Holders Delph Depart as Skelmanthorpe Find A Remedy To league Woes

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Adam France (Broad Oak) was the scourge of Shepley as his stunning hat-trick withdrew the sting of the visitors upper-order batting power as Tom Denton, Brenton Thompson and Shahban Raheem were all scuttled consecutively. The popular seamer went on to register figures of 5-6 off 6 overs as Broad Oak booked a first Sykes Cup semi-final appearance since 1993 in a crushing victory.

Picture courtesy of the Huddersfield Examiner 

All-Rounder Cricket Sykes Cup Quarter Final‚Äč

There will be a new name on the 2017 Sykes Cup after current holders Delph & Dobcross were defeated in an exciting clash at Haigh Lane; Hoylandswaine's second huge win against their Premiership rivals in the space of a week. Scholes will also join them in the semi-finals following a professional dispatching of Honley whilst Skelmanthorpe and Broad Oak make up the semi-final quartet with victories over Armitage Bridge and Shepley respectively.

Runs often flow frequently at Hoylandswaine and as the temperature blistered the hosts put on another gluttony of runs in a sparkling first innings display. It illustrates just how clinical Swaine's batting was when one could say Delph did well to keep the score under 400 as Chris Holliday (142) smashed a sublime century to help fell the cup holders, with the potent Gharib Nawaz (76) and Mohammed Bilal (35) also piling on crucial runs. Hoylandswaine's bloated tally of 391-9 would be enough to see off most club cricket teams but Delph have a burgeoning reputation for chasing down such colossal scores, as displayed in their previous round win over Thongsbridge. Andrew Gleave's remarkable side gave it their best shot and kept in touch right until the last overs where only the loss of key wickets at the wrong time prevented them pulling off yet another unbelievable coup. Shreevats Goswami's clever century and another good innings from this season's leading run scorer Mosun Hussain (53) laid down the perfect platform but the turning point came when Hoylandswaine captured the wickets of Goswami (118) and skipper Gleave within a few balls with 15 overs left. Luke Hargreaves (67no), always a potential matchwinner put in a valiant late cameo but Hoylandswaine sent down enough good deliveries to make scoreboard pressure count and Delph finished on 340-8.

Shepley were decimated by a blistering opening salvo by Broad Oak bowlers, including a hattrick by seamer Adam France as their chase faltered almost immediately. Broad Oak put in a measured performance with the bat against Shepley's lethal bowling attack building a competitive, but in no way insurmountable, 208-9. However once France and Jack Wadsworth took hold of the new cherry they literally took apart the Shepley top order with the visitors heavily listing at 7-5 after 5 overs. It gave Shepley far too much work to do and Broad Oak followed up a stunning victory away at Delph by eventually rolling their quarter final opponents out for 85 to cap a memorable weekend and book a Sykes Semi-final place for the first time since 1993.

Skelmanthorpe may feel like they are swimming in quicksand in the league but they put together an accomplished performance to knock out Armitage Bridge and have the morale-boosting honour of booking a semi-final place. A hot sunny day is enough to bring the crowds out for big matches like this and the bustling throngs at Lidgett Lane were treated to an excellent cricketing tussle. Armitage Bridge will in hindsight rue a golden chance to set a score to put their hosts out of the game as they gave themselves the perfect platform but failed to execute as they rounded up on 245-5 at tea. Skelmanthorpe paced their run chase nicely and with a century by Allan Greenwood (118) the cornerstone of the innings they were able to reach the total without taking any undue risks for the loss of only four wickets.

A battle between two of the Premiership's form teams boded well for an excellent quarter final as Scholes made the journey to Honley. It was Scholes that returned to Chapelgate triumphant by a comfortable margin as they put on a solid 220-7 total. Fifties for both James Noble (53) and former West Indian test opener Devon Smith (55) helping Scholes on their way and their cause was helped greatly by the silencing of Honley's dangerous opening pair of Simon Kelly and William Frain just after tea. Honley never recovered and were eventually bowled out for 137 with Louis Brook (3-23) and Josh Brook (3-31) curtailing the Honley reply.