Preview of League matches on 31 July
Posted on 30th July 2021 at 08:35
Premier Division leaders Appleby Frodingham can take a step closer to the title if they bounce back from last week’s defeat at home to Treeton and beat bottom club Wickersley at Northfield Road. Treeton, eighteen points behind the leaders in second, face Doncaster Town at Washfield Lane, and will be looking for a double that will keep their hopes alive. Sheffield Collegiate, two points further back in third, face Tickhill at Abbeydale, and both sides come into the game on the back of three consecutive wins. Barnsley Woolley Miners fight out a local derby at the Al-Murad Stadium, with the home side, whilst ten points behind the Griffins, having the better recent form. Tenth play ninth at Dark Lane, with neither Cawthorne nor visitors Whitley Hall having shown their best form of late. Hallam make the trip to Field Lane to play a Wakefield Thornes, who arrested their poor run last week with a win at Cawthorne. Hallam must win if they are to repeat their remarkable 'great escape' of 2019.
In the Championship Division, leaders Cleethorpes will face inconsistent Warmsworth at Chichester Road, with both sides needing the points, albeit for differing reasons. Cleethorpes will want to keep their noses in front of Whiston and Houghton Main, whilst Warmsworth will want to increase the gap between themselves and the bottom four. Whiston, in second, are at home to out-of-form Sprotbrough, whilst Houghton Main host bottom-half side Conisbrough - both will be disappointed if they do not win. Until losing their last three games, Sheffield Collegiate had been enjoying a fine season and they remain dangerous opponents for anyone; they visit Aston Hall, whose four-match winning run in June rekindled thoughts of promotion but they have now lost their last four. Wath’s recent run of five wins on the trot is the best in the division, and they will hope to make it six when they play Rockingham at Moor Road. The bottom two play each other at Shaw Lane; bottom club Oughtibridge are ten points behind Barnsley and twenty adrift of safety, so need the win more.
Green Moor stayed top of Division 1 last weekend and look to stay clear of Shiregreen in second as they play host to fourth-placed side Darfield. Shiregreen themselves don’t have it much easier after their demolition of Rotherham Town, as they travel to Upper Haugh, who lie in fifth spot. Town still sit in third after their defeat to the team above them, but are 17 points adrift of promotion and need a win at home to Aston Hall 2nds to keep their hopes alive. At the bottom of the table, Treeton 2nds overtook Sheffield United last weekend with a rare win, and the two basement sides face off this time around in a very important fixture. South Kirkby were the victims of that Treeton victory and play fellow mid-table side, Whitley Hall 2nds, who were defeated by Green Moor last week. Elsewhere, Hallam 2nds have been in poor form in recent weeks and find themselves sitting in tenth, but they face another side who can’t buy a win recently in Wakefield Thornes 2nds.
As things heat up towards the business end of the season, Division 2 league leaders Doncaster 3rds are back in action this weekend, and can increase their hold on top spot as they play hosts to Worsbrough. At the other end of the table, strugglers Elsecar 2nds are away to Frecheville, who also had no game last weekend. The two Norton sides are up against each other this weekend as both teams look to build on their impressive wins last weekend. Sheffield Collegiate 3rds host Wickersley Old Village 2nds, which could be an entertaining tussle, and other promotion hopefuls Monk Bretton travel to Thorpe Hesley & High Green. Strugglers Thorncliffe travel to fourth-placed Coal Aston in the day's other game.
Only four games took place in Division 3 last weekend, as Covid continues to disrupt things. As a result of Sprotbrough and Caribbean’s no-result, Penistone moved up to second with a thrashing of Rockingham Colliery 2nds. They will be confident of carrying on the momentum as they travel to basement side, Maltby Miners Welfare. Caribbean remain top of the table and, like Penistone, will face strugglers when tenth-placed Silkstone United come to visit. Below the top three, last week Kexborough beat Wath 2nds to move above them into fourth, but now face more stern opposition as they travel to Tickhill 2nds, who beat Oughtibridge 2nds convincingly last time out. Wath, now sitting in fifth, will want to quickly bounce back from their defeat last week when eleventh-placed Rockingham Colliery 2nds come to town. Both Oughtibridge and Barnsley Woolley Miners 3rds suffered defeats on Saturday and face up looking to climb the league. Unlucky Sprotbrough 2nds have lost another game to Covid, this time the interesting-looking fixture against Whiston 2nds.
