Another as-you-were week with regards to the league table, but still some fascinating cricket being played and some tight games. 
Aston Hall v Wath 
It was Barnard’s Castle at Aston Hall on Saturday. James top-scored for Wath with 44, as he and Ainsley Swallow started brightly against the league leaders, putting on 65 for the first wicket. But they were both out shortly after and, when Bradley Williams and Rob Barlow followed, it was 105-4 and Wath’s main men were gone. Ben Roebuck tried to carry it on, but others found it difficult to stay with him, especially against Adam Clarke who took four of the last five wickets to fall. Roebuck was last out for 30 and the innings ended on 168-8. When Aston Hall batted it was the other Barnard, Mark, who stepped up when Ali Ahmed and Joe Stickland hadn’t stuck, and he and Nasir Omar breezed on at a run-a-ball in an unbroken partnership of 103, winning the game with just two wickets down, with Omar unbeaten on 56 and Mark Barnard, top-scoring, like his name-sake James, on 79. Aston Hall need just two wins from their last four games to deservedly return to the Premier Division. 
Wath 168-8 (50) James Barnard 44, Ben Roebuck 30, Adam Clarke 4-39 
Aston Hall 170-2 (31.1) Mark Barnard 79*, Nasir Omar 56* 
Aston Hall (12 pts) beat Wath (0) by eight wickets 
Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds v Wickersley Old Village 
Another close game, but another win for Wickersley. They also won the toss but couldn’t make the most of their opportunity to bat on a sweltering afternoon. Barnsley, in particular Waqas Tanveer and Boeta Beukes, really worked hard. Tanveer bowled 15 overs, 3-22; Beukes, 11 overs, 5-34. Eight of the Wickersley batters got in and survived 20 or more balls, but couldn’t convert it into a major innings. Nathan Taylor top-scored, facing 62 balls, but could only make 39. The best partnership was 60 between Taylor and Harvey Wootton (who hit six fours in his 30) for the fifth wicket. Altogether, Wickersley made 173-9, but it was enough. When they bowled, Connor Snelgrove took 5-47 in his 15 overs and although at one stage they were 92-2, Barnsley couldn’t build on their good start. Zak Jahangir put on 52 with Nathan Swift for the second wicket, then 36 with Stevie Walters for the third. Walters looked as though he might carry on but when he was out for 30, they were six down and only 112 on the board. Matthew Clayton gave it a go but when the last wicket fell, they were still 21 short and only eleven balls to go. So, Barnsley stay third from bottom and Wickersley, third from top, though on the day, the gap didn’t seem so great. 
Wickersley Old Village 173-9 (50) Nathan Taylor 39, Harvey Wootton 30, Boeta Beukes 5-34, Waqas Tanveer 3-22 
Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds 152 (48.1) Zak Jahangir 36, Stevie Walters 31, Connor Snelgrove 5-47 
Wickersley Old Village (12pts) beat Barnsley Wooley Miners 2nds (2) by 21 runs 
Conisbrough v Rockingham Colliery 
You have to feel for Rockingham. They put together a good score of 219, after a great opening stand of 73 by Ben Dalton and Harry Grindle. Then Grindle and Mikey Denton put on 73 for the third wicket and still there was more. When Grindle was out for 53 in 90 balls, Hedar Rasool came in and stayed right through, putting on 48 with Andy Baker and enabling his team to get a very defensible score – or so it seemed. Trouble was their bowling just couldn’t match it – and they tried eight bowlers. None went for less than five an over as Conisbrough’s first three batters played like invulnerable super-heroes. Hamzah Ilyas was the only one to fall, caught behind for 36 after an opening stand of 79 with Mathew Lowe. Lowe went on to make 115 not out in 100 balls, with sixteen fours and five sixes. His second partner, Danyaal Latif made an unbeaten 57 in 57 balls, putting on 141 together – and that was it – game over with 18 overs still to play. Rockingham have won only two games all season. Doesn’t seem fair really. 
Rockingham Colliery 219 (46.2) Harry Grindle 53, Ben Dalton 42, Mikey Denton 39, Hedar Rasool 32, Buddkika Sanjeewa 4-53, Hassan Bin Shahab 3-58 
Conisbrough 220-1 (32.1) Mathew Lowe 115*, Danyaal Latif 57*, Hamzah Ilyas 36 
Conisbrough (12 pts) beat Rockingham Colliery (0) by nine wickets 
Green Moor Sports v Sprotbrough 
Rockingham’s likely relegation partners, Green Moor, have been putting some good performances together recently – echoes of the team that came up to the Championship this year after successive promotions. Sadly, things haven’t worked out for them. Jake Rodgers has bowled consistently well all season and took another five-for on Saturday, in fifteen overs, at four an over. He certainly had Sprotbrough in trouble. They were 111-6 (and Rodgers had four of them). It was a hot day though – hard to sustain bowling and fielding. William Rudkin and Ashley Langdale doubled the score – a partnership of 116 in 117 balls and the game was flipped on its head. Sprotbrough got 234, Rudkin run out off the last ball of the 50 overs, for 89. Langdale had perished in similar fashion going for a second, two overs before, for 52. Any team would feel elated after that, and so it proved. Sadrian Ward, Scott Mantovani and Ashley Langdale, their tails up, ripped through Green Moor’s batting. Ben Simpson (as he has done so often) held one half of the innings from total collapse. Jonathan Sanders did the other. Together they made 96. Their colleagues made 39 between them and there were 11 extras. Green Moor lost by 88 runs. They’ve had a tough time this year. 
