Yorkshire League: Inconsistency continues, as Collegiate drop to sixth

Sheffield Collegiate CC 1st XI bowler Josh Varley
Sheffield Collegiate CC 1st XI bowler Josh Varley
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Sheffield Collegiate’s topsy-turvy season shows no signs of ending, after another low scoring affair saw them suffer a surprise nine-wicket home defeat last Sunday to Harrogate, losing fifth place to the north Yorkshire outfit in the process.

Matt Dixon decided to bat after winning the toss and the innings proceded comfortably to 37-1 before wickets began to tumble.

Free-scoring Simon Guy was run out first ball and only Bill Root, 19, managed to get to double figures as Collegiate were bowled out in the 36th over for just 71, Tom Geeson-Brown taking 4-33.

Harrogate, in reply, had little difficulty and they reached the target in quick time, Scott Huntley scoring 38no after they only lost the wicket of Jon Tattersall for 25.

Yorkshire Academy should become Solly Sports ECB Yorkshire Premier League champions for the first time this weekend, if they take full points from their trip to fourth-placed Cleethorpes and York fail to gain a maximum eight points against in form Collegiate at Clifton.

Collegiate secured six points from their clash with Rotherham Town on Saturday when, after the match at Abbeydale had been reduced to 31 overs per side, they reached the Town target with three wickets in hand - but with only 4 balls remaining.

Dixon put Rotherham in to bat after winning the toss but the visitors got off to a steady start with an opening stand of 41 before Mark Cummins was stumped by Sam Webber off Matt Lee for 17.

Lee then removed Archie Ogden and Nathan Smith and after James Moorhouse fell to Josh Varley for 35, Town looked in trouble.

They were grateful to Gareth Purshouse, who hit two sixes in a breezy 22no to take the score to a modest 110-9.

Varley enjoyed another fine spell to take 5-31 off eight overs, and Lee returned 3-33 from nine. Ben Sanderson struck an early blow in the Collegiate reply when he clean bowled Webber without scoring, but Simon Guy took the initiative and hit two sixes and two boundaries in a valuable 42, off 40 balls, before he was bowled by former Collegiate junior Will Street.

Bill Root hit 24 and Nick Gaywood 17, but it was left to Luke Shutt 17no to guide them home in yet another nailbiting finish. Sanderson finished with 3-44 and their were two wickets apiece for Cummins and Street.

Sheffield United yet again threw away an excellent chance of victory with a careless batting display, which left them 46 runs adrift of Harrogate on a superb Bawtry Road batting pitch.

Alex Twigg, 57, and the talented Tattersall, 31, put on 55 for the first wicket after Harrogate decided to bat first, and Scott Huntley added 51 to give the visitors a firm foundation.

But a combination of good bowling, fielding and catching stopped Harrogate from accelerating the run rate and they were held to 218-8, Ben Jenkinson,Matt Taylor and Chamal taking two each.

Isuru was caught behind off the second ball when United replied, but 16-year-old Bilal and Chamal recovered from the early blow and put on a top quality partnership of 129 for the second wicket before Bilal was caught off Dave Foster for 41. Chamal was dismissed for an entertaining 73, and this brought about United’s latest collapse which saw them reduced from 129-1 to 172 all out.

Left arm spinner Foster took 6-36 off 17 accurate overs.

United visit Savile Park to take on fellow strugglers Castleford this weekend, but even victory would still see them firmly grasping the wooden spoon for the third time in four years.

The pitch normally favours the batsmen and Steve Oldham, recovering from a knee operation, will be laying down the law to avoid another batting collapse.

YCA recorded one of the Yorkshire Premier League highest winning margins when, after setting a gigantic 385-5, they then bowled out hapless Scarborough for 57.

n Fixtures: Castleford v United, Cleethorpes v YCA, Driffield v App Frod, Harrogate v Doncaster, Scarborough v Barnsley, York v Collegiate.