There were several strong performances at the top of the Championship on Saturday, confirming Aston Hall and Hallam as early leaders, and setting the scene for some exciting matches to come in the next four months. 
Aston Hall v Wickersley Old Village 
Wickersley are having difficult times at the moment and Aston Hall, by contrast, are rediscovering the form that took them into the Premier Division not so long ago; their performance on Saturday emphasised that they intend to be in the top two at the end of this season. Wickersley won the toss and chose to field. Ahmad Bashir and Iftikhar Afzal quickly made this seem a good decision. At 73-5 Aston Hall were struggling, but bowlers tire and Wickersley’s second string couldn’t maintain the momentum. Nasir Omar, with a fine innings of 94, shepherded Aston’s strong later batters to a very respectable 218. Bashir took 4-46 in 15, Afzal 5-42 in 13.2, and the other wicket was run out (by Afzal). By contrast, Aston had a strong all-round bowling performance, their ten wickets shared between six economical bowlers and Wickersley, once Johnny Younis and Mark Cummins had gone, had no-one who could manage double figures. They were all out for 100 and Aston Hall stay firmly on track. 
Aston Hall 218 (50) Nasir Omar 94, Johannes Bothma 34*, Iftikhar Afzal 5-42, Ahmad Bashir 4-46 
Wickersley Old Village 100 (39.1) Johnny Younis 45 
Aston Hall (12pts) beat Wickersley (0) by 118 runs 
Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds v Rockingham 
Nathan Swift, who had a significant score in the opening match of the season, went somewhat further against Rockingham. He and Sheryaar Ali put on 245 for the first wicket, a new league record of some proportions in a 50 over game. Both men scored hundreds – Swift 125 and Ali 117 – and, as if Rockingham hadn’t suffered enough, Boeta Beukes came in first wicket down and smashed 45 in 18 balls, leaving them chasing an unlikely 304-2 at Shaw Lane. However, the visitors made a creditable fist of a chase. Ben Dalton scored a crunching 96 in 113 balls and was well supported, particularly by Bilal Afzal with 53 in 50. At 190-3 it seemed possible, but both fell shortly after and the chase crumbled to 229 all out, with Jordan Slattery taking an excellent 4-26 in ten and Matty Clegg 3-49. 
Barnsley Wooley Miners 2nds 304-2 (50) Nathan Swift 125, Sheryaar Ali 117, Boeta Beukes 45 
Rockingham Colliery 229 (46) Ben Dalton 96, Bilal Afzal 53, Jordan Slattery 4-26, Matty Clegg 3-49 
Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds (12 pts) beat Rockingham Colliery (2) by 75 runs 
Green Moor Sports v Shiregreen 
Shiregreen sank down to Division 2 briefly in 2017, but, since 2019, have yomped through Division 2 and Division 1 and up into the Championship in successive seasons. In this enterprise they have been joined at the hip with Green Moor, so Saturday’s contest had particular relish. Shiregreen batted first, had a goodish start with Aamar Khan and Umair Tariq but then motored away with a stand of 94 between last week’s hero, Hamzah Khan (53) and Shohaib Khaliq, who batted through for an unbeaten 75, with further support from Kamran Khan. They closed on 260-7, expecting a robust reply from their promotion colleagues. Since last year though, Shiregreen have acquired two significant bowlers to make their attack more formidable. Imran Khan picked up two wickets, Muhammad Khan four, and despite an opening partnership of 58 and a noble 92 not out from Ben Simpson, who carried his bat, Green Moor were overcome for 187 with only two others batters achieving double figures. Shiregreen are now fourth in the Championship, with clear ambitions to continue their upward momentum. Whether this year Green Moor can keep up with them remains to be seen. 
Shiregreen 260-7 (50) Shoaib Khaliq 75*, Hamzah Younis 53, Kamran Khan 37, Daniel Cartwright 3-51 
Green Moor Sports 187 (46.1) Ben Simpson 92*, Muhammad Khan 4-53 
Shiregreen (12pts) beat Green Moor Sports (2) by 73 runs 
Hallam v Conisbrough 
On a day of records, Nick Dymock’s innings of 181 for Hallam was outstanding. People are accustomed to large scores at Conisbrough, which is a very small ground, but this was played at Crimicar Lane where the boundaries are much longer. He had an opening stand of 55 with Rob Basu (who made 10) and 166 for the 3rd wicket with Alex Coates (who made 60). When he was out, on 277-5, there were still enough overs remaining for Joe Cooper and Harman Puni to add a further 58. He caressed 25 fours and 3 sixes in 143 balls, in what is now the YCSPL record individual score. Conisbrough tried hard to regroup afterwards. Matthew Lowe and Will Scott took them to 98-2, but the train had left the station and by the time Harman Puni had mopped up the tail with 4-34, Conisbrough who scored 287 last week in a thriller with Aston Hall, had lost by 181 runs, the same as Dymock scored. 
Hallam 335-5 (50) Nick Dymock 181, Alex Coates 60, Harman Puni 32*, Buddhika Sanjeewa 3-67 
Conisbrough 154 (37.1) Mathew Lowe 40, Will Scott 38, Harman Puni 4-34 
Hallam (12 pts) beat Conisbrough (0) by 181 runs 
Sheffield Collegiate 2nds v Houghton Main 
Houghton Main have been struggling to find their confidence this season but they rediscovered it in spades at Abbeydale. Winning the toss and batting, with an opening stand of 77 by Simon Ward and Michael Brown, who both made fifties, they moved on to 231-9 with a further 51 from Lee Tarbuck. Tom Eldred took 5-72 from 15 and George Bartlett 3-59 but Collegiate found it hard to assert themselves. And so it continued when they batted; Michael Bates was much too good, and his 6-32 takes him to 14 in three games at an average of 11.5. As ever, Ed McKenna did his best to hold his young team together but Collegiate were all out (McKenna excepted) for 139. 
Houghton Main 231-9 (50) Michael Brown 73, Simon Ward 53, Lee Tarbuck 51, Tom Eldred 5-72, George Bartlett 3-59 
Sheffield Collegiate 2nds 139 (38.5) Ed McKenna 48*, Michael Bates 6-32 
Houghton Main (12 pts) beat Sheffield Collegiate 2nds (0) by 92 runs 
Wath v Sprotbrough 
An intriguing match between two sides who, on their day, can match anyone in the division, but can’t do it consistently enough to go further – or can they? After a difficult season last year, Sprotbrough are beginning to show encouraging signs. At Wath, they won the toss and batted and the first four all made scores, Harry Graham making most with 90 but Dean Williamson (51) and Tom Pepper had given them a good start, enough for Graham and Sadrian Ward (38) to take them to 231-6. Steve Honeyman bowled ten overs for 22 runs, but mostly Wath’s bowlers went for five an over. When they batted, Rob Barlow made 58 but Sadrian Ward made early inroads. Wath were 17-3 but recovered, Barlow and Harrison Knowles putting on 91 for the fourth wicket and later batters kept things going, but it was not enough and Sprotbrough won by 42 runs with two overs to spare. Sadrian Ward took 6-44 in 12.4, second only to Michael Bates as leading wicket-taker in the division. 
Sprotbrough 231-6 (50) Harry Graham 90, Dean Williamson 51, Sadrian Ward 38, Jack Whitlam 3-56 
Wath 189 (47.4) Rob Barlow 58, Harrison Knowles 40, Sadrian Ward 6-44 
Sprotbrough (12pts) beat Wath (2) by 42 runs 
by Richard Storer 
League table 
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