Whilst always striving to remain neutral in my dealings with clubs, I am only human, and I have favourite grounds. Chichester Road has been one of those since my first visit in 2003. Aside from the excellent facilities, we always get a very good welcome from the many people we know there. Saturday was no exception, and we spent a very pleasant afternoon, talking, taking photos, and generally wandering around watching the game. 
Whitley Hall's Jack Wood hