It’s all change again at the top of the Ben Bailey Homes South Yorkshire League. Treeton lost, Aston Hall go top and Whitley Hall are clicking at their heels.
Hallam have been hammered twice by Treeton this year (or rather, by two Charlie Roebuck centuries) in the league and Whitworth Cup. However they also sneaked an emphatic win in the T20 and beat their rivals Whitley Hall last month to let Treeton move up, so it shouldn’t be so much of a surprise when they upset the applecart again on Saturday and beat Treeton in the league.
Treeton made a comfortable 222. Roebuck failed - he only made 87 - and James Smedley had his best figures of 5-45 but it still seemed plenty, even with Steve Foster missing. After all, Nick Dymock was still injured and Hallam’s middle order have been woefully out of form this season, but on Saturday Mark Williams came good with 111* and Hallam scored 224-5 to win.
So the way was clear for Aston Hall. They have only lost once this season but have had more games abandoned to the weather than anyone, so it’s taken them a while to rise to the top. But they’re there now, with another tremendous performance by their top five - they haven’t lost more than three wickets in an innings since July 11th!
On Saturday they contained Elsecar to 211-4 (Paul Cummins 51, Scott Jones 48*) for Adam Whiteley (95) and Matthew Cartwright (74) to knock off the runs for three down.
Whitley Hall seem to have straightened out their own wobbles and are now playing with their early season authority, bowling out Houghton Main for 150 (Liam Bacon 4-52) - and it could have been less had it not been for junior David Merryweather, who came in when Houghton were 45-6 and was last out 105 runs later, for 46.
Chris Siddall (61*) and Neil Longhurst ( 49) rattled off 153-3 for Whitley to win in 24 overs
Darfield, sadly, have continued to decline. They were top of the table in May but are now fourth from bottom. They can score runs - they made 227 on Saturday (James Ward 64, Will Turner 46) - but, with the exception of Michael Topp, haven’t quite got the fire power to bowl out their opposition.
Conisbrough, batting first, had made 238-7 (Scott Lowe 63, Nathan Smith 56, Topp 4-38). Still, Darfield almost got there. Josh Gillies and Jonathan Millward had a last wicket partnership of 44 which must have rattled Conisbrough, before they ended up 11 short.
Tickhill, also in the leaders pack early on, have had their own inconsistencies, but are still fifth after scoring 226-6 (James Stuart 50, Aaron Haycock 54*) against Wath, and bowling them out for 128 (Alex Rowland 4-39, Steve Reid 3-43). Wickersley, having a similar season, are fourth (but 14 pts behind third) after not bowling out Coal Aston (152-9) and losing six wickets getting to 154 (Shahjahan Younis holding them together with 44*).
So Aston Hall go top with 77, Treeton second with 76, Whitley Hall third with 75 and, in the next two weeks, Aston Hall play first Whitley at home, then Treeton away. Try and get to see them. It’s turning out to be a fascinating season!
And it’s not just the Championship; in Division One, there’s a new leader too, as Collegiate seconds bumped Whiston (218-183) to take over at the top - by one point. Henry Eldred (55), Matt Lee (44) and Ben Fielding were part of a team effort that took the last 6 Whiston wickets for 38.