Beneke on fire

Sheffield United CC v Doncaster Town CC - Sheffield batsman Nick Beneke
Sheffield United CC v Doncaster Town CC - Sheffield batsman Nick Beneke

A second century in the space of six days by Nick Beneke gave Sheffield United the springboard to complete the double over rivals Doncaster Town at a bright and breezy Bawtry Road.

Thankfully there was no repeat of the incidents when the pair met at Town Fields in May when two players from each team received suspensions after several unsavoury altercations.

Paul Cummins had no hesitation in batting on a good looking pitch with a parched, lightning fast outfield but, in the fourth over, he was caught off James Dobson for six.

Beneke was joined by Ben Percival and they took the score to 54 when veteran Duncan Jones trapped Percival lbw for 28.

Riaz Richards, United’s new acquisition from Sheffield Collegiate, got off to an ideal start when he and Beneke put on 160 for the fourth wicket, Beneke playing the anchor role, with Richards hitting 10 fours and a six in an aggressive 71 scored off 81 balls. Denuka added a quick 33 as United reached their highest score of the season 289-6.

South Australian Beneke, now recovered from a series of injuries, is showing the kind of form that prompted Collegiate’s Joe Root to recommend the former Australian Under-19 batsman to United after he spent the season at Beneke’s South Adelaide Club last winter. He played splendid shots all round the wicket hitting 18 fours in his 124 scored off 147 balls.

Doncaster got off to a dreadful start losing the wicket of Rory Capstick with the third ball of their innings and Mark Lockwood with 10 on the board. Cummins was unable to bowl due to injury but his bowlers kept up the pressure, second team skipper Tom Steel especially taking the eye as he made inroads into the Town batting.

Wickets tumbled to 97-8 but former United keeper Jamie Harrison played a dogged innings to defy his former teammates and remained unbeaten on 32 when Zafran Ali bowled out Jones in the 46th as Town tumbled to 132 all out.

Steel returned figures of 4-40 from 13 accurate overs, Zafran taking 3-50 and Ali Jahangir 2-8 from five.

Nick Gaywood, Ed McKenna and Charlie Wall were all missing from the Collegiate line up when they took on the Yorkshire Academy at Weetwood. Matt Dixon won the toss and decided to bat on a green pitch but they were soon in trouble at 15-3 with Alex Patmore and Bill Root back in the pavilion. Juniors Matt Lee, 17 and Joe Rooke, 14 battled hard but wickets continued to tumble and in the 35th over Collegiate were bowled out for 76.

Table (all played 21 unless stated): York 126, Rotherham 1 tleford 88, Collegiate 83, YCA 82, Barnsley 75, App Frod 64, Harrogate 20-64, United 52, Driffield 42, Hull 38, Doncaster 20-24.

Saturday’s fixtures include: York v Sheffield Collegiate, Sheffield United v Appleby Frodingham, Castleford v Rotherham Town, Barnsley v Hull, Doncaster Town v Yorkshire Academy. Sunday: Doncaster Town v Harrogate.