In the South Yorkshire League, the much anticipated game between Tickhill and Hallam was won very comfortably by Hallam - who are now 24 points clear and, if they beat Elsecar next week, will be crowned champions.
Tickhill were the only team to have beaten them in the league this season but on Saturday, the Hallam bowlers took such a hold on the game, it was unlikely to happen again, as Tickhill were all out for 158.
Humphrey Emery - who has now taken 24 wickets in his last four matches - returned 6-24. Hallam, through Nick Dymock (70), Will Hale (35) and Alex Hughes (35*) won by eight wickets with 12 overs to spare.
Elsecar, with a game in hand and only two points behind Tickhill, could still secure promotion. They beat Collegiate B on Saturday equally as well, except they missed two vital bonus points as Collegiate were rescued from a difficult start by Andy Simpson (51*), Chris Pickford (34) and Ben Fielding (29*) who took them from 52-5 to 167-7. Paul Cummins took 4-24 in 15.
Elsecar knocked the runs off with ease, for three down, with Peter Hadfield (70*) and Ainsley Swallow (63), as so often, seeing them through, but in a tight promotion race those missed points may gnaw.
Conisbrough won a tense game against Houghton Main. Conisbrough made 231; Arosh Janoda smashed eight sixes in 77, which takes him to a phenomenal 102 maximums for Conisbrough since joining the club last year. Janoda also took 4-65 but Houghton are a tough side and they pulled closer and closer through Callum Honeyman (58) and Khurram Javed (47).
By being all out in 45.3, Conisbrough had given them four extra overs and every ball was used, the last dozen overs bringing three run outs and two sets of five penalty runs as Houghton finished on 223-9. What a game!
Whiston PC came back to form with a comfortable win over Kexborough. James Martin (106) and Andy Tomlinson (55) steered them to 239 before new transfer Sam Taylor took 5-22 to dismiss Kexborough for 115, despite 55 from Ross Diver. And it was similarly one-sided at Wath as Rob Barlow (83) and Shawn Dyson (85), the two top run-scorers in the league, helped them to 306-5 before they bowled Coal Aston out for 131, Jordan Shutt taking 4-29.
On Sunday it was the Whitworth Cup final, played at Wickersley, between the two promotion contenders, Tickhill and Elsecar. The question was whether Tickhill could pick themselves up after Saturday. They’d only once been in the final before. Elsecar have won it ten times!
Tickhill batted first and got into trouble. Andrew Rennison (36), as so often, batted well but when Siviwe Gidana came in at number eight, Tickhill were 79-6 and Elsecar had their hands on the cup. If only! Gidana and wicket keeper Jordan Lowe put on 80 for the seventh wicket. Then Lee Bradshaw joined Lowe and they took the total to 188-7. Jordan Lowe ended with 56*, an innings he won’t forget in a hurry. Like Saturday, Elsecar just couldn’t polish off the tail and when they also got themselves in trouble, there was no-one to rescue them. They were all out for 109, Alex Rowland taking 3-17, James Stuart 2-11 and two run outs.
So Tickhill win their first Whitworth Cup. Whether they also get promotion may depend on whether Elsecar can pull themselves round to beat Hallam at Armroyd Lane next Saturday. If not, it’ll be tight.