DESPITE the threat of Storm Dennis, only three of Saturday's 27 scheduled Essex and Suffolk Border League matches were postponed.

In the premier division, Stanway Pegasus marched on after a narrow 3-2 win over visiting Hatfield Peverel.

The result virtually ends Peverel’s chances of a top-three place.

Meanwhile, Great Bentley had a hard-earned 2-1 victory at Little Oakley Reserves, with Christopher Bowles and Jake Vaughan securing the important points as Jack Murray’s side strengthened their grip on second spot.

They are seven points behind the leaders but with four games in hand and this was their fifth successive league win.

The losers on the day were third-place Tiptree Heath, who dropped two points in their 3-3 draw at neighbours Tiptree Engaine.

They are now five points adrift of Great Bentley and have played three games more.

Current champions Gas Recreation have it all to do to retain the title and have games in hand on teams above them.

Crucially, they remain ten points behind the second-placed side, having played a game less.

Their 3-0 win at Bromley Road against probably-doomed Brantham Athletic Reserves was gained courtesy of goals from Aston Firkins, Luke Taylor and Shane Goodyear.

One of the most significant results in the premier division saw White Notley climb out of the bottom two places with a crushing 4-1 win over Barnston, who now occupy the 15th spot with only Brantham below them.

While it's tight in the relegation zone, it has been a commendable effort by White Notley that has seen them take ten points from their last four matches.

They now look relatively comfortably placed.

Last season, both Brantham Athletic and Barnston finished in the bottom two places but survived the drop, due to reorganising of the league.

However, their present plight looks extremely ominous, with the first division beckoning, and no such reprieve likely to be in the offering this time round.

Earls Colne’s match was one of the three league postponements but chairman Robin Bragg will be breathing easier in the knowledge that although third from bottom they have sufficient games in hand to keep a safe distance from the bottom two.

The winners in the first division were four of the top five, while perhaps Cressing United would perhaps have preferred to have been sidelined, losing 2-1 at Mersea Island.

Those who took advantage were Tiptree Jobserve, who beat Stanway Pegasus Reserves 2-0 to maintain top spot, and second-placed Colne Athletic, who cruised past Little Oakley A 5-2.

Colne are two points behind the leaders, having played a game more.

The dark horses remain Sudbury Sports, who had a fine win at the Austin Arena, beating FC Clacton Reserves 3-0.

They are four points behind the leaders with two games in hand.

The outside bet is Gosfield United, who remain in fifth following a 2-1 win at home to West Bergholt Reserves.

However, they will need a consistent run-in to pressurise the top four.

In the second division, Hedinghams United were in cup action, beating Barnston Reserves in the Tommy Thompson Cup.

However, they remain in pole position.

Shrub End United and Tavern, second and third respectively, met at the Sports Ground where the hosts were held in a 2-2 draw.

It is increasingly a battle between the top three for the promotion places.

Results: Premier division: Earls Colne P Alresford Colne Rangers P, Flitch United P Dedham Old Boys P, Gas Recreation 3 Brantham Athletic Res 0, Little Oakley Res 1 Great Bentley 2, Stanway Pegasus 3 Hatfield Peverel 2, Tiptree Engaine 3 Tiptree Heath 3, White Notley 4 Barnston 1.

Division one: Alresford Colne Rangers Res 2 Bell Vue Social 3, Boxted Lodgers 1 Bures United 1, Colne Athletic 5 Little Oakley A 2, FC Clacton Res 0 Sudbury Sports 3, Gosfield United 2 West Bergholt Res 1, Mersea Island 2 Cressing United 1, Tiptree Jobserve 2 Stanway Pegasus Res 0, Wormingford Wanderers P Stanway Rovers Res P.

Division two: Brantham Athletic A 1 Rowhedge 1, Cavendish 2 Wormingford Wanderers Res 0, Great Bentley Res 1 Harwich Rangers 2, Shrub End United 2 Tavern 2, Tollesbury 3 Gas Recretion Res 3.

Third division: Bradfield Rovers 0 Oyster 2, St Osyth 4 Kelvedon Social 0, Tiptree Heath Res 5 Boxted Lodgers Res 3.

Tommy Thompson Cup: Barnston Res 0 Hedinghams United 1, Hatfield Peverel Res 1 Tiptree Jobserve Res 3, Little Clacton 0 Stanway Athletic 7.

Reserve Knockout Cup: Dedham Old Boys Res 4 Tiptree Engaine Res 3.