Houghton Main v Hallam 
A fortnight ago Hallam beat Houghton Main in the Whitworth Cup by ten wickets. Houghton made 88 and Hallam 93-0. On Saturday, in the league, Houghton batted first again and were 12-2, Christian Leddicoat taking both. Luke Ogden was one not out. If Hallam even subconsciously relaxed, thought here we go again, it might be understandable, but it wouldn’t have been wise. Houghton are famous for getting themselves out of tight corners. They don’t get to the last rounds of the National Village Cup, twice, without being street-fighters, and so it proved. Luke Ogden was not out until the score was 231-6 and he had made an outstanding 105, closely supported by successive Houghton batters – Lee Tarbuck, Matty Bowering, Danish Hussain and Teriq Worrell, none of whom scored less than 23. Apart from Ed Burch who bowled 7 overs of off-spin for 22, Hallam served up a succession of seamers. Rob Heyes took 3-44 in 12, but others went for four and upwards. Curiously there was no opportunity for spinner Harman Puni who has taken 17 wickets for 128 in league matches this season – 6-22 against Wath last week – and at 7.53 has, by some way, the best bowling average in the championship. Houghton played with increasing confidence, finishing on 258-7. Hallam’s reply started steadily, but then lost its way. The first six scored 51 in 147 balls, with Teriq Worrell taking 3-37 in 12 overs, Usman Khan taking the crucial wickets of Hughes and Dymock, and Dylan Smythe tweaking 4-47 from ten. Only Joe Cooper showed what might have been, with 60 from 58 balls, but at 164 all out, Hallam were 94 runs short. The last time Hallam were in the Championship in 2016, they won their first five games, then lost abjectly by 108 runs to Tickhill, before picking themselves up and not losing another league game all season. Can they do the same in 2022? Houghton are now fourth. 
Houghton Main 258-7 (50) Luke Ogden 105, Teriq Worrell 41, Robert Heyes 3-44 
Hallam 164 (39.4) Joe Cooper 60, Dylan Smythe 4-47, Teriq Worrell 3-37 
Houghton Main (12 pts) beat Hallam (0) by 94 runs 
Rockingham Colliery v Conisbrough 
Rockingham are struggling for confidence at the moment. All of their first ten batters on Saturday got in, and had ten balls or more, but only Mikey Denton and Rabby Khan were able to build this into an innings of significance. Those two put on 52 for the third wicket, but there was scarcely a partnership of more than twenty afterwards. Hassan Bin Shahab for Conisbrough took 4-43 in 15. Still, with so many contributions between 10 and 20, it built into a total of 166-9, which was something to defend, and they attacked well. Aquib Shaikh rattled all the new batsmen, and Conisbrough found themselves 37-4. It could have gone either way, but Mathew Lowe batted through for an unbeaten 58, found a partner in James Doran who picked up 41 in thirty balls, and they put on 70. At 112-6 and Buddhika Sanjeewa out, Rockingham were still in with a shout, until Hassan Bin Shahab completed a good day for him and Conisbrough by staying with Matthew Lowe for 39 balls for 13 not out, enabling a match-winning partnership of 56 and a well-fought win by four wickets. 
Rockingham Colliery 166-9 (50) Mikey Denton 34, Hassan Bin Shahab 4-43 
Conisbrough 168-6 (37.4) Mathew Lowe 58*, James Doran 41, Aquib Shaikh 4-42 
Conisbrough (12 pts) beat Rockingham Colliery (2) by four wickets 
Shiregreen v Sheffield Collegiate 2nds 
Hamzah Younis’s phenomenal start to the season continued on Saturday with 93 in 69 balls against Collegiate 2nds, giving him the Championship’s leading batting average of 61. Considering that he hasn’t yet scored a big hundred, this is a measure of his consistency and importance to Shiregreen, for whom he has played on-and-off for twelve years since junior days. He also bowls, though not much against Collegiate. His innings held his side together after a good opening stand of 68 by Umair Tariq and Mustafa Hussain. Collegiate’s spinners, especially Tate Miller who took 4-40 in 15, accounted for most of the rest and Shiregreen ended on 213-8 (with Younis last out). Collegiate have not batted well this season and they had the now customary difficult start with Imran Khan and team reducing them to 53-5, but there was a much more encouraging recovery, with Mark Hickman, Matt Williams and Andy Simpson all scoring 30s, so they ended on 160-7, a long way from the win but enough to get them two points, which keeps them in touch with Rockingham and Green Moor at the foot of the table. 
