The rain teased, then relented, finally permitting us to have a full afternoon’s cricket (some with reduced overs) and all the promotion and relegation issues were settled – almost.
Hallam and Tickhill, already promoted to the YSPL, enjoyed their last games with comfortable wins.
Hallam bowled out Conisbrough for 65. It was a struggle batting first on a rain-affected wicket, with their star overseas Arosh Janoda already home to get married. Nobody for Conisbrough made double figures, but Hallam’s Craig Moffat had his best of the season (4-22) in a seven wicket win.
Tickhill top-scored with 218 in 34 overs, thanks almost entirely to innings of 92 by James Stuart and 51 by Jordan Lowe. Darfield’s Andrew Douglas went for nearly eight an over but still took 6-60.
His team, unable to match the rate, settled for 124-6, Liam Pepper all but batting through for 42.
Elsecar dreamed of what might have been (and will be again), beating Whiston PC by four wickets, Danny Kemp and Scott Jones scoring 60s for either side, while at the other end of the table, Coal Aston drew a veil over their winless season, succumbing to Collegiate B by 37 runs – 146-7 to 109 all out.
The most interesting game was Kexborough 113-4 collapsing to 125 all out thanks to a stunning spell by Houghton Main’s Michael Bates: 6.1-4-6-5, including a hat trick, followed by Houghton, despite a powerful innings of 58 by Ian Simon, getting into tangles of their own. Two wickets fell with the scores tied, until Rob Jones came in with the score on 125-8 and belted his first ball for 6.
Wath’s game was conceded by Rotherham B.
So, the final table is: Hallam 119, Tickhill 93, Elsecar 84, Wath 84, Darfield 73, Whiston PC 67, Conisbrough 60, Houghton Main 52, Collegiate 2nds 44, Kexborough 38, Coal Aston 22, Rotherham 2nds 0
Most League Runs: Shawn Dyson (Wath) 802, Rob Barlow (Wath) 742, Nick Dymock (Hallam) 734, Arosh Janoda (Conisbrough) 673, Danny Kemp (Whiston) 642.
Most League Wickets: Rob Barlow (Wath) 42, Humphrey Emery (Hallam) 41, Callum Honeyman (Houghton Main) 40, James Stuart (Tickhill) 38, Tom Bolland (Whiston) 37.
The last day of the season was so tight at the top of Division One that any one of the top three could have missed promotion if they had blinked – but they didn’t.
Thorncliffe in particular had to hold their nerve after scoring 202 (Mogamad Rayned 100) and finding Sprotbrough cruising on 129-1, but Olly Whittaker and Ben Lomas changed all that with four wickets each as Sprotbrough were bowled out for 179, making Thorncliffe champions.
And deservedly so, having had nine of their fixtures rained off!
Rockingham and Hallam B both had comfortable seven point wins so the second promotion place depends on the outcome of Rockingham’s appeal to the YCB against their seven-point deduction for a player transfer misdemeanour. Oughtibridge and Millhouses are relegated but each lost eleven games – half their fixtures – to the weather.
The South Yorkshire League is consulting all its clubs about the issues mentioned last week: should there be earlier starts; should clubs be able to agree to bring forward start times if bad weather is forecast; should the league introduce Duckworth/Lewis for the Championship (in line with the Premier) or some other way of getting a result in rain-affected games; as well as more general questions about the points structure, the length of games (number of overs) and the regionalisation of divisions three, four and five.
Should be an interesting debate, for the long winter months. See you next year.