South Yorkshire League: Hallam become T20 champions for third time in four years

T20 winners Hallam
T20 winners Hallam
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We’re halfway through the season, with 11 games scheduled.

Division One side Thorncliffe, in Chapeltown have played four, had six rained off and one when they elected to watch football.

T20 runners-up Houghton Main

T20 runners-up Houghton Main

Hallam, top of the Championship, have played all 11. Have they found the secret to eternal dryness? Hardly - last year they had the most rained off games in the league. But they have been lucky and they have also made their own luck.

On Saturday, against Conisbrough,they won the toss... lucky! It meant they could use plan A: insert the opposition, bowl them out and knock off the runs. That’s the theory. Applying it against a good side requires some skill.

Step up Humphrey Emery; 18 overs later, Conisbrough, on their own ground, are 87 all out and Emery has 9-35. It could have been better, too; Conisbrough were 39-9, Emery had been twice on a hat trick, but Arosh Janoda likes hitting sixes. He’s hit 27 this season already. On Saturday it was five in 58 from 38 balls. Emery couldn’t get his tenth but the team did, by changing pace.

So 88 to get and rain on the way. Nick Dymock hits 51* in 37 balls and with Will Hale they knock off the runs for one down in 10.5 overs. Job done and Hallam go 23 points clear at the top of the table.

Elsecar are also a skilful side, but at the moment, luck has deserted them. Playing Whiston , they lost the toss, so plan B was in order: get as many as you can as quickly as you can and declare. Trouble is Whiston have one of the best batting sides in the league - you can’t declare too soon or they’ll wallop you.

Elsecar, with Peter Hadfield making 107 and Jason Meadows 55, ran up 253-5 in 40 overs, but it was too many and took too long. The rain came with Whiston on 18-1.

The same thing happened to Darfield. Lost the toss, got 235-5 (Haider Jahangir 92, Waqas Maqsood 47) but suffered a two hour suspension of play for thunder (even though the sun was shining!) and then had only seven overs at Tickhill before, ironically, bad light stopped play.

For others, it was less frenetic. Nick Gaywood of Collegiate rolled back the years with 105* out of 180-4 but Coal Aston didn’t get to bat. Houghton Main struggled to 154 all out against Kexborough. Skipper Michael Brown batted from top to tail with 69, but Kexborough couldn’t get the momentum to win, despite Imran Khan’s 50 and ended on 115-4, 40 short, when the rain came.

Rotherham Town B, who haven’t won a game or scored a point apart from abandonments ,were unable to raise a team and conceded to Wath who took five points, when they would have hoped for seven, but at least they got a win when most were rained off.

On Sunday it was a different day at Tickhill for the finals of the SYSCL T20. In the first semi-final Houghton Main recovered from a poor start to post 151 against Elsecar who subsided for 111. In the second, Hallam overwhelmed Coal Aston and then went on to restrict Houghton Main to 107 in the final, winning by six wickets with four overs to go, becoming SYSCL T20 Champions for the third time in four years.

They now go on to play Appleby Frodingham, Collegiate and Wickersley in the South Yorkshire finals on Sunday, July 17 at Abbeydale.

On Saturday Hallam play Houghton Main again as the league season starts its second run.