Sheffield United’s inability to post a challenging total came back to haunt them again on Saturday when they made just 160 against Collegiate.
Matt Dixon’s side, containing five players under 19, romped home thanks to Nick Gaywood and Simon Guy, to keep within touching distance of the top three in the Yorkshire League.
The United players were put through a tough prematch warm up by former county bowler and ex-Yorkshire coach Steve Oldham, who has joined the club.
The Bawtry Road hierarchy are confident that he will quickly instil a winning mentality into an underachieving side.
The United openers put on a steady 56 against accurate bowling by Collegiate’s young attack of Luke Shutt and Matt Maroney, but when Dixon introduced spin the emphasis changed and the United innings began to crumble.
The skipper was first to strike, having Mark Cummins smartly caught by Maroney for 21, before trapping South African Helgard Prinsloo lbw for five.
Andrew Heron then became 15-year-old Ollie Pearson’s first victim, and when Dixon caught and bowled in-form Paul Cummins for 57, United were in deep trouble.
Dixon continued to weave his magic, as he often does when facing the local rivals,and bowled his allocated 17 overs with figures of 5-39.
Pearson bowled his 17 overs to return 2-49, before Josh Varley wrapped up the tail with 3-28 as United slumped to 160 all out in the final over.
Collegiate looked confident as the openers moved the score along to 99, at three runs an over, before Ashton Blakey was caught by Dean Smith off Chamin Weerasinghe for 26.
Simon Guy then joined Gaywood and the experienced, free-scoring pair increased the rate and raced to victory with eight wickets and 10 overs to spare.
Gaywood hit 9 fours and 2 sixes in his unbeaten 76, and Guy slammed 44 off 36 balls.
The win, Collegiate’s first in four games, keeps them in touch with the leaders and a predicted home win over inconsistent Doncaster on Saturday will keep the pressure on.
United remain third from the foot of the standings, 18 points behind Cleethorpes in eleventh place.
But they will be hoping the Oldham factor kicks in against Appleby Frodingham at Brumby Hall.
At the top, York increased their lead to eight points after a convincing seven wicket home victory over nearest rivals Harrogate.
Vic Craven hit 38 and Alex Twigg 31 but with spinners Dan Woods and Tom Pringle taking four wickets apiece, Harrogate were bowled out for 167.
In reply, Jack Leaning took his season’s average to 125.25 when he crashed 19 fours and a six in his 109no from 90 balls.
Ryan McKendry added 35no as York raced to a seven wicket victory in only 30 overs.
* Saturday’s fixtures: Appleby Frodingham v Sheffield United, Driffield v Cleethorpes, Harrogate v Castleford, Rotherham v York, Scarborough v Hull, Collegiate v Doncaster, YCA v Barnsley.
* Table (after ten games)York 63, Harrogate 9-55, YCA 9-54, Driffield 48, Collegiate 46, App Frod 38, Barnsley 37, Scarborough 35, Doncaster 33, Castleford 31, Cleethorpes 31, United 13, Hull 9, Rotherham 8.