Sprotbrough 234 (50) William Rudkin 89, Ashley Langdale 52, Jake Rodgers 5-60 
Green Moor Sports 146 (42.5) Jonathan Sanders 51, Ben Simpson 45, Scott Mantovani 4-48, Ashley Langdale 3-44 
Sprotbrough (12 pts) beat Green Moor Sports (0) by 88 runs 
Hallam v Houghton Main 
The wind always blows at Crimicar Lane, which makes it bearable when the weather’s scorching, but still challenging when you’re fielding first against a good side and you’ve got three bowlers and a wicket-keeper missing. Hallam had just their overseas Christian Leddicoat, Joe Cooper and Ed Burch fit to bowl, but two good replacements in Will Coates and Jamie Stone. With Liam Mitchell away, Sam Davison was playing his first game as keeper in the first team. The bonus was that all three can bat – but Hallam lost the toss and were fielding first. Houghton have a strong batting line-up who bat all the way down. First ball, skipper Michael Brown gets an edge to Leddicoat and Davison takes it (that should calm the nerves!). Not long after, Luke Ogden is bowled by Joe Cooper. However, from there on the innings turns. Brent Law plays an outstanding 81 and with support from Dylan Smythe, Lee Tarbuck and Simon Ward takes the score up to 188-4 with six overs to go. The previous five overs have gone at nine an over. Hallam are fearing a target of 240 plus. The first four balls of the 44th over see Ward and Law both caught by Dymock off Stone. Two new batsmen in the glare of the sun. Coates gets one, Stone gets another two and Coates gets the last. Six wickets fall in 3½ overs for 12 runs. Stone has 5-36, Coates 2-23. Houghton are all out for 200. Hallam start with a partnership of 57. Hughes is caught for 42, but Dymock takes the score up to 102 with Rob Basu. Dymock is bowled by Michael Bates, who takes another two wickets, but Basu stays, batting through to 60 not out and takes his team to 201-5, winning the game with eight overs to go. Bates has 3-60 in fifteen but must have been disappointed that he didn’t have another forty runs to play with. 
Houghton Main 200 (50) Brent Law 81, Simon Ward 38, Jamie Stone 5-36 
Hallam 201-5 (41.3) Rob Basu 60*, Alex Hughes 42, Nick Dymock 38, Michael Bates 3-60 
Hallam (12pts) beat Houghton Main (0) by five wickets 
Sheffield Collegiate 2nds v Shiregreen 
Collegiate, recovered from their steam-rollering by Aston Hall and made a much better fist of things this week – still had a horrible early order collapse but found their way out of it and almost got within touching distance of Shiregreen. The home side batted first but didn’t start very well. Hammad Usman was run out by Tom Currie for 7 and Matt Tyas picked up the wickets of both Bilal Afzal and Shohaib Khaliq for eleven each. Mustafa Hussain brought them round, but when he was out they were 104-4. For some clubs this would likely herald a middle order wobble. For Shiregreen it just means Hamzah Younis comes in and scores 50 or thereabouts. In 17 league games this season, he’s had just four scores less than thirty, eleven scores between 32 and 58, a 93 and an amazing 163 against Rockingham. He’s scored 790 league runs, over a hundred more than anyone else in the Championship, has an average of 49 and a strike rate of 105. Pretty useful to have coming in no 6! Anyway, there are others who can bat at Shiregreen, and Aslam Hayat got 55 on Saturday. Younis only scored 45, but together they took their team on to a respectable 224-9 in 50 overs. Matt Tyas took 3-51. Collegiate then had not so much a wobble, as a meltdown. With the exception of Adam Burkinshaw who made 37, the highest score of the first six batters was 5. Imran Khan was on fire. Chasing 224, they were 28-5. When Burkinshaw was out they were 77-6 but Collegiate had their own Younis and Hayat. Matt Tyas and Matt Williams put on 89 for the seventh wicket, Tyas scoring 58 and Williams 62 There was then another collapse, but at least they got to 193 and used all but three balls of their overs. Collegiate have dropped down a few league places recently. It’s hard in the holidays for them and Barnsley when 1st XIs take precedence. Shiregreen however are near the top. In the past they used to be a boom or bust team. Not any more. They build their innings carefully, consolidate in the middle and accelerate at the end – enough for their varied and skilful bowling attack to win games frequently – which is why they are fourth in the Championship 
Shiregreen 224-9 (50) Aslam Hayat 55, Hamzah Younis 45, Matt Tyas 3-51 
Sheffield Collegiate 2nds 193 (49.3) Matt Williams 62, Matt Tyas 58, Adam Burkinshaw 37, Imran Khan 5-49 
Shiregreen (12pts) beat Sheffield Collegiate 2nds (2) by 31 runs 
by Richard Storer 
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