This is why we play cricket. One minute you’re up, head in the clouds, the next you’re flat on your face. So it was for Whiston on Saturday but not so for Houghton Main and Cleethorpes who strode over them to the top of the YCSPL Championship. 
 
Aston Hall v Whiston Parish Church 
 
Aston Hall haven’t done quite as well as they’d hoped in the first quarter of the season – all the more pleasure then in reigning-in league-leaders, Whiston. Aston started poorly. Aamir Jamal had them 20-3 (the first of his 6-70) but Nathan Ward (30) and Josh Coulson (44) pulled them round and all the later batsmen continued to score freely even as wickets fell. From 82-5 they moved to 155-7 and finally 220-9 – a brilliant recovery and one that must have frustrated Whiston, because when it was their turn to bat they did so with none of their usual spirit. At 32-3, Andy Tomlinson and Danny Kemp were both out. Jamal, having bowled 15 overs, suddenly found he was expected to bat too. He and Scott Cunningham both did their best to resurrect the Whiston innings, but both were run out in their twenties and Adam Clarke gobbled up the tail for Whiston to end on 123 and massive disappointment. Still, they’ll be back and so will Aston after such a great team performance. 
 
Aston Hall 220-9 (50) Nathan Ward 30, Josh Coulson 44, Aamir Jamal 6-70 
Whiston PC 123 (36.3) Adam Clark 3-30 
Aston Hall (12pts) beat Whiston Parish Church (0) by 97 runs 
 
Sprotbrough v Houghton Main 
 
With Whiston up-ended, could Houghton Main take advantage? Sprotbrough are a tough team to beat, but with Scott Mantovani and Ashley Langdale both unavailable, and Michael Threapleton unable to bowl more than three overs, their attack didn’t have quite the same bite and Houghton were able to get away. Brent Law (93) and Michael Brown (51) put on 113 for the first wicket and Connor Fisher (43) and Umair Tariq (38) followed up with a flourish so Houghton ended with 284-5. Sprotbrough aren’t put down that easily though and Tom Pepper and Gordon Thomson took them to 178-1 before Pepper fell for 111. Then Matty Bowering and Imran Khan jumped into the void and reduced Sprotbrough to 222-8. Paul Wookey and Michael Threapleton did their best to keep up the battle and lifted them to 254 – a winning score most days, but not this one. So Houghton are now top of the league, just ahead of Cleethorpes. 
 
Houghton M 284-5 (50) Michael Brown 51, Brent Law 93, Connor Fisher 43, Umair Tariq 38 
Sprotbrough 254 (49.2) Thomas Pepper 111, Gordon Thomson 47, Imran Khan 4-67, Matty Bowering 3-52 
Houghton Main (12pts) beat Sprotbrough (2) by 30 runs 
 
Wath v Cleethorpes 
 
Cleethorpes had to battle to overcome Wath against a fine economical spell of 2-51 in 15 overs by leg-spinner Rob Barlow and an even more productive 6-62 from Shawn Hopkins. Sameera Sadamal (38) and Tom Rollinson (34) built a total but at 179 all out, it wasn’t as much as they might have hoped. James Barnard set Wath on track with 46 but with just four runs between batsmen four and eight and Wath on 89-8, there was not much Jonathan Plater and Shawn Hopkins could do but survive and survive they did for 15 overs or more, reaching 147-8, just 32 short. Alex Osmond took 3-16 in ten overs, Sameera Sadamal 3-25 in thirteen. 
 
Cleethorpes 179 (47.2) Sameera Sadamal 38, Tom Rollinson 34, Shawn Hopkins 6-62 
Wath 147-8 (50) James Barnard 46, Alex Osmond 3-16, Sameera Sadamal 3-25 
Cleethorpes (12pts) beat Wath (2) by 32 runs 
 
Sheffield Collegiate 2nds v Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds 
 
Whiston must also have felt the wind of Collegiate 2nds blowing past them. Collegiate triumphed in the contest of the two 2nd teams, holding Barnsley 2nds to 169-9 with tight bowling all round, especially from Ben Fielding (as always) – 3-35 in fifteen. Nathan Swift hit 40 for Barnsley in an innings interrupted by injury and Callum Honeyman (34) steadied the ship in the middle. Collegiate made similarly slow progress but held on to win with six wickets down and two overs to go, George Bartlett top-scoring with 48. 
 
Barnsley WM 2 169-9 (50) Nathan Swift 40, Callum Honeyman 34, Lewis Hogg 3-54, Ben Fielding 3-35 
Sheffield C 2 173-6 (47.2) George Bartlett 48 
Sheffield Collegiate 2nds (12pts) beat Barnsley Woolley Miners 2nds (2) by four wickets 
 
Conisbrough v Warmsworth 
 
At the other end of the table, Conisbrough had a very similar scoring game against Warmsworth, except that Warmsworth’s total of 166 all out was made up of three strong innings by Gordon Laidlaw (75) Liam Marshall (37) and Limar Pierce (25), but in their now familiar collapse, their last seven wickets fell for 20 runs, Nathan Smith taking 5-17 in four. Conisbrough had an opening stand of 50 but it took an invaluable knock of 40* in 80 balls by captain Joe Farmer, to steer a very leaky ship from 90-5 to 169-8 as Conisbrough recorded their first win and moved off the bottom of the table. 
 
Warmsworth 166 (42.1) Gordon Laidlaw 75, Liam Marshall 37, Buddhika Sanjeewa 3-34, Nathan Smith 5-17 
Conisbrough 169-8 (34.1) Joe Farmer 40*, Lewis Brown 4-64 
Conisbrough (12pts) beat Warmsworth (4) by two wickets 
 
Oughtibridge War Memorial v Rockingham Colliery 
 
Conisbrough’s place was taken by Oughtibridge who made a brave effort to stay with Rockingham in a high scoring game. Rockingham made 257 thanks to 81 from Ben Dalton, 52 from Hamzah Younis and other substantial knocks from Mikey Denton and Andy Baker. Zobair Khaliq took 4-62. Rockingham might have had more but ran and bowled themselves out, losing their last five wickets for 6 runs. Oughtibridge also started well and were 127-3 before Ashley Naseby was out for 47, but a few balls later they were 127-7 (including a team hat trick – with a run out) and from then on it was a struggle with Hedar Rasool holding up one end to finish unbeaten on 57 and others contributing when they could. They ended on 197-9 and are six points adfrift at the bottom, while Rockingham sail up to 7th. 
 
Rockingham Colliery 257 (49.3) Ben Dalton 81, Hamzah Younis 52, Mikey Denton 45, Andy Baker 36, Zobair Khaliq 4-62 
Oughtibridge WM 197-9 (50) Mustafa Hussain 35, Hedar Rasool 57*, Ashley Naseby 47, Nazakat Khan 3-44 
Rockingham Colliery (12pts) beat Oughtibridge War Memorial (2) by 60 runs 
 
Next week Houghton Main play Warmsworth and in possibly the most interesting game of the day Cleethorpes play Collegiate 2nds, while wounded Whiston will be looking to re-assert themselves at home to Wath. 
 
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