On Friday night Gavin and I went out to watch Leeds v Rovers in the club chairman’s bar near where I live. I mention this because I think I am often negative about the Robins, but this was one of those all too rare occasions when they started well, missed chances and should have been leading by more, yet carried on to win the game in some style in the end. There was a great atmosphere in the bar and it was a very enjoyable evening! 
Hallam's Robert Heyes putting his all into his bowling 
'The Cleethorpes bench' 
On Saturday morning, Kirsty and I set off for Barnsley for a family meeting about a holiday they are having at the end of the month. For me, the big positive about the arrangement was that it meant a trip to Shaws’ of Barnsley for a fish and chip lunch – and very good it was too!! 
 
After that, we went down to Crimicar Lane for the Hallam v Cleethorpes match. The difficulties Hallam have had at their Sandygate ground are well documented, and I certainly will not go over them again here, but the League committee gave permission for Crimicar to be used for YSPL matches in 2019 and we undertook to review that and make a decision for the future in mid-season. This decision will was due to be made at our Wednesday committee meeting, so I wanted to visit the ground before that. It is clear that the club have made real efforts, providing a covered area for the batting side to use whilst watching the game, and a temporary changing facility with additional showers for the visiting team. A number of people have commented that the ground has a lot more potential than Sandygate, and the ECB have undertaken to support the building of a new pavilion, which will make a huge difference. On Saturday, the pitch issues of earlier in the season appeared to be behind them, and 400 runs were scored. 
 
When we arrived, play had been suspended due to a serious injury to Cleethorpes’ very talented all-rounder Jordan Cook. Apparently, he had lost his footing in his run-up, fallen awkwardly, and damaged his knee. I should stress that there was no suggestion of any fault in the ground conditions, and I send Jordan my very best wishes for a speedy recovery and return to action. 
 
After last week’s game at the top end of the table, this one had much more bearing on events at the bottom end, with both sides needing the win to arrest poor runs. The foundations were laid for Hallam’s first win since the opening day of the season by an opening partnership of 153 between Andre Bradford and Alex Hughes. After that, their innings fell away somewhat, and they were all out for 225. After the home side had been 153-0, Cleethorpes probably felt that was not too bad an outcome, and represented an achievable target. But they did not make a good start against some very good bowling from Robert Heyes, James Smedley and Charlie Bourne, and slipped to 48-4. Tom Rollinson batted really well for his 65, and when he was joined by Alex Osmond, who contributed some lusty blows in a stand of 71, the visitors’ hopes were raised. But it was not to be, and Hallam gained a priceless victory that they can build on in their remaining matches. 
 
After a beer with umpires Terry Bateman and Stuart Roberts, we said our goodbyes and got on our way home. On Sunday, as usual, after doing the Weekly Bulletin and the weekly shopping, we had our visitors for tea, and I was on ‘grandad duties’. I admit now that I’d miss being a grandad – it has the fun without all the responsibility! 
 
Whilst we were at Hallam, Doncaster won again – despite Barnsley’s recovery from 41-4 to 193-9 – and Wakefield Thornes’ surprise defeat at home to Elsecar means that Doncaster’s lead at the top of the table has stretched to 32 points. Hallam’s win, and the defeat of the three teams immediately above them in the table, means that the fight to avoid relegation is developing, as usual, into a real battle. Meanwhile, Appleby Frodingham’s win over promotion challengers Whiston PC in the South Yorkshire Championship means that they now have a 13-point lead at the top of the table. 
 
On Monday and Tuesday I spent a lot of time doing cricket work, mainly preparation for Wednesday’s committee meeting, and work on the new website. I had a short visit to Barnsley on Tuesday morning, taking Kirsty across to her dentist, having a leisurely read of the paper whilst she was in there, and dropping her off in Sheffield on my roundabout way back. 
 
Wednesday night’s committee meeting was summed up by our vice-chairman, Matt Summerhill as follows, ’we dealt with a lot of issues, had good debate around the table and came to decisions which we well thought out and fair.’ My role as chairman is to ensure that everyone is heard, that we keep to the point, that we reach considered decisions when required – and, of course, that our discussions are constructive and respectful. So his comments are particularly gratifying to me. The main topics were Hallam CC’s use of Crimicar Lane and our review of the League and Cup competitions. The notes of the meeting will be published very shortly, so I won’t go into any more detail here. 
 
This morning, I took Kirsty to the doctors, and after we had been for a coffee I went to meet our website designer, Nic Johnson at its’eeze. I think that Nic has done a great job for us – I am really pleased with the new website. It is on a completely different level to what we had before. Once again, I must thank Solly Adam for his sponsorship which will pay for the maintenance and support for the new site. I really hope that you will like the new site, but if you have any suggestions, please let us know using the ‘contact us’ facility. 
 
This Saturday I will not be at cricket as I am going to Swansea for a 50th party of one of Kirsty’s cousins. The forecast does not look brilliant, but hopefully, with the help of the flexibility to reduce overs and use of DLS, if necessary, we will manage to achieve results in our games. 
 
Till next week, 
 
Roger 
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