Preview of matches on 4 September
Posted on 3rd September 2021 at 20:22
With Championship and relegation issues decided as we go into the last week of the Premier Division season, there are just final league placing to play for. Whitley Hall travel to meet champions Appleby Frodingham at Brumby Hall, where a win could move them into the top half of the table, depending on the result at the Al-Murad Stadium, where the home side take on Sheffield Collegiate. Having been in the top three for most of the season, Collegiate will want to finish on a high by cementing second place; but it has been a good season for Elsecar, who have proved that they are now a force to be reckoned with, and it should be a good contest. Treeton have also been in the top three for most of the season; they end their programme by hosting Barnsley Woolley Miners, who have enjoyed an improved season. Barnsley will want to finish in the top four, and could do so with a win, depending on the result from Field Lane. It has been three-times champions Wakefield Thornes’ most disappointing season since joining the Southern pyramid, but they still have a top-half place, and are at home to Tickhill. The latter occupy a solid mid-table position, despite their inconsistency. Despite beating Treeton last week, Hallam lost out in their battle to stay in the Premier Division, but they will want to go out with a bang, and beat the team immediately above them in Cawthorne. The other relegated side, Wickersley, have endured one of their worst-ever seasons, and will hope to end a dismal run of defeats and provide some cause for optimism for the future by beating 2019 Champions Doncaster, who have slipped badly this year and are consigned to a bottom-four finish.
The picture in the Championship is very different, where there are promotion and relegation issues still to be decided in the last two weeks of the season. In the top game, leaders Cleethorpes travel to one of their two promotion challengers, Houghton Main, whom they beat at Chichester Road in June. Despite occasional batting frailties, the Seasiders have enjoyed a very successful season, and with Bill Kirby and Alex Osmond back in the side after injuries, need one win from their last two games to achieve their aim of promotion. The two games could not be harder though, as after Houghton, they face Whiston in the last game. Whiston are at home to Conisbrough, who are now safe from relegation after a mixed season. At the other end of the table, Sprotbrough occupy next-to-bottom place after enduring a miserable July and August, but they got a significant fillip last Saturday from a resounding win over main relegation rivals Barnsley 2nds. Sprotbrough go to Aston Hall, who also arrested a long losing run when they won at Oughtibridge last week; whilst Barnsley are at home to Wath, who are always a dangerous proposition nowadays. Warmsworth are not completely out of the woods yet, but if they can win at Rockingham, they will be safe. The latter achieved a top half place with a good mid-season run, but have stuttered in the last couple of weeks. Finally, relegated Oughtibridge face another hard task when they visit Collegiate 2nds, who have maintained a top four position all season.
Shiregreen and Green Moor are getting ever closer to promotion out of Division 1, although they both face tough tests in this penultimate weekend. The runaway leaders, Shiregreen, have a trip to fourth-placed Darfield to contend with; whilst Green Moor host Wakefield Thornes 2nds, who are in fifth place. Rotherham Town are just below the leaders in third and will be hoping for a Green Moor defeat as they try to make up ground when they travel to sixth-placed Whitley Hall 2nds. There is also a massive battle at the bottom, where six sides are still in the mix to go down. After their impressive win last weekend, Sheffield United have a huge game at home to bottom side Aston Hall 2nds, who could yet climb away from danger themselves. There is also a meeting between tenth-placed Hallam 2nds and eighth-placed South Kirkby while second-bottom Treeton 2nds are away at Upper Haugh, who are still not completely safe in seventh.
Division 2 leaders Doncaster 2nds can get one hand on the title when they host Wickersley Old Village 2nds, who still need points to be certain of avoiding the drop. Second-placed Coal Aston host Norton Oakes, who are now just about safe. Sheffield Collegiate 3rds currently sit in the third promotion place and they travel to Thorpe Hesley & High Green, who are now comfortable in sixth place. Monk Bretton in fourth must win to have any chance of breaking into the top three, and they face a tough away trip to Norton Woodseats, one place and two points behind them, and who will not have completely given up hope themselves. The battle at the other end of the table sees Frecheville host Worsbrough Bridge at the Hobson Bowl, both sides still fighting to escape the clutches of relegation; whilst bottom side Elsecar 2nds, now relegated, visit Thorncliffe, who will almost certainly be relegated if they lose.
