Last weekend’s Sheffield derby between United and Collegiate was an eagerly anticipated affair, as the early season fixture was rearranged due to rugby at Abbeydale.
Both clubs are in the bottom echelons of the league but a string of positive results would surely bring a move up the table.
United skipper Lesroy Weekes won the toss and decided to make first use of the wicket, but the early loss of in-form overseas Jaco Scholtz was not the start the hosts wanted.
Bilal Anjam and Waqar Ahmed made steady progress with Waqar the more aggressive. After posting his half century in a partnership of 84, Waqar was dismissed by the opposition skipper Matt Dixon for 51 with 10 boundaries. At 93-2 there was no need for panic, but the Collegiate bowling sensed an opportunity.
Dixon soon snared his second wicket in McLean (6), while Matt Lee provided excellent support dismissing the established Anjam (35) and crucially the wicket of skipper Weekes caught behind third ball for a duck.
Suddenly, 93-1 had become 110-5. Shahzad Ahmed then carried the battle single handed to the south Sheffield side, with an undefeated 21, but the middle and lower order had no answer to Lee and Dixon, as no further partnership topped 18.
A final total of 151 all out after 47 overs was a huge disappointment after the promising start, but Dixon’s final tally of 6-24 was the clear highlight, along with Lee’s 3-39.
Quick wickets were needed from the home side, but all that was seen was a quick start from Collegiate. Thomas Dunn stroked his way to 53 and Dan Priestley provided able support with six boundaries in his 36 before falling victim to Woodcock. An opening partnership of 102 was a fine way to work towards victory, and any hopes the young United side had were dashed when recent double centurion Billy Root came to the wicket.
With five boundaries and a six, he scored 30 of the remaining runs in just 22 balls, as Collegiate rushed to a fine win in just the 26th over.
Weekes used six bowlers in an attempt to stem the flow, but the difference in the sides is clearly seen by the fact that the experienced Gaywood and Guy were still to put the pads on.
A feeling of anti-climax for the hosts, but a delighted Abbeydale contingent took maximum points home. This week, Collegiate host Appleby Frodingham in the first leg of a double weekend.
United have the day off on Saturday following Scarborough’s league withdrawal, but have an early chance for revenge on Sunday at Abbeydale in the postponed derby from the start of the season.
League Standings (15 games unless stated): Barnsley 87 (14), Rotherham Town 82, Harrogate 79, York 73 (14), YCA 67, Appleby 62, Driffield 55 (14), Doncaster 39, Cleethorpes 39, Castleford 39, COLLEGIATE 38 (13), UNITED 28 (14), Hull 28