So, we’re halfway through the South Yorkshire Senior League season and only six points separate the top five teams in the Premier Division.
Despite being rained off on Saturday, Treeton are still top, but Wath lost again and were unable to take advantage to move up. Hallam and Elsecar won to move up to third and fourth respectively, but Whitley Hall’s heavy defeat to Wickersley saw them drop down to fifth.
Treeton and Hallam have only lost once each all season, where the others have lost three times, but Hallam (who have had a lot of key player absence) have gained only four bonus points for bowling out the opposition where Treeton have scored 10 and Wath and Elsecar 13 each.
So the second half of the season could be fascinatingly close - and don’t write off Wickersley who, still smarting from a 10 point deduction, remain a very good side.
The performance of the last fortnight must go to Matthew Cartwright of Aston Hall who has now scored 3 successive centuries (and he made 99* in the first match).
On Saturday he made 118 out of 289-7, supported by Rob Ward’s 67*. Wath pursued manfully and Derek Mitchell made 101 and Rob Barlow 55 but they couldn’t get beyond 268-9, just 21 short in a game of nearly 560 runs – just as well it was a rain-affected track!
Not far behind him is Vaidik Raj of Hallam who scored his second century in eight days (126*). He has now made 390 runs since last being out - a fantastic turnaround, considering he could hardly score a run in April and May.
With Vaidik carrying his bat and the ever-dependable Rob Marcroft supporting him with 58, Hallam made 241-6 against Tickhill but then had to fight like fury to get the win as all of Tickhill’s top five made runs.
Ashley Fiddler and Janes Stuart got 50s, and it took a wicket maiden in the last over by Mark Williams to fend off the challenge as Tickhill finished on 240-7.
Whitley Hall had a collective bad day at the office as they were bowled out for 157, with no-one scoring more than Neil Longhurst’s 31. Wickersley, with 54 overs available, took things steadily but gave few chances as they reached their target for only two wickets down.
Meanwhile, Elsecar steamrollered Coal Aston. Glenn Yates took 5-34 as only David Rodgers (55) and Chris Timms (33) made significant contributions to Coal Aston’s 143 all out.
Ainsley Swallow almost beat them on his own. He made 111* out of an opening partnership of 141 in 20 overs with Jason Meadows (30) as Elsecar won by a nine-wicket margin.