Preview of games on 14 & 15 May
Posted on 13th May 2022 at 16:31
The match-of-the-day in the Premier Division is at Alderson Drive, where the visitors are joint leaders Appleby Frodingham. The Steelmen won the corresponding fixture last season by a country mile, and went on to complete a league double, but Tickhill have made a fine start to the season and are in joint third place, so a much closer game can be expected. The other joint leaders, Wakefield Thornes, go to Dark Lane, where they won on their previous league visit. Cawthorne have just the one win from three, and much will depend on their top three batsmen. Cleethorpes have made a good start on their return to the Premier Division, losing just once, narrowly, at Treeton; but they will be tested at home by Sheffield Collegiate, who have made an inconsistent start yet can beat anyone on their day. Doncaster Town have won their last two, so will travel with increased confidence to Whiston, who were well-beaten at Cleethorpes last week. Elsecar host Whitley Hall, who won the corresponding game last year – the home side have just one win from four so far, but look too good to languish in the lower reaches for long; Whitley have lost their last two after winning their first two. Barnsley, without a win so far, visit Treeton, winless since their first game – the visitors will hope to be strengthened by the arrival of hard-hitting South Australia batsman Jake Weatherald.
Both leaders will protect their 100% records at home tomorrow; Aston Hall to Shiregreen, who have two wins from four so far in their first Championship season; and Hallam at home to Rockingham, who got off the mark last week with a win over Sheffield Collegiate 2nds. Third-placed Wath pay their first league visit to Green Moor, with a great opportunity to narrow the gap if either of the leaders slips up. Wickersley’s start to Championship life has not so far been as successful as they would have hoped, but they too have a good opportunity to get a promotion charge going when they visit Abbeydale to play Sheffield Collegiate 2nds, who have just one win from four so far. Houghton Main make the short trip to Shaw Lane to play Barnsley 2nds – both teams have been inconsistent so far with two wins from four, but are separated in the table by ten points, and the home side will want to narrow that gap by repeating last season’s win in the fixture. Finally, Conisbrough, who got off the mark last week, are at home to a Sprotbrough side that will also want to repeat their win in the fixture last season to bounce back from last Saturday’s defeat at Hallam to consolidate their place in the top four.
There is an early top-of-the-table clash in Division 1 as first-placed Doncaster Town 2nds host Sheffield United, one of three sides in second place on 40 points, eight points behind the leaders. United lost last week to Coal Aston, another of the joint-second placed sides, who travel to mid-table Wakefield Thornes 2nds. The third side on 40 points, Darfield, travel to South Kirkby, who have lost their last three. Town currently lead United by eight points, but Darfield will know that, if results go their way, they could hit the front in the standings. Elsewhere, Oughtibridge look for their first win of the season at home to Warmsworth, who sit just eight points above them. Other games see Upper Haugh, in fifth, host Sheffield Collegiate 3rds; and Whitley Hall 2nds, with two wins from two, play Rotherham Town, who gained a rather unconvincing first win at Oughtibridge last week.
Both Norton Woodseats and Wickersley Old Village 2nds remain on maximum points in Division 2 and both have home games against mid-table sides this weekend. The former play Hallam 2nds at Graves Park while the latter host Aston Hall 2nds at Northfield Lane. Third-placed Ackworth are at home to Thorpe Hesley & High Green, who have only one win so far. At the other end of the table, Caribbean Sports, 14 points behind eleventh club Monk Bretton, and in danger of being cut adrift, travel to Hatfield Town, who have won their last two games quite convincingly. The other fixtures see Monk Bretton host Treeton 2nds, and Penistone, who have lost their last two, travel to Norton Oakes in fourth.
Elsecar 2nds top Division 3 by ten points as the only side with a 100% record, and their latest test sees them travel to mid-table Bradfield Village Fellowship. Tickhill 2nds are the side chasing Elsecar most closely, and they face an away game at Kexborough, ten points below them. At the other end of the table, Oughtibridge 2nds and Thorncliffe & Wentworth are level on 14 points, and play Wath 2nds, in sixth, and fourth-placed Frecheville Community respectively. Elsewhere, Parkhead in third play host to Worsbrough Bridge, and Whiston Parish Church 2nds are away at Sprotbrough 2nds in a bottom four tussle.
The two teams at the top of Division 4 have both won all their games but both face stiff challenges from the two teams immediately below them. Millhouses Works will hope to carry on their momentum at home to Handsworth, whilst Sheffield Collegiate 4ths face a Cawthorne 2nds side just one win behind them. Barnsley Woolley Miners 3rds and Stocksbridge are level right in the middle of the table; both travel to face sides below them, with the latter at Stocksbridge whilst the Woolley side go to Whiston Forge. Elsewhere, Silkstone United and Shiregreen 2nds are in danger of being cut adrift as they both await their first wins of the season, and the former travel to mid-table Rockingham Colliery 2nds, whilst Shiregreen host Higham in fifth place.
