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Cawood Tons Up As Armitage Bridge Dump Out Thongsbridge - Sykes Cup QF Review

Cawood Tons Up As Armitage Bridge Dump Out Thongsbridge - Sykes Cup QF Review

11 Jun 2023

Championship underdogs Armitage Bridge overturned their Premiership visitors Thongsbridge to progress into the Sykes Cup semi-finals with a Steve Cawood century. Hoylandswaine remained under the cosh as holders Moorlands knocked them out for the third time in three seasons. Skelmanthorpe had too much for Mirfield Parish Cavaliers and Shelley’s spirited run was ended after they were crushed at home to Broad Oak.

Queenslander Steve Cawood put Thongsbridge to the sword as Championship club Armitage Bridge booked their Sykes Cup semi-final berth for the second time in two seasons. The two clubs could even swap divisions this season and there was little to suggest there was much between the two sides although it was hosts Armitage Bridge who controlled the match following a strong first innings. Cawood, in his debut season at Armitage Bridge, laid down a terrific century. Several forties and one half-century so far this term has been a modest return so far but he chose the perfect stage to get to his best. He hit 11 fours and 1 six in a lynchpin innings and Cody Parr was the next highest batsman with 32 as the home side set 235-8 against a harried bowling attack. The visitors needed something as spectacular to hang their hat on but received no such generosity from a hostile spell of bowling by Jack Hinchliffe (2-28, above) and Connor Parr (3-19). The game was long gone by the time Tom Raven-Hill - in at ten - starting to swing the willow. He finished on 52 in just 28 deliveries but it was Armitage Bridge’s day as they closed off the remainder for 209ao.

Holders Moorlands’ recent dominance over Hoylandswaine relentlessly continued as they dealt out another thrashing, 24 hours after a league success over their beleaguered opponents. Shoukat Ali (above) was destructive with the bat and deserved a century, but he departed on 98. Amogh Bhatkal (48) and James Rawlinson (39) weighed in with measured contributions leaving captain Eddie Walmsley (36no) and Brad Lay (40no) to ruthlessly slay a flagging bowling attack with no-one escaping damage. Moorlands’ huge 325-5 was a stiff target and Swaine wrestled, but ultimately struggled to deal with scoreboard pressure. Despite the hosts staying in the contest on 163-2, Moorlands’ bowlers hunted in packs and nabbed key men before they could gather momentum. Pragam Sharma fell for 53. Skipper Chris Holliday succumbed on 50 and whilst all but one made it into double figures, no-one could play themselves in to land any considerable blows. Swaine finally fell short on 277ao with Marcus Walmsley, brother Eddie and overseas Bhatkal all collecting two wickets each.

Kai Greig (above) helped Skelmanthorpe book their place in the semi-finals as they cruised home against visitors Mirfield Parish Cavaliers. His 77 underpinned the home side’s pursuit of 209ao with Parish failing to turn a mid-innings advantage into a winning opportunity. Euan Hardcastle (55) and Nazakat Khan (59) both reached well-earned half-centuries but failed to kick on as Tawkal Zadran (3-22) and Prayesh Kumar Singh (3-63) helped keep the run rate manageable. Jack Newby (46) and Allan Greenwood (20) saw off Parish’s new ball in agreeable fashion allowing former Thongsbridge star, Greig to shine as Skelmanthorpe replied with 210-4

Fletcher Coutts (above) mercilessly tucked into Shelley’s bowling as Broad Oak eased past their Championship opponents. The English-based New Zealander was in a bullish mood and clattered a huge 127 from 106 balls to reinforce Oak’s dominance. Cameron Todd hit 70 and opener Connor Dimech chipped in with 39 as Oak set 304-6. Shelley’s new overseas player Sagar Sharma scored 62 in the reply and several others notched low double-figure totals but they fizzled out to 215ao. Spinner Dan Taylor finished the best of Broad Oak’s bowlers with 3-46 as his side booked a semi-final place for the second consecutive season. 

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