A clear round from Bertram Allen and Molly Malone helped Valkenswaard United stay in the hunt for the Global Champions League title in the first phase of the final meeting of the season in Doha today.

Allen’s round followed a clear from colleague Alberto Zorzi (Fair Light van t’Heike), leaving the team on zero faults along with Mexico Amigos and Paris Panthers, for whom Darragh Kenny went clear with Go Easy de Muse.

With just Saturday’s final round to come, Valkenswaard have given themselves a chance of ousting Hamburg Diamonds from overall top spot, and retaining the title they claimed at the first attempt last year.

Hamburg held the advantage in the league coming into Doha, but nine faults today from Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady sees them in eleventh position at this venue, and in danger of letting their lead slip. Should Valkenswaard win Saturday’s final round, Hamburg will need to move up several places to hold onto the overall lead.

No other team can win the league at this stage, but there is lucrative place money to be played for.

Cian O’Connor and Skyhorse finished with just a time fault for Miami Glory, for whom Scott Brash and Ursula had four faults, pegging the team in eighth place for this round. Miami are 4th in the overall table and are guaranteed at least a top-five finish in the season standings.

Mike Dunne