it back to 4-3. Gavin McNally and Sean Rice were the 2 players that couldn't get TJ's across the line and now it was the hands of a reliable Matty Cartmill to try for the 3rd time to get the maximum points and stay top with the Bears.
Luckily for TJ's Cartmill was in form and Mark McGuire wasn't able to spoil the party. Cartmill potted superbly to seal a nerve wrecking 5-3 win and now it's down to the final game and possibly even a play-off with Bears to see who wins the Division 1 league title.