Championship Division round-up for 6 August
Posted on 8th August 2022 at 09:54
Not much change at the top or bottom and some very predictable results, except for two – a fantastic tie at Conisbrough where the home team nearly pulled off an astonishing victory over Shiregreen – and Green Moor beating Barnsley which lifts them off the bottom (still 30 points away from safety, but who knows – never say never!)
Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds v Green Moor
Barnsley may have felt secure at the start of the day with a 40-point gap between themselves and any threat of relegation, but anyone glancing at the scores of Saturday’s match would probably have guessed wrongly the identity of the bottom club. Green Moor have tried consistently to pull themselves out of the mire. They do, after all, have one batter (Ben Simpson) and one bowler (Jake Rodgers) in the best dozen in the Championship and Chris Matthewman, up to the point where he got injured (he hasn’t bowled since 9 July) was arguably one of the best all-rounders. As a team though, they have not been firing on all cylinders. So to see them roll over their big neighbours for 163 in 45 overs, with Rodgers taking 3-39 and Jonathan Sanders also 3-39 (in one fewer over) and nine players having a hand in the wickets, was really encouraging. Stevie Walters battled through most of the innings for 67, putting on 61 for the third wicket with Will Nicholson, but otherwise Barnsley did not have a lot to show. And when Green Moor batted, they did so like a side chasing promotion, not relegation, with Dan Airstone, Chris Matthewman and Jamie Dixon all making scores as they rattled along to a six-wicket win with eight overs to spare. It may all be too late for this year, with only five games to go, but they’ve certainly rediscovered their spirit.
Barnsley WM 2nds 163 (45) Stevie Walters 67, William Nicholson 30, Jake Rodgers 3-39, Jonathan Sanders 3-39
Green Moor 164-4 (41.5) Chris Matthewman 57*, Jamie Dixon 45, Daniel Airstone 30
Green Moor (12 pts) beat Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds (0) by six wickets
Conisbrough v Shiregreen
Shiregreen batted with their usual accomplishment. Shoaib Khaliq and others established a platform for the Championship’s top batter, Hamzah Younis, to come in at number six and score his customary forty or fifty, with Kamran Khan making 64 in a partnership of 103, with such control that the Championship’s number one and number three bowlers, Buddhika Sanjeewa and Hassan Bin Shahab, who have 96 wickets between them for Conisbrough this season, could only get one each in this match; whilst Tom Humphries, who has toiled away in their second XI for most of the season, took 4-77. Shiregreen scored 244-9 in their allotted overs and must have felt fairly confident of victory – but this is Conisbrough, one of the smallest grounds in the league, and big scores are not always safe. However, at 27-3 it must have felt so. Then, in came Gary Strephan. Many bowlers in the league know what it’s like to be Strephaned – though to be fair, not so many recently. Saturday was one of those days. Eight fours and four sixes later he was bowled by Imran Khan for 75 in 55 balls, many of them off Hamzah Younis. When he was out, after a partnership of 128 with Matthew Lowe, Conisbrough only needed 90 to win in 21.2 overs. Lowe was out for 49 shortly afterwards, but Josh Whittaker was still around. Sanjeewa and Shahab departed cheaply, as did others, giving Imran Khan his impressive 5-37 in fifteen overs. With eight down for 189, Conisbrough seemed to have lost their way, but Whittaker almost single-handedly kept his side going. With his partner Joe Farmer, he put on a partnership of 47. Farmer made five. At the start of the last over, they needed nine to win, with Whittaker on strike. He had scored 45 in 57 balls. Imran Khan had finished his overs. Hamzah Younis was given the last. He’d already gone for 58 in 7 - not his usual stats! First ball of the last over he bowled Whittaker. Nine to get in five balls with only one wicket left. No pressure. Two of the next three balls were wides! Seven in four. The fourth legitimate ball was hoisted by number 11, Kazam Hussain, for six. Scores level. The fifth ball he bowled him and the game was tied. Wow!
Shiregreen 244-9 (50) Kamran Khan 64, Hamzah Younis 48, Shohaib Khaliq 40, Tom Humphries 4-77
Conisbrough 244 (49.5) Gary Strephan 75, Matthew Lowe 49, Josh Whittaker 45, Imran Khan 5-37
Conisbrough (8pts) tied with Shiregreen (8)
Hallam v Wath
Wath continued their frustrating season, where despite having two batters (James Barnard and Bradley Williams) in the top five of the Championship and Rob Barlow amongst the top bowlers, they can’t as a team consistently create winning combinations. So, against Hallam, Barnard scored 74 (with fifteen fours) and, with Jory Bannister, put on 91 for the third wicket, taking the score to 132 before he was caught behind off 15-year old Jay Singh, but, of the last six batters, none scored more than four and Wath were bowled out for 187, with Christian Leddicoat taking 5-45 and Harman Puni 4-38. Liam Mitchell took four catches and a stumping, taking him level with Nathan Ward of Aston Hall at the top of the keepers’ list. When Wath bowled, Jack Whitlam got Nick Dymock straight away but there were only two more wickets to fall (for Rob Barlow) as Alex Hughes and Rob Basu, with 63, took the score to 119 and then Leddicoat and Rob Heyes (unable to bowl, but playing as a batter) put on an unbeaten stand of 70 to win the game by seven wickets.
