South Yorkshire League: Aston Hall stand on brink of title

Conisbrough bowler Scott Lowe.
Conisbrough bowler Scott Lowe.

On a Saturday when the hopes of clubs in promotion and relegation situations were blown and drenched by the storms that hit South Yorkshire after tea, there was plenty of cricket - until tea, at least - but very few results.

In the Championship, Conisbrough bowled Tickhill out for 70, with Scott Lowe returning remarkable figures of 8-2-12-6. However, Tickhill have one of the best bowling attacks in the league and Steve Reid roared back in to produce figures almost as good, bowling all his 15 overs off the reel, without a break, taking 4-27.

Conisbrough were 45-7 before Lowe, determined not to lose the efforts of his own bowling, steered his team home with 17* - the highest score of the day on both sides! Tickhill needed the win to stay with the promotion pack. Now Conisbrough are just one point behind them but probably both are going to miss the cut.

It could have been the same at Treeton for the crucial, potentially championship-deciding clash between Treeton and Aston Hall. Treeton won the toss and bowled, and Steve Foster soon accounted for Aston’s prolific openers Adam Whiteley and Matthew Cartwright.

Jack Simmonite and Nick Smit had a brief stand, before Greg Norton removed the middle order. Had Aston folded then, Treeton might have been in with a chance, but a crucial partnership between Rob Ward and Steve Ludlam held up proceedings long enough for Treeton’s familiar rain God to consider a visit.

Foster cleaned up (4-33 in 15) for Aston to be bowled out for 142 with an over to spare, but by that stage the rain was already falling and the game was over. Treeton sat, waiting to bat, knowing that had they got the wickets sooner and Charlie Roebuck been allowed to get going, the win - and the Championship - might have been theirs.

But maybe it’s Aston Hall’s year (for the first time since 1976). They just have to hold their nerve for the last three games, against Darfield, Wath and Conisbrough - all of which they should win - and it’s theirs.

As it stands, they need just one point to win promotion to the new Yorkshire League South.

In the other top match, Anthony Wilson made 106 for Whitley Hall, with 57 from Jim Tasker who declared on 262-7 in 45 overs, desperate to get some overs at Elsecar.

But they could only manage six, which was two more than Wickersley could get at Hallam, who held them to 202-8 (Shahjahan Younis 58). James Smedley took 4-68 before both Hallam openers fell in the only four overs possible.

Darfield didn’t even get to bat against Houghton Main, who made 224 all out (Tahir Nawas 61, Tanzeel Ali 53). Michael Topp took 4-52 but that was as good as it got.

The bottom-of-the-table clash between Wath and Coal Aston was also left unresolved - though they certainly tried. Wath bowled Coal Aston out for 123 (Shaun Dyson 4-58) and did their level best to overtake them, making 100-4 in 18.2 overs before the rain. Rob Barlow (38) led the way but Laurence Browes (3-41) pegged them back enough to keep the points shared, leaving Wath still three ahead.

In Division One, there will have been smiles at Whiston who rolled over Barnsley 2nds for 100 (Andy Tomlinson and Richard Spurr taking four each) for Matt Burton (70) to get the win with 101-4 before the rain.

Three weeks ago, Collegiate overtook them at the top when they were rained off, so they’ll have enjoyed Collegiate’s frustration in being rained off against Rotherham Town, as the lead changed hands again.

How Treeton will have looked on enviously.