Shiregreen 213-8 (50) Hamzah Younis 93, Mustafa Hussain 44, Tate Miller 4-40 
Sheffield Collegiate 2nds 160-7 (50) Andy Simpson 33*, Mark Hickman 32, Matt Williams 31, Imran Khan 3-35 
Shiregreen (12 pts) beat Sheffield Collegiate 2nds 160-7 (2) by 53 runs 
Green Moor Sports v Sprotbrough 
After some recent disappointments, Sprotbrough got back to winning on Saturday, and did so in style, winning by seven wickets at a canter. It didn’t start so well though. Ben Simpson and Daniel Airstone got Green Moor off to a cracking start with 73 for the first wicket, and Wayne Hughes unleashed his arms for a 15-ball 31-run cameo; but others fared less well as Ashley Langdale and Scott Mantovani orchestrated a sorry procession of Green Moor sportsmen to 170 all out. Sprotbrough had a similar start – Tom Pepper and Richard Belk putting on 77 for the first wicket but from thereon they only lost two more, with Sadrian Ward playing the Wayne Hughes role, but lasting longer, as his unbeaten 70 in 33 balls took his team to victory in 28 overs, the last of his seven sixes finishing the job. It was an important win for Sprotbrough, moving them up to 6th, 14 pts behind Shiregreen, but still visible. Green Moor sadly are now only separated by run rate from the bottom. 
Green Moor Sports 170 (49) Ben Simpson 54, Wayne Hughes 31, Ashley Langdale 5-50, Scott Mantovani 4-27 
Sprotbrough 175-3 (28) Sadrian Ward 70*, Thomas Pepper 38, Richard Belk 36 
Sprotbrough (12 pts) beat Green Moor Sports (0) by seven wickets 
Aston Hall v Wath 
Neither side in this important encounter managed to control the conditions at Moor Road, with the bat. Only two players on each team had innings of note, but Aston Hall had a few more who hung around and contributed small but important scores. For Aston Hall, put in by Wath, Nasir Omar and Nathan Ward made 40s, each shepherding a different half of the innings. Omar took the score to 84-3. Ward was still there at the end, he and Johannes Bothma rescuing their team from 108-7 to 165-7 at the close. Steve Honeyman, Shawn Hopkins and Sam Whitlam got the wickets. Usually, Wath’s first four batters, Rob Barlow, James Barnard, Bradley Williams and Ainsley Swallow get the runs. Together this season they have scored more than twice as much as all the rest of their team put together. Unfortunately, in this match, Barlow and Williams contributed three between them, both removed by Bothma. That left two. James Barnard made 40, Ainsley Swallow 34 and before Barnard was out it was 90-2, well on the way. This time though they didn’t score twice as many as the others. It was a multiple of five - and the remaining batters contributed just 15 runs. Joe Stickland took 4-11 in six overs, Bothma 4-27 in ten, Omar 2-17 in seven – and Wath were all out for 107 in 32.5 overs - not one of their greatest performances – and they slip to eighth in the table. Aston Hall are now level on points with Hallam at the top. 
Aston Hall 165-7 (50) Nathan Ward 49*, Nasir Omar 40, Shawn Hopkins 3-53 
Wath 107 (32.5) James Barnard 40, Ainsley Swallow 34, Joe Stickland 4-11, Johnannes Bothma 4-27 
Aston Hall (12 pts) beat Wath (0) by 58 runs 
Wickersley Old Village v Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds 
Wickersley are growing in confidence with each match and winning by big margins. Once it was if Johnny Younis didn’t get runs, the team didn’t. Now they make 256-9 and the old hero made just eight. Mark Cummins and Nathan Taylor put on 90 for the first wicket. Each got 40s. Then Isaac Spencer-Jones and Harvey Wootton had a partnership of 106, with Spencer-Jones first out for 55 and Wootton taking the score up to 255. Wootton was out in the last over for 67, closely followed by three others, giving a hat-trick to Jordan Slattery and a run out. So Barnsley needed 257 to win. Realistically it needed one of their top players, Sheryaar Ali or Nathan Swift, who between them have scored 620 runs so far, to play another big innings. Ali was LBW to Iftikhar Afzal for six. Swift played himself in, but wickets were falling at the other end and he could only manage 33 before he too fell, the first of Mark Cummins’ five wickets, at 70-4. That brought in 15-year old Owen Smith who took over the senior role and batted outstandingly for 79 in 93 balls, sharing a partnership of 66 with Jordan Slattery, who was having a good day, with bat as well as ball, but it needed a faster rate and more wickets in hand. With two overs to go, Barnsley were 40 short of their target and Owen Smith was caught, closely followed by the last man and Wickersley had won, consolidating their third place in the table, just ten points behind Hallam and Aston Hall, and ready and eager to take over. 
Wickersley Old Village 256-9 (50) Harvey Wooton 67, Isaac Spencer-Jones 55, Nathan Taylor 47, Mark Cummins 45, Jordan Slattery 4-75 
Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds 216 (48.4) Owen Smith 79, Jordan Slattery 36, Nathan Swift 33, Mark Cummins 5-63, Iftikhar Afzal 3-41 
Wickersley Old Village (12pts) beat Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds (2) by 40 runs 
by Richard Storer 
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