Congratulations to Aston Hall – champions of the Championship Division for 2022! It is a very well-deserved win, considering how they have dominated the Championship Division this year. They return to the Premier Division, after a three-year gap, with a well-balanced team and high hopes of establishing a permanent and equally dominant place this time. Who goes with them is still not finally settled, and could yet go to the last match of the season. At the other end of the table, Rockingham Colliery return to Division 1 where they were last five years ago; but if they fight as hard as they have in the last few games, they’ll soon be back up. Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds only need two points from their last two games to consign Green Moor to join Rockingham, after the briefest of stays. 
Aston Hall v Green Moor 
After last week’s fireworks of beating Collegiate by seven wickets, and still with a chance of staying up, it was disappointing that Green Moor had to send a much-depleted team to play Aston Hall. Only five of last week’s team were available, plus one regular returning from holiday, and the rest were from the second team. The consequence was fairly predictable carnage and a game that finished in mid-afternoon. Green Moor were bowled out for 47 in 22 overs (only one batter made more than six); whilst Nasir Omar took 4-5, Josh Coulson 3-16, in four overs each, and Aston Hall knocked off the runs in the eleventh over. 
Green Moor 47 (22) Nasir Omar 4-5, Josh Coulson 3-16 
Aston Hall 52-1 (10.3) 
Aston Hall (12 pts) beat Green Moor (0) by nine wickets 
Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds v Shiregreen 
Barnsley, still needing points to avoid relegation, had a similar result against Shiregreen, but it wasn’t for want of regular players or ability – more that their collective squad are really struggling for confidence and the only one who got runs last week, Zak Jahangir, made 10. He was still second to top scorer - Waqas Tanveer made 16 – but the team only managed 68 in 41 overs. Abdul Lateef took 3-21, Imran Khan 3-24. Bilal Afzal made 34 not out as Shiregreen won by eight wickets, in 11 overs. Hamzah Younis didn’t even get in. Shiregreen stay fourth but Barnsley could still go down. 
Barnsley WM 2nds 68 (41.4) Abdul Lateef 3-21, Imran Khan 3-24 
Shiregreen 69-2 (11.3) Bilal Afzal 34* 
Shiregreen (12 pts) beat Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds (0) by eight wickets 
Conisbrough v Houghton Main 
Houghton Main started well against Conisbrough. Michael Brown and Brent Law put on 35 and Brown added a further 45 with Luke Ogden. It’s not often though that you see both openers stumped (by Danyaal Latif off Scott Lowe). Ogden then continued for the rest of the innings and was not out 68 at the end in 101 balls. Others found it a struggle to stay with him for long, but there was some support from Lee Tarbuck and Dylan Smythe, so that Houghton were able to get 195 in almost 47 overs. Scott Lowe ended with 4-38. However, it proved nothing like enough to trouble Conisbrough, for whom Mathew Lowe and Hamzah Ilyas put on an outstanding 178 for the first wicket. Houghton tried seven bowlers to dislodge them with Lowe ending on 86* and Ilyas 95 as Conisbrough rattled to 200-2 in 32 overs. 
Houghton Main 195 (46.5) Luke Ogden 68*, Michael Brown 44, Scott Lowe 4-38 
Conisbrough 200-2 (32.4) Hamzah Ilyas 95, Mathew Lowe 86* 
Conisbrough (12 pts) beat Houghton Main (0) by eight wickets 
Hallam v Wickersley Old Village 
This was the much-anticipated clash between the two clubs in second and third places in the table with only six points between them. Both had come down from the Premier Division last year and were desperate to return. The result, on paper, seems very straightforward – a comfortable win for Hallam. It was anything but! It was a completely absorbing, thrilling game of cricket at its best, played between two very even sides, with some outstanding players, supported by teams all striving to do their best for their clubs, and doing so in a remarkable spirit of competition, sportsmanship and mutual respect that continued well after the game. 
Wickersley went into the match missing their overseas fast bowler, Ahmad Bashir, who had been called home. Then, shortly after the game started, Ifikhar Afzal, who has taken 38 wickets this season, pulled up with a hamstring injury. ‘Ifty’ stayed on to field despite being in obvious discomfort throughout the innings, but Wickersley were a bowler light and it was hard to shield it. Oliver Blackburn rose to the occasion magnificently. He bowled 13 aggressive overs and took 6-76. Mark Cummins closed up the other end. Harvey Wootton bowled tightly and took the first wicket to fall. Isaac Spencer-Jones, who before Saturday, had not bowled 30 overs all season, got the second. Hallam’s Nick Dymock, under the weather himself, batted as though the club depended on him and with Romir Singh, put on 89, making 68 himself and taking the score to 155-3. Two wickets fell in two balls (the first of Blackburn’s six), then another and when Singh was out for 58, Hallam were six down for 183, with eight overs to go and in danger of unravelling. However, Rob Heyes and Alex Coates put on 42 and Heyes continued to score where he could, finally taking a four and a six, his only boundaries, off the last two balls, to raise Hallam to a challenging 247-9. Would it be enough? Wickersley had batters all the way down and outstanding ones in Mark Cummins, Isaac Spencer-Jones and Johnny Younis. Hallam also had bowlers missing – Harman Puni, who has taken 41 league wickets this year, was away – Rob Heyes, playing for his batting only, could not bowl because of a shoulder injury. 