The shock of the weekend in Division 4 could come at Shiregreen, who host leaders Parkhead. Defeat for Parkhead would give Bradfield Village Fellowship a chance to put on more pressure, as they have two games in hand of the table-toppers. Bradfield play Higham, who have lost their way a little bit recently. Sheffield Collegiate 4ths will still be hoping to make a late promotion push and they travel to lowly Barnsley Woolley Miners 4ths. The bottom half of the table sees Mexborough host Millhouses Works; bottom side Hampole & Skelbrooke host mid-table Cawthorne 2nds, and Fishlake in seventh take on Hallam 3rds in ninth.
One of the surprises of the season came last weekend when Handsworth JSC demolished Division 5 table-toppers, Upper Haugh 2nds, by 237 runs. This time around, the league-leaders face former first-placed side Whiston Forge, hoping to put up much more of a fight. Handsworth moved into fourth with their colossal win and travel to second-bottom Norton Oakes 2nds looking to climb even higher. Another team bang in form are Kilnhurst Colliery, as recent results have seen them catapult up into second, and they are at home to bottom side Bradfield Village Fellowship 2nds this weekend. Below them in third, Coal Aston 2nds have also climbed the standings recently, and they travel to Darfield 2nds, who sit in seventh. Towards the bottom, Conisbrough 2nds have seen a resurgence of late, which has carried them closer to safety, and they play host to Thorpe Hesley & High Green 2nds, who have been in contrastingly bad form. Finally, two inconsistent sides of late face off in mid-table with Rotherham Town 2nds travelling to Penistone 2nds.
With Doncaster 3rds gameless this weekend, we could see a new Division 6 leader in the shape of Wombwell Main, provided that they gain a victory at home to Wickersley Old Village 3rds. With six teams effectively due to be relegated this season, games become more important than ever, no more so than for bottom club Wentworth against fifth-bottom Brookhouses. Other games in the division see eighth-placed Thorncliffe 2nds host top-half side Green Moor 2nds at the Crucible Oval; whilst Millhouses 2nds in ninth look for an important win against top-four side Caribbean Sports 2nds, who also play on Sunday against Thorncliffe 2nds at home. Struggling Sheffield United 2nds trip to third-placed Handsworth has fallen victim to Covid.
There is a huge game at the top of Division 7 this weekend, as Whitley Hall 3rds and Sprotbrough 3rds face off, both having reached the 100-point mark last Saturday. The fixture will be seen as an open door for Frecheville Community 2nds sitting in third, as they know one or both teams will drop points ahead of their trip to tenth-placed Fishlake 2nds. There will also be an interesting game at Higham, whose 2nds face Harley in a fifth playing fourth tussle; while sixth and seventh also come up against each other, as Warmsworth 2nds host Dearne. At the bottom, twelfth-placed Silkstone United 2nds will hope to pull away from trouble as they host basement side Wath 3rds, who appear down and out. There could be some interesting changes near the foot of the table by the end of the weekend as thirteenth-placed Houghton Main 2nds travel to ninth-placed Worsbrough Bridge 2nds and eleventh-placed Scholes host eight-placed Doncaster Town 4ths.
Division 8 now seems a three-team race for the title and promotion as Monk Bretton sit pretty at the top. This weekend, thet face Upper Haugh 2nds, who are in fourth place. Second-placed Mexborough travel to Sheffield United 3rds looking to close the gap. Promotion outsiders Rockingham Colliery 3rds are gameless this weekend, whilst the Colliery 4ths host Wombwell Main 2nds. Other games in the division see Adwick-Le-Street 2nds host bottom of the table Brodsworth Main 3rds; Brookhouse 2nds entertain Whiston Forge 2nds in ninth and tenth respectively; and there is a mid-table battle at Bence Lane, where Kexborough 2nds and Eden Grove Parklands will fight it out.
With thanks to Sam Chadwick & Tom Pratt
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