Promotion from Division 3 is currently Penistone and Caribbean Sports’ to lose, as it has been for some time. There is a huge game at the top this weekend, however, as third-placed Sprotbrough 2nds host league leaders Penistone as they try to break into the promotion places. It is still a very tough ask as Caribbean, who occupy second spot face, on paper, a much easier test at home to Whiston Parish Church 2nds. At the bottom, Maltby Miners Welfare and Rockingham Colliery 2nds are down and out, they face Oughtibridge 2nds and Tickhill 2nds respectively, both tough games but where they will be looking for a bit of pride. Barnsley Woolley Miners 3rds and Silkstone United sit above the bottom two, but still face massive uphill battles. They travel to fourth-placed Wath 2nds and fifth-placed Kexborough, respectively.
Leaders Parkhead seem destined for promotion from Division 4, and this could be confirmed with a victory away at relegated Mexborough Athletic. There is a battle between second and third at Bradfield, where the visitors are Cawthorne. Victory for the home side would probably confirm their promotion, whilst the Barnsley side must win to keep in the hunt. Hampole and Skelbrooke cannot escape the drop but their visitors tomorrow, Hallam 3rds, are still alive and kicking and need the win; in a similar position are Fishlake, who appear to have a much tougher task, as they travel to Shiregreen 2nds tomorrow, and then to Collegiate 4ths on Sunday. Elsewhere, relegated Barnsley Woolley Miners 4ths face mid-table Higham tomorrow.
Division 5’s changeable promotion race is still yet to take its final shape and there is a huge game between third-placed Darfield 2nds and second-placed Whiston Forge, which could put yet another twist in the tail of the battle. The title is Handsworth’s to lose, and they will be hoping for no slip-ups as they visit Conisbrough 2nds, who need the points to stay just clear of the relegation zone. Towards the bottom, the race to escape the large relegation zone is going to be a tough one. Penistone 2nds still stand a decent chance in eighth, they host Bradfield Village Fellowship 2nds, who are rock-bottom and relegated; whilst fifth-placed Upper Haugh 2nds have a must-win game at Kilnhurst Colliery, who are also down and out. In a fascinating round of penultimate fixtures of the season, Norton Oakes 2nds, who can still escape, must win on their trip to Coal Aston 2nds, who are fourth. Promotion and relegation are all still to play for!
Runaway leaders in Division 6, Wombwell Main host Brookhouse in sixth place, where a win could see them crowned champions. Doncaster 3rds in second place face Sheffield United 2nds at home; both need the points, Doncaster to confirm their promotion and United to climb one place to safety. At the other end of the table, On the relegation front, Millhouses Works 2nds are doomed, and face Thorncliffe 2nds, for whom defeat could also result in relegation. Wentworth, also condemned to the drop, welcome fourth-placed Green Moor 2nds with only pride at stake. The fixture between third placed-Handsworth and Caribbean 2nds is off due to Covid.
There will be a few dead rubbers near the bottom of Division 7 as several teams have had to accept their fate, but there is still a tasty battle between the top three. Frecheville 2nds’ chances of finally breaking into the promotion places rest solely on those above them losing, they play away at fifth-placed Higham 2nds, where a win is far from guaranteed. The top two teams are Whitley Hall and Sprotbrough 3rds – the latter’s grasp on top spot does not seem to be loosening and they host Dearne, who are now resigned to their fate; whilst Whitley Hall face a huge game at home to fourth-placed Harley. Towards the bottom, there is a large gap between seventh and eighth, where there is a big battle to avoid the last relegation spot. Doncaster Town 4ths currently occupy it, and play relegated Silkstone United 2nds; while Warmsworth 2nds, in sixth, cannot afford to lose at home to Houghton Main 2nds, who are also doomed for the drop. To round off the fixtures, four clubs destined for division 8 will meet; Worsbrough Bridge are at home to bottom club Wath 3rds, while Scholes travel to Fishlake 2nds.
Monk Bretton are clear leaders in Division 8 and this week travel to Rockingham Colliery 4ths looking for the win that could see them crowned champions. Second-placed Mexborough 2nds are away to Brookhouse 2nds in eighth place; whilst Rockingham 3rds, who are still fighting for a promotion spot in third, host mid-table Wombwell 2nds. Adwick-le-Street 2nds probably have too much to do to get into the promotion frame, but should pick up winning points from the visit of bottom of the table Whiston Forge. The remaining fixture sees Sheffield United 3rds, next-to-bottom, host Eden Grove Parklands, who are fifth.
With thanks to Sam Chadwick & Tom Pratt
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