Carrick Rangers rose to top spot thanks to their scoreless draw at Dergview and are now one point clear of Ards with a game in hand – and more importantly two points ahead of Bangor with the same games played.
On paper Carrick would appear to have the easier run-in as their last four games are against the three bottom clubs plus Armagh City.
The Gers are surely now hot favourites to lift the Championship 1 title.
The scoreless draw also sees Dergview preserve their unbeaten home record in the league.
Both teams finished with 10 men as Carrick captain Aaron Harmon and Dergview defender Neil Coulter were both red carded for preventing goal-scoring chances.
In the dying moments the visitors’ Kyle Cherry and Dergview substitute Darren Higginbotham both squandered chances to win it but the points were shared.
The Welders put six past an understrength Lisburn Distillery at New Grosvenor to consolidate a top six finish.
Mark Magennis, and Michael McClelland had given the Welders a 2-0 half time lead and Gary Smyth’s men ran amuck in the second period with four more to complete the rout.
Rainey, Deans, Morrison and Rainey again added their names to the score sheetnas the Whites succumbed to the vastly more experienced side.
Meanwhile, in Championship 2 Lurgan Celtic showed the form that wins titles as they put second placed Annagh United to the sword at Knockramer Park on Saturday.
And not for the first time this season it was the Raymond and Chris show that saw the Lurgan Hoops go clear at the top with a game in hand.
Raymond Fitzpatrick and Chris Lavery hit two apiece in this ‘Top Of The Table’ clash that Celtic never looked like losing.
Lavery (2) and Fitzpatrick (2) saw of the challenge from the Portadown men who are still in the best position for promotion as runners-up.
Queen’s University stuck seven past Wakehurst at the Dub.
James Lavery opened the scoring in the second minute but it was no surprise when midfielder Stephen Mellon gabbed an equaliser on 31 minutes.
Queen’s replied within a minute when Lavery reacted quickest hitting home from 2 yards and he completed his hat-trick when he headed in from a Michael Allison cross effectively finishing the game off and in a very one sided second half Queen’s scored a further four goals through Owain Beggs (pen), O’Hare (2) and Sean Walsh.
Banbridge Town had a welcome home win beating Glebe Rangers 3-1 at Crystal Park.
In the basement battle relegated Ballymoney United registered only their first win of the season beating fellow relegation candidates Coagh United.
Dollingstown and Sport & Leisure Swifts finished 1-1 at Planters Park. Portstewart suffered another home defeat at the hands of Newington going down by one goal to nil.