THERE is an exciting promotion race developing in division one of the Essex and Suffolk Border League, with the main challengers being Colne Athletic, Gosfield United, Sudbury Sports and Tiptree Jobserve.

Present leaders Colne top the table following a fine 4-1 win at Belle Vue Social.

They hold a five-point lead but have played more games than their rivals.

They were indebted to Scott Yearling, who hit a hat-trick, his 13th of the season, while Conor Howard replied.

Second-place Gosfield’s match was lost to the weather, enabling both Sudbury and Tiptree to take advantage.

Third-place Sports enjoyed their Friday fixture at the Mel Group Stadium, beating Stanway Rovers Reserves 4-0.

They trail the leaders by five points but have two games in hand.

Jake Banyard and Shane Temple both scored twice.

Tiptree remain unbeaten after a narrow victory over Cressing United and are also five points behind Colne.

They arguably have the advantage with three games in hand.

On target were Perrie Flatts and Elliott Pateman.

Elsewhere, Mersea Island gained an away success at Stanway Pegasus Reserves thanks to a solitary goal from James Rutter.

West Bergholt Reserves beat Alresford Colne Rangers 2-1, with goals from Joe Steel and Scott Cannon.

Match of the day in division two featured the two top sides, who switched positions following Hedinghams United's 3-1 win over former leaders Shrub End United.

The new leaders remain unbeaten with an impressive eight wins and two draws from their ten matches.

The other challengers saw Tavern move into third place following a fine 3-2 win away to Tollesbury, who slip to fifth place.

Fourth-place Great Bentley Reserves won at Bromley Road, defeating Gas Recreation Reserves 3-1.

The visitors' scorers were Connor Bennett and brace from Samuel Winney.

Third division leaders St Osyth were involved in an exciting clash at Cage Lane, beating Boxted Lodgers Reserves by the odd goal in a nine-goal thriller to stay two points clear of chasing Lawford Lads Reserves.

The goal feast was led by the visitors' Kalon Harms, with a brace, and Mason Garey, Ben Mann and Jack Panton completing their tally.

For the Lodgers, Vinny Flynn, Danny Griffith, Jack Keeble and Simon King replied.

Lawford Lads Reserves maintained their challenge with a 2-0 win at Kelvedon Social through Joseph Wilkins and Fabrice Williams.

Harwich and Parkeston Reserves have moved into third place, three points behind the leaders, with a comprehensive 5-2 win at Stanway Athletic.

There were two goals each from Lewis Button and Robert Good and one from Adam Strange.

There is such an inconsistency in the premier division title race that at least six of the challengers could end up champions.

Leaders Stanway Pegasus slipped up by dropping points at Great Bentley in a 2-2 draw.

Bentley's scorers were Charlie Durling and Louis Olymbios.

Equally, second-place Tiptree Heath were held at home by Hatfield Peverel in a 3-3 draw.

A Charlie Green brace and one from Harry Hazell was insufficient as the visitors replied through Lawrence Hale and two from substitute Christopher Hill.

A James Osborne goal was enough for Alresford Colne Rangers to see off the visit of bottom side White Notley, while West Bergholt continue to play catch-up with a resounding 5-2 win at plucky Brantham Athletic Reserves.

They have moved into fifth place.

Champions Gas Recreation was held at Little Oakley Reserves in a 1-1 draw to drop to mid-table.

Results: Premier division: Alresford Colne Rangers 1 White Notley 0, Barnston 0 Tiptree Engaine 2, Great Bentley 2 Stanway Pegasus 2, Lawford Lads 2 Dedham Old Boys 0, Little Oakley Res 1 Gas Recreation 1, Tiptree Heath 3 Hatfield Peverel 3.

First division: Belle Vue Social 1 Colne Athletic 4, Cressing United 1 Tiptree Jobserve 2, Stanway Pegasus Res 0 Mersea Island 1, West Bergholt Res 2 Alresford Colne Rangers Res 1.

Second division: Dedham Old Boys Res 5 Brantham Athletic A 1, Elmden Rovers 2 Cavendish 4, Gas Recreation Res 1 Great Bentley Res 3, Hedinghams United 3 Shrub End United 1, Tiptree Jobserve Res 2 Wormingford Wanderers Res 1, Tollesbury 2 Tavern 3.

Third division: Boxted Lodgers Res 4 St Osyth 5, Cavendish 2 Hedinghams United Res 4, Flitch United Res 3 Barnston Res 2, Kelvedon Social 0 Lawford Lads Res 2, Little Clacton 8 Bradfield Rovers 2, Stanway Athletic 2 Harwich & Parkeston Res 5.