Wombwell Main are the only side in Division 5 to have won all their games, and they travel to mid-table Coal Aston 2nds. Second-placed Doncaster Town 3rds are at home to Sheffield University Staff, ten points below them in fifth. Upper Haugh 2nds are in third place, having lost their unbeaten record to Rotherham last week, and they visit Darfield 2nds, down in tenth place. Two sides await wins in the division, with Mexborough Athletic and Norton Oakes 2nds on none and two points respectively. The gap above them is 14 points and, as the first win becomes more and more important, the two sides face off, with Mexborough being the hosts. In the other two fixtures, there is a mid-table battle at Fishlake, who host Hallam 3rds, and fourth-placed Rotherham Town 2nds are at home to Conisbrough 2nds.
The race at the top of Division 6 promises to be a close one. Wickersley Old Village 3rds currently top the table, two points above Thorpe Hesley & High Green 2nds and Green Moor 2nds. Thorpe Hesley, however, remain the only team on maximum points, having played a game less. They face a big test this week as they host Wickersley in an early top-of-the-table clash. Meanwhile, Green Moor 2nds travel to Sheffield United 2nds hoping to take advantage of the inevitable dropping of points at Smithywood Road. Bottom side Caribbean don’t play this weekend, giving Barnsley Woolley Miners 4ths and Sprotbrough 3rds the opportunity to increase the gap above them; Barnsley host Bradfield Village Fellowship 2nds while Sprotbrough appear to have a harder task away to Handsworth JSC 2nds in fourth. The other game of the day sees Penistone 2nds host Whitley Hall 3rds, with both teams currently locked on 24 points.
Both Higham 2nds and Ackworth 2nds remain on maximum points as the top two in Division 7. The former will see this weekend as an opportunity to open a gap when they play winless bottom side Monk Bretton 2nds at home, whilst Ackworth 2nds have a weekend off. Thorncliffe & Wentworth 2nds are the other only team not to have won a game so far this season and have an opportunity to put that right at home to Frecheville Community 2nds, just one place above them. Incidentally, Brookhouse also have a 100% record, having played a game less than the top two, and could go second with a win at home to lowly Millhouses Works 2nds. Elsewhere, there are two mid-table clashes, as Eden Grove Parklands in seventh host Harley in fifth, and Mexborough 2nds in sixth travel to play fourth-placed Warmsworth 2nds.
Division 8 is the only one where no teams have an unbeaten record; Houghton Main 2nds and Hatfield Town 2nds are separated by just two points, each having lost one out of four. Neither have easy games this week, as Houghton Main host fifth-placed Doncaster Town 4ths, and Hatfield travel to Worsbrough Bridge 2nds in fourth. Dearne sit six points below the top two, and if they are to take advantage of any slip-ups by the top two, they will need to win a tricky game at Stocksbridge 2nds in sixth. The other two games see Wath 3rds and Scholes searching for their first wins, playing at home to Fishlake 2nds and Rockingham Colliery 3rds in seventh and eighth respectively.
Whiston Forge 2nds are already 12 points clear at the top as the only unbeaten team in Division 9. Their next test comes away at Wombwell Main 2nds, who are one of four teams on 36 points in joint-second place. Two of those four face each other at Hampole & Skelbrooke where Kexborough 2nds are the visitors, and both will be keen not to lose more ground. The other side in the mix at the top are Adwick-Le-Street, who go to next-to-bottom Rockingham Colliery 4ths with an oppoertunity to strengthen their promotion challenge. The other game on Saturday is a mid-table clash between Upper Haugh 3rds and Eden Grove Parklands 2nds; whilst bottom club Sheffield United 3rds host Brookhouse 2nds on Sunday.
Sunday sees the first round of this season’s ExtraCover Insurance Whitworth Cup. Holders Sprotbrough face what could be a tricky trip to Darfield, where the home side will be keen to make use of ground advantage and claim a higher-division scalp. Probably the match-of-the-round is at Crimicar, where so-far unbeaten Championship joint-leaders Hallam face the ever-dangerous Houghton Main side. Last year’s losing finalists Aston Hall are at home to Rockingham, and there is another intriguing-looking game at Moor Road, where Wath will face Wickersley. Last season, Rotherham won the Mick Savage Trophy and they will be hoping to put a disappointing start to the league programme behind them and set off on another cup run when they face Green Moor, whom they beat convincingly at home last year. Warmsworth have made a disappointing start to life in Division 1, but they are at home to Conisbrough, who beat them only narrowly in their one Championship game last year. The two second XIs, of Sheffield Collegiate and Barnsley Woolley Miners, clash at Abbeydale in a game that is difficult to predict on form this season; whilst Shiregreen are at home to a side they replaced in the Championship last season, Oughtibridge, and will hope to make progress.
by Sam Chadwick & Roger Pugh
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