Wickersley just needed a good start, but two catches by keeper Liam Mitchell removed Mark Cummins and Gareth Purshouse. Mitchell then produced a piece of magic to run out Nathan Taylor, taking the ball yards from the wicket and flicking it back behind him to break the stumps. Wickersley were 45-3 and in trouble, though you wouldn’t have thought so to watch Isaac Spencer-Jones who was in great form. Coming into the match, he had scored 140 in his last three innings. Wickersley needed him now and he didn’t disappoint – 68 in 78 balls, with eight 4s and two 6s, stroking boundaries for fun. Wickersley were building momentum, and the initiative was falling away from Hallam. And still there was Johnny Younis. At 118, Spencer-Jones was out – a fantastic slip catch by Alex Hughes – one of three key wickets for off-spinner Ed Burch. Younis came in but others left. When Abu Sufyan was run out it was 146-7. Surely that was the end – not with Johnny Younis there. He’s had a tough season, physically and with the bat, but he is still a wonderful player with great power. He and Akhtar Khan rebuilt. At 177, Younis was close to 50, had not played a false stroke and Khan was supporting him intelligently. Eight overs to go, 70 runs to score. Younis had already hit four 6s. If he stayed, there was only one result. James Smedley brought himself back to bowl and had Khan caught. More pressure on Younis. Joe Cooper had bowled eleven steady overs for 44 but the last two had gone for just two and one. With eight an over needed now, Younis had to take him on, hitting him over the top, but he got too far underneath and the ball steepled to mid-off. Younis groaned. Nick Dymock shuffled others out of the way, waited forever for it to come down and pouched it. He was mobbed by his colleagues. Younis was applauded off. Nine down. 68 to win. The game was over, or was it? Charlie Harrison can hit the ball - the last game between the teams he had shared in a 9th wicket stand of 60 to give Wickersley a winning lead – and Ifty Afzal might be batting 11, but he’s scored fourteen 50s in his career. Six balls later Ifty belted James Smedley to deep long-off and was caught on the boundary. Now it was over! What a game!  
If Hallam beat Green Moor next week, they will be promoted. But if they don’t and Wickersley win their last two matches, Hallam will need to beat Aston Hall in the last game of the season, or it will be Wickersley who go up. Both deserve it. 
Hallam 247-9 (50) Nick Dymock 68, Romir Singh 58, Rob Heyes 35*, Oliver Blackburn 6-76 
Wickersley OV 181 (43.4) Isaac Spencer-Jones 68, Johnny Younis 51, James Smedley 3-24, Ed Burch 3-33 
Hallam (12 pts) beat Wickersley Old Village (2) by 66 runs 
Rockingham Colliery v Sprotbrough 
The good news for Rockingham, getting to the half way stage of their game, was that Barnsley 2nds were about to lose, whilst they themselves had managed to restrict Sprotbrough to 197; and if their batting could perform as well as it had done the previous week, they might win and so hang on to their chance on avoiding relegation. Aquib Shaikh and Zobair Khaliq had bowled really well, reducing Sprotbrough to 22-3, then 62-5, before Daniel Wright and Ashley Langdale had put on 72 for the sixth wicket. Wright had made 51 in 84 balls and begun to restore Sprotbrough’s fortunes, but Jawad Akhtar continued the good work of the opening bowlers and after Langdale had fallen for 37 it was 171-9. Frustratingly, Rockingham couldn’t finish it there and Tom Kaye was able to hit 32, with four fours and a six, to take his team to 197. 
Rockingham have had some outstanding overseas players from Zimbabwe and, to their great credit, Rockingham players have visited the country and awarded scholarships to young schoolchildren to enable them to buy kit. Tony Munyonga who was playing for them in 2019 and 2021, was playing for his country this week against the West Indies and Australia. Rockingham must have been proud and pleased for him but also partly wished he could have been with them instead, as Sadrian Ward, Sprotbrough’s overseas, tore through their early batting. Mikey Denton held out for 27 and Hedar Rasool put on 37 with Andy Baker to take them up to 121-7 and they kept fighting. Zobair Khaliq and Alan Lockwood held on as the last pair to end on 171-9, which ironically was the same score as Sprotbrough reached before their own last pair put on 26 and took the game and, sadly, championship league status away from Rockingham. It’s been a tough year for them. Let’s hope they bounce back in 2023. 
Sprotbrough 197 (49.1) Daniel Wright 51, Ashley Langdale 37, Tom Kaye 32*, Aquib Shaikh 3-43 
Rockingham Colliery 171-9 (50) Hedar Rasool 38, Sadrian Ward 5-37 
Sprotbrough (12pts) beat Rockingham Colliery (2) by 26 runs 
Sheffield Collegiate 2nds v Wath 
Like many sides on Saturday, Collegiate found that, with the rain in the week, batting first was a bit of a challenge. Wath inserted them and, in a few overs Jack Whitlam and Steve Honeyman had them 23-4. Robbie Mckenna and Matt Tyas (for the third week in succession) rescued their side with a partnership of 99, while Andy Simpson first with Lewis Bent, then Tom Eldred, managed to steer them up to 182-9 by the close. Wath set off in pursuit positively, with Ben Roebuck and Bradley Williams taking them past 50 before the second wicket fell, but three then fell in quick succession to Lewis Bent and then another three, twenty runs later, to Tate Miller. Steve Honeyman, almost singlehandedly took them up to 118, but two runs later it was all over. Wath were all out for 120, losing by 62 runs to Collegiate who thus move one place above them in the table, to eighth. 
Sheffield Collegiate 2nds 182-9 (50) Matt Tyas 51, Robbie Mckenna 45, Rob Barlow 3-63 
Wath 120 (37.2) Steve Honeyman Jnr 35, Lewis Bent 4-35, Tate Miller 3-14 
Sheffield Collegiate 2nds (12pts) beat Wath (0) by 62 runs 
by Richard Storer 
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