Wath 187 (43.4) James Barnard 74, Jory Bannister 49, Christian Leddicoat 5-45, Harman Puni 4-38
Hallam 189-3 (39.1) Rob Basu 63, Rob Heyes 46*, Alex Hughes 36, Christian Leddicoat 34*
Hallam (12 pts) beat Wath (0) by seven wickets
Houghton Main v Sprotbrough
Houghton have had some disappointing results recently and fallen some way behind the leaders, despite still being fifth in the table, so they will have enjoyed beating Sprotbrough so convincingly. Sprotbrough themselves have had an ‘up and down’ season and were losing finalists in the Whitworth Cup last week, but despite Sadrian Ward’s 75 and support from Harry Graham and Rocco Cook, they couldn’t get more than 188 as a team. Michael Bates and Dylan Smythe each took four wickets. When Houghton batted, Luke Ogden and Michael Brown took them to 79-3 but Sprotbrough couldn’t make any further inroads and Brown (carrying his bat for 80 not out) and Lee Tarbuck put on 113 to win the game comfortably by seven wickets.
Sprotbrough 188 (45.2) Sadrian Ward 75, Dylan Smythe 4-20, Michael Bates 4-53
Houghton M 192-3 (45) Michael Brown 80*, Lee Tarbuck 40*, Luke Ogden 32
Houghton Main (12 pts) beat Sprotbrough (0) by seven wickets
Rockingham Colliery v Wickersley Old Village
Rockingham battled hard to get a score against Wickersley’s varied attack. Five batters made good starts and Aquib Shaikh and Andy Baker put on 54 for the sixth wicket, but none were able to go on to make a big score and break the bowlers’ hold. Mark Cummins took 3-40 at less than three an over and Ifti Afzal, Connor Snelgrove and Harvey Wootton were just as difficult to get away. Rockingham ended with 145-8 in their 50 overs. By contrast, Wickersley lost just two. Cummins batted through for an unbeaten 60 in 133 balls and Isaac Spencer-Jones made 48 in 73, putting on 118 for the second wicket, and their team made the 149 required in 38 untroubled overs. With Green Moor’s win, Rockingham now slide to bottom of the Championship and Wickersley stay just six points behind Hallam and well positioned should their rivals slip up in the last five games (including the crunch one between the two in three weeks’ time).
Rockingham Colliery 145-8 (50) Aquib Shaikh 36, Mark Cummins 3-40
Wickersley OV 149-2 (38.3) Mark Cummins 60*, Isaac Spencer-Jones 48
Wickersley Old Village (12pts) beat Rockingham Colliery (0) by eight wickets
Sheffield Collegiate v Aston Hall
Aston Hall are purring along like a Rolls Royce. Indeed it’s hard to imagine how they managed to lose their one league game this season. Their batters take it in turns to score runs. Their bowlers support each other – if one doesn’t get you, another will. And the whole piece of precision engineering is moving along smoothly on a continental motorway, while the rest chug along from accident to road works on the M42. Collegiate 2nds didn’t even get to the slip road. For Aston, Mark Barnard, Nasir Omar and Rob Ward all scored 50s. Josh Coulson just failed to get there on 47 not out and Ali Ahmed, who put on an opening stand of 90 with Barnard, made 38. Each of them made more than anyone on the Collegiate side and their combined 290-6 was 176 more than their opponents. There were some bright moments for Collegiate. Tate Miller took 3-51 at a rate considerably less than any of his colleagues, and Lewis Hogg made 34. And they each got a run out. Remarkably all of their batters from numbers five to nine survived between 20 and 26 balls – and then got out. The wickets were shared almost equally between all six bowlers. Only three teams could possibly catch Aston Hall now and the chances of that happening are as remote as their engine blowing up.
Aston Hall 290-6 (50) Mark Barnard 75, Nasir Omar 56, Rob Ward 51*, Josh Coulson 47*, Ali Ahmed 38, Tate Miller 3-51
Sheffield Collegiate 2nds 114 (35.2) Lewis Hogg 34
Aston Hall (12pts) beat Sheffield Collegiate 2nds (0) by 176 runs
by Richard Storer
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