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One Step From Heaven: Skelmanthorpe Book Sykes Semi Spot - Sykes Cup QF Review

One Step From Heaven: Skelmanthorpe Book Sykes Semi Spot - Sykes Cup QF Review

22 Jun 2021

Allan Greenwood’s Skelmanthorpe produced the goods once again to dump Premiership Broad Oak out of the Sykes Cup and book their place in the semi-finals. Moorlands will also have eyes on a big final after they emerged victorious in a pulsating tie against Barkisland. Scholes and Hoylandswaine made sure of their semi-final places after they came through against Delph & Dobcross and Kirkburton respectively. In an intriguing twist of fate, all four clubs’ second teams will all contest the Paddock Shield semi-finals.

Ice-cool Sykes Calmy Guides Shat To Semis

Unflappable Joe Sykes displayed nerves of steel to defy Premiership Broad Oak and help Championship promotion-chasers Skelmanthorpe into the Sykes Cup last four. Oak’s 200ao first innings total wasn’t enough as the host’s superb season continued its momentum to provide them with a Semi-Final date to look forward to. Their top flight opponents were boosted by the return of star player Charlie Roebuck who has been nursing an injury since early May and his 54 perked them up after losing influential batsmen Dom Finn and Jack Hargreaves. But losing Roebuck, bowled by James Crossland, when he was primed to push on was one of a couple of pivotal moments which injected confidence into Skelmanthorpe. Sean Mee’s 33 and Tom McCreadie’s 31 were useful contributions but Oak may have put the game beyond Allan Greenwood’s men had they batted out their final four overs. Adam Rollin (3-30) again proved what a valuable asset he is and it was Greenwood who made the breakthroughs against messrs Mee and McCreadie as Oak ran out of steam. Skelmanthorpe were asked some stiff questions by Oak bowlers Adam France (2-32) and Ali Snowdon (3-30) who landed early blows. Former Shelley mainstay Joe Sykes’ unbeaten 57 knitted together the recovery and he was not short of teammates willing to contribute. George Sommerville (19) and Kasun Hewa (39) helped erode the target but with wickets still falling, the result was in the balance. James Crossland’s memorable capers with the bat in the 2010 Semi-Final will still be relatively fresh in the Lidgett Lane spectators memories and it was appropriate that it was he who hit the winning four to haul his team over the line on 203-8.

More Joy For Moorlands As Nadim Proves Difference

Moorlands hope to go third time lucky after lining up their third ever Sykes Cup Semi-Final when they edged out Barkisland by two wickets. Barkisland enjoyed a 61-run second wicket partnership between Matty Weston (38) and Harry Finch (29) until Moorlands struck back fiercely to reduce the visitors to 94-5. Siraj Sajid (3-28) was a constant menace as Barkisland worked their way to a 174ao total from their 40 overs. The away side’s bowling was too, on point with the first four bowlers all taking a wicket each as Moorlands found themselves in a similarly uncomfortable position on 89-5. However Nadim Hussain, who was unable to bowl in the first innings, created an understanding with teammate Sajid (39). The former Shepley man hit a crucial 43 runs in their 78 run stand but there was still work to do when Barkisland removed them both, plus Darrell Sykes to add a further twist in the tale on 169-8 taking it to a final over requiring six to win. Young Moorlands wicketkeeper Henry Crowhurst kept his nerve to score a boundary on the penultimate ball. 

‘Burton Rue Missed Opportunity To Put Out Holders Swaine

A brilliant bowling performance by Kirkburton was put in the shade by Hoylandswaine who went one better as they marched into the Semi-Finals in their bid to retain the Sykes Cup. Few would have predicted what was to come when Swaine were cowed by bowlers Aaron Moore (2-25) and Andrew Smith (4-30) falling spectacularly from 68-1 to 87-6. The visitors were eventually dismissed for 145 with Kirkburton in the box seat for their second consecutive Semi-Final but their joy was short-lived when Hoylandswaine’s rampant bowling attack enjoyed even more success. Ranjith Bandula Don (3-8), Adnan Ghani (2-8) and Muhammad Azzharullah (4-35) combined to lethal effect as the host’s were crushed. Last man, Moore (30) registered nearly half of Kirkburton’s total run output as they were bowled out for 77.

Upbeat Scholes Hit Straps Against Delph

Delph & Dobcross were hit hard by an irresistible bowling and fielding performance by Scholes, continuing their excellent form of late giving them a semi-final to look forward to. The hosts were faultless in the field, harassing the visitors from ball one quickly reducing them to 19-3. Delph’s stand-in skipper Nathan Jones (26) battled to try and get his side back in the match but Scholes preyed on evident weaknesses in an inexperienced middle order. Josh Brook (4-31) was the main antagonist as Delph managed 125ao from 30 overs with 39 from Umer Yaqoob adding an element of respectability to the score. Yaqoob (2-30) struck early but Scholes made little fuss over chasing the runs down. Yaasir Imtiaz (34) and Benji Birkhead (25) set the win up with his brother Bradley adding a gloss finish scoring a 58-ball unbeaten fifty to see them home on 126-3.

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