Yorkshire League: Sheffield Collegiate’s run of good form ended by rampant Doncaster Town

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Yorkshire Premier League front runners Barnsley and Rotherham Town locked horns at Clifton Lane last weekend, in the match of the day.

But, with the match poised for a high-scoring finish, unexpected rain ruined the second half and both sides had to settle for three points each.

Sheffield United’s clash with the in-form Yorkshire Academy at Weetwood was also abandoned, after 16 overs - by which time the County youngsters had reached 63-3 - but Sheffield Collegiate’s rich vein of form came to a shuddering halt at Town Fields when they went down to struggling Doncaster by seven wickets.

After choosing to bat, Collegiate’s top order failed to master the home attack and only Simon Guy (23) and Bill Root (22) passed 20. And with Lewis Brown taking 5-51, Collegiate were bowled out in the 42nd over for a modest 109. Doncaster had little trouble after the tea break and with Graeme Attenborough hitting a brisk 41, Town cantered to victory for the loss of just three wickets .

Rotherham Town elected to field when they faced league leaders Barnsley at Clifton Lane and with only five points separating the two, a close encounter was expected.

Mark Cummins’ decision to put Barnsley in backfired when reliable opener Jonathon Trower set about the Town attack, smashing 87 off 107 balls.

A fourth wicket stand of 122 by Zohaib, who hit a fine 51, and Steve Nuttall (46) took the leaders to an impressive 324-7. Ben Sanderson was easily the pick of the Rotherham attack, taking 6-72.

In reply Town reached 72 for one before rain cause the match to be abandoned. James Moorhouse scored 34 before being caught at the wicket by Tom Shaw off Ali Jahangir for 34, leaving Cummins 29no.

York moved up to third following a comfortable six wicket victory at Chichester Road, and a high-scoring victory at Chanderlands Avenue lifted Harrogate to fouth placed after victory over Hull.

A busy double-header faces the clubs this weekend but Barnsley look most likely to increase their lead with what should be easy away matches at Appleby Frodingham and Cleethorpes.

Sheffield United have not beaten York for over a decade and it looks unlikely that things will change at SHU Sports Park, when the home team will have to field a weakened team due to holidays. Availability is better for the second home match against out-of-form Doncaster and United could take a share of the points.

Rotherham should also take maximum points at home to Cleethorpes followed by a trip to unpredictable Driffield to keep the pressure on Barnsley.

Harrogate are visitors to Abbeydale Park on Sunday, and Collegiate will hope the return of Alex Patmore gives them a middle order batting boost.