Barnsley Ladies are just a win away from third successive league title after a bruising 8-8 encounter with Birkenhead at Shaw Lane.
Barnsley opened the scoring with a penalty after 5 minutes from Becky Patrick.
A penalty and an unconverted try egded Birkenhead in front but a Sarah Palmer try levelled the score at 8-8.
Defences were on top in the sec ond half as both teams held on to their unbeaten record.
Barnsley are 11 points in front after playing a game more but their superior points difference and 7 extra try bonus points mean that a win at Sunderland in a fortnight’s time should seal the league title.
This does not mean automatic promotion though as the winners of National Championship 2 North will face the winners of National Championship 2 Midlands in a play off to advance to Championship 1 North.
Next week the ladies travel to Kenilworth for the quarter final of the Intermediate Cup.
With both teams looking evenly matched on paper it should be a cracking encounter.