After last week’s key win over Sheffield Collegiate, Wakefield Thornes are in pole position to make it a hat-trick of titles in the Yorkshire South Premier League.
There would need to be a couple of key performances from their remaining opponents to give the chasing pack a chance of over turning their lead at the top, and Cleethorpes were unable to do that last weekend.
Thornes batted first and with purpose. Mathew Jordan compiled a solid 58, with support from David Toft with 40.
To their credit Cleethorpes chipped away at the line-up, with Alex Osmond picking up 3-41 for the visitors and Harry Costello taking 2-29. 32 extras helped the Thornes cause as they compiled a total of 200 all out in with 2 balls of the innings remaining.
Thornes have been consistent with the ball this season, and made the perfect start in the second innings, with Mahmood Rasool (3-33) reducing the Cleethorpes reply to 35-3. Bill Kirby (31) and Osmond (39) restored the innings with a partnership of 61, but two quick run outs halted the challenge. Qaisar Ashraf took 3-40 as Cleethorpes finished well short on 141-9; Thornes clear winners by 59 runs and clear at the top of the league.
Second-placed Collegiate needed a recovery win after the disappointment of the previous week and welcomed Doncaster to Abbeydale.
Choosing to bat first, Collegiate made a steady start, recovering from two early wickets. Tom Rowley looked well set on 39 but his dismissal put Doncaster on top and they never relinquished control of the innings.
Collegiate struggled to create meaningful partnership as Curtis Free (3-30) and Duncan Heath (3-46) chipped away. Simon Guy posted 26, and 23 from both Jamie Carrington and Matthew Lee, but the highest partnership was just 33 as Collegiate were dismissed for 180 in the 48th over.
The reply was similarly structured, with the exception of Ali Waqas’ innings of 60*. He gave a spine to the innings that others could bat around. James Stuart opened with 36, and despite 3-43 from Robert Shaw and 2-14 from Jamie Carrington, Waqas saw his side home in the penultimate over and Collegiate slipped further back in the title race.
Barnsley have closed right up on Collegiate with a superb run of form which continued at Wickersley.
Previous wins have seen Harpreet Bathia to the fore, but his first ball duck gave Wickersley a great opportunity. However strong middle order showings from Ali Jahangir (48) and Beck Frostick (58) plus a quick fire 42* from Haidar Jahangir took Barnsley up to 260-9.
Isaac Spencer-Jones excelled with the ball taking 5-54 including the key Bathia dismissal. The reply started perfectly for Wickersley as Dave Rodgers stroked a superb 92 off just 70 balls, but his colleagues found the going tougher.
Mark Cummins (47) and Gareth Purshouse (38) provided support but Oliver Jackson’s 3-47 put a brake on the runs. Spencer-Jones hit 38 off 33 balls in a last ditch attempt to get up to the target but Barnsley held their nerve as Wickersley finished six runs short on 254-9 and fell below Doncaster to fifth.
Treeton consolidated sixth place with a strong win over Whitley Hall whose batting struggles continued.
Treeton chose to bat first and Steve Foster’s return to the side saw immediate dividends as he posted 66, taking the total to 126-3 on his dismissal.
Muhammed Waheed then picked up the baton, scoring 54 in good partnership of 72 with George Barnes (31) and with Lewis Pike attacking at the end, Treeton got up to 250-7. Greig Batty took 3-45 and Callum Bethel picked up 3-50 for Whitley.
The reply took on a familiar look for Whitley as several players got in but got out before posting a real score. All of the top order got to double figures, but none above 30 as Treeton’s attack kept picking up wickets.
Waheed finished with 4-41 and Vinnie Ogden took 3-39 as Whitley fell to 141 all out with eight overs to spare.
Hallam picked up a good win over Appleby Frodingham at Sandygate, after posting 197-6 in being asked to bat first.
Alex Hughes opened up with 52, and support from Aditya Edekar (38) and Humphrey Emery (27* from just 13 balls) saw Hallam up to 197-6 in a reduced 40 over game.
An early run out and key wickets from Joe Copper (2-29) and Craig Moffat (4-32) saw Hallam restrict the visitors to 120 all out and clear 77 run triumph.
The key bottom of the table clash saw Aston Hall pick up a key victory to bring them equal on points with Whiston.
Aston Hall cashed in on their visitors’ decision to field first with a strong and consistent batting display. Mathew Cartwright led the way with 75, and with support from Awais Zia (33) and Scott Jones (27*), the target was set at 242-6.
Andrew Tomlinson’s rare outing with the ball realised 4-44 for Whiston. Tomlinson then starred with the bat, but with little support the reply fell away quickly.
Jake Malkin matched Tomlinson’s 41 but with just two other double figure scores, Whiston fell to 126 all out, as Adam Clarke ran through the innings for a superb 7-37 for a 116 run victory.
It gets tougher for Whiston as they visit Barnsley next week, while leaders Thornes travel to Hallam. Aston Hall take the short trip to Collegiate, Treeton take on Appleby Frodingham, Whitley welcome Doncaster and Cleethorpes go to Wickersley as the fixtures have a top half against bottom half feel to them.
STANDINGS: Thornes 160; COLLEGIATE 132; Barnsley 126; Doncaster 112; Wickersley 110; Treeton 98; HALLAM 86; WHITEY HALL 76; Appleby Frodingham 74; Cleethorpes 66; Aston Hall 62; Whiston 62.