‘Brough keep up the heat

Conisbrough B v Tickhill B.  Conisbrough opening batsman William Finney.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Conisbrough B v Tickhill B. Conisbrough opening batsman William Finney. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Conisbrough’s seconds kept up the pressure on Tickhill in the race for a promotion spot from the third division of the South Yorkshire League, with a narrow win over their rivals.

The four-run victory leaves Conisbrough in fifth, 13 runs behind fourth-placed Tickhill. Tickhill, in turn, are three points adrift of the third promotion spot, currently occupied by Maltby MW.

After Conisbrough skipper Bob Fuller won the toss and elected to bat first, his decision seemed justified when opening pair Craig Jackson and Bill Finney added a partnership of 180 for the first wicket.

The huge stand was eventually broken when Tom Whittaker removed Jackson for a majestic 84, containing 12 fours and one maximum six.

Their second wicket came soon after, when Whittaker again struck to remove Callum Fuller for a duck, but Finney carried on and reached his century, eventually finishing not out on 104.

A half-century stand with Joe Haigh, who made 25, helped Conisbrough to a challenging 231-3 after their 46 overs.

Tickhill’s reply relied on a number of batsmen all making contributions, rather than one batsman making big runs, and they lost wickets at regular intervals, first falling to 37-4 and then 51-5.

An 82-run stand between Whittaker and wicket-keeper Richard Coyle set them back on track, however, and Will Harrison and Tom Johnson added 84 for the eighth wicket to edge Tickhill ever closer to their target.

When Harrison was trapped leg before by Craig Jackson (4-45) for 58, however, the game was up and Tickhill ended their overs agonisingly short of their target on 227-8, losing by just four runs.

n Conisbrough’s first team, meanwhile, surrended top spot in the South Yorkshire League’s Division One table, after defeat to Wath.

Conisbrough remain level on points with Tickhill, who climbed above them to take top spot after beating Rotherham Town.

Conisbrough seemed well in the game, after dismissing Wath for 173.

Skipper Gary Strephan took 3-29, and Stuart Bellwood added 4-30 as only Jack Whitlam (54) passed the half-century mark for Wath.

In a remarkable Conisbrough reply, Wath’s Shawn Dyson was involved in all ten of the wickets to fall - taking 6-38, and then bagging the remaining four catches as Conisbrough were bowled out for 131.

Bellwood followed up his earlier heroics with the ball, top-scoring with 30, but Conisbrough never recovered after being reduced to 16-4.

n Darfield kept up the pressure on the top two, with a narrow win at home to Norton Woodseats.

After winning the toss and electing to bowl, Darfield made an early breakthrough when Daniel Turner was bowled by Paul Wilkinson for 1, with the score on 5.

That became 5-2 when Michael Burney was trapped lbw by Chris Jevons for 4, and it was 14-3 when stumper Shahzad Hussain was also sent back to the pavilion.

David Armitage rescued his side with an impressive, patient 88, containing 11 fours and two sixes, and a useful 31 from Chris Colegate saw his side recover and post 224-9 from their allotted 50 overs.

Wilkinson was the pick of the Darfield bowlers, returning figures of 5-82 from his 15 overs.

In Darfield’s reply, there was to be no early collapse as opening batsmen Peter Hadfield and skipper James Ward added a half-century partnership.

That was broken when Ward was trapped lbw by Turner, but Hadfield went on to score 76 before he was caught by Norton skipper Hussain off the bowling of Saqib Shah.

Liam Marshall’s patient 43, which included just three boundaries, set Darfield back on track, and a late 32 not out from Josh Care, from just 21 balls and including two sixes, saw them home with one ball to spare.