Treeton, who comfortably beat Sheffield Collegiate in the ECB National Club Championship earlier in the season, continued their fine start to the campaign at the weekend when they eased ahead of Wath and into top position in the South Yorkshire League, just ahead of Whitley Hall and Hallam.
It was a great game at Washfield Lane, as Treeton overcame Aston Hall by one wicket with just two balls to spare.
Aston posted a powerful 246 with Matthew Cartwright making 104 (his second 100 in two weeks) and Treeton needed every bit of Stephen Foster and Scott Cunningham’s experience to get them off to a good start.
But when both were out (Foster for 73 and Cunningham for 57) with the score on 138, there was still much to do.
Josh Coulson, who had earlier removed Gareth Davis, continued to take key wickets and it needed the steady hand of Irfan Mirza (48*) and overseas star Muhammad Attari to move them on from 218-8.
But, with the scores level, Coulson stepped up to remove Attari and, with nine wickets down and three balls to go, Dave Burden squeezed the boundary that took Treeton over the line.
Treeton went on to celebrate on Sunday by racking up 304-5 against Norton Oakes in the Whitworth Cup, sealing their passage to the semi-finals by 198 runs!
Mind you, Treeton would have had less to celebrate had Wath, the league leaders from the start of the season, not succumbed in rather disappointing fashion to the resurgent Darfield.
Peter Hadfield scored 103 in Darfield’s 236-8 but, despite a 50 opening stand, Wath just couldn’t keep going and lost wickets at regular intervals to end up with 183-8.
Like Treeton, Darfield also celebrated on Sunday, obliterating Division One side Collegiate in the semi-final of the Mick Savage Trophy.
Hadfield scored his second ton of the weekend out of 232 before James Ward took 7-19 in eight overs as Collegiate were all out for 118.
Whitley Hall and Hallam kept up the pressure on the leaders, both winning by nine wickets.
Whitley bowled out Whiston for 164, Ben Webster taking 3-29 and Jim Tasker 3-37, with only Simon Potter (57) putting up significant resistance.
Then Matthew Milburn (63) and Chris Siddall (84*) crashed through the Whiston bowling to win in 25 overs. It was a similar strike rate that took Hallam to 205-1 against Coal Aston, with Vaidik Raj - liberated from a desperate start to the season with a painstaking 60 last week - now revelling in his new-found form with 102*, hitting three sixes out of the ground.
Nick Dymock (68) partnered him in an opening stand of 129, which was very disappointing for Coal Aston who had fought hard throughout for their 204-9, Dave Rodgers leading the way with 89 before becoming one of Neil Mountjoy’s 4-45 in 13.
There were two other great games in the Premier, as Norton Oakes moved off the bottom after beating Tickhill by three runs with an over to go.
Paul Revill (61) and Alex Hibbert (73) set them off to their 210 with an opening stand of 129. Tickhill were 74-5 but the tail battled through and almost got there.
John Ledger and man of the match, Alex Hibbert, took four wickets apiece.
In a battle royal between last year’s Champions and the side who would have won had they not lost disciplinary points, Wickersley got revenge on Elsecar, winning by four runs.
Just as well they didn’t declare this week, though, or they’d have lost again!
Outstanding knocks came from Jordan Lowe (143) and Shaajhan Younis (55) for Wickersley and Glen Yates (81) and Jason Meadows (70) for Elsecar.
Despite playing on a track which favoured batting, Shahzad Rana took 6-64 and Muhammad Naveed 5-65.
In Division One, Shiregreen beat Barnsley, Norton Woodseats lost to Hallam and in the Abbeydale Road derby, Collegiate just overcame Millhouses.
What a fantastic weekend’s cricket!