South Yorkshire Cricket: Sheffield Collegiate unable to halt Appleby's march to title
It wasn’t easy on Saturday. Slow pitches with plenty of seam movement made batting conditions difficult in the Nicholas Associates South Yorkshire Senior Cricket League Championship and there were many intriguing low-scoring matches.
With Cawthorne’s game against Darfield cancelled because of overnight rain, Appleby Frodingham moved into a 22pt lead and within one win of promotion to the Yorkshire South Premier League.
They didn’t find conditions easy, especially as they lost the toss and were promptly inserted by Sheffield Collegiate 2nds who bowled well, especially Ben Fielding who took 4-34, and restricted them to 141-9 in the 38 overs allowed. Alex Grimes, as always, held them together with 51, but it was hard going. Collegiate fared even less well. At one stage they were 19-5 (four of them to Jake Smith). Jake Foster, Jon Udall and the tail dug in and at 107-8 there was hope, but it was fleeting, as Paul Hilton clean bowled the last two for Appleby Frodingham to win by 34 runs.
Oughtibridge also took advantage of Cawthorne’s cancellation to move within one win of catching them and the prize of the second promotion place. They bowled Sprotbrough out for 106, despite Daniel Wright’s 40. Ben Ladd-Gibbon, Connor Snelgrove and Tom Starkes got three wickets each. Their reply was a careful 107-3 in 27 overs, Ben Ladd-Gibbon top-scoring with 34.
At the bottom of the table, Conisbrough and Wath both had welcome victories to give them a bit of breathing space on their rivals. Conisbrough made the day’s top score with 198 against Rockingham. Gary Strephan came in at 46-3 and stayed there for 67* in key partnerships with Nipuna Kariyawasam and Nick Thompson. Nazakat Khan and Nasser Rasool took three wickets each. For Rockingham, Tony Munyonga (39) and Sam Baker put on 73 together and when they had gone at 168-8 Ryan Mann and Jordan Hanson battled through to within two runs of victory but fell tantalisingly short on 197-9. Joe Farmer took 3-29.
Wath beat bottom club Aston Hall 2nds by five wickets after bowling them out for 131, with Joel Gunn taking 4-28. Wath were in similar trouble at 64-5 before Jonathan Plater (56*) and Sam Thomas (37*) made the match-winning partnership, being still there at the close.
The day’s most astonishing match was at Houghton Main, where Whiston, with their full side playing, were bowled out for 51 by the National Village Cup finalists. Imran Khan took 5-10 and then crucially scored 23* as Houghton found the going no easier. Whiston did their best to claw back a seemingly impossible situation, having Houghton 17-5 at one stage. Ali Manzoor took 5-15 and Jack Myers 3-12 as Houghton lost eight wickets getting to their target!
In Div 1, it was first plays second, and Warmsworth came out on top as they have for most of the season. They only scored 142 but were able to bowl out Wakefield Thornes 2nds for 91 to take an 18 point lead at the top. Barnsley Woollley’s game against Rotherham was off but it gave them the three points to overtake Thornes and Upper Haugh won again, against Norton Oakes, so they move up to just two points below with promotion still in their sights.
So on Sunday, it was first plays second again, as Warmsworth took on Barnsley Woolley 2nds in the Mick Savage Trophy Final. This time Warmsworth came second, but only just, as Barnsley won a fantastic match by one run, 177-7 against 176-8, with Blake McGann the hero with 43 and, as the death bowler, restricting Warmsworth to four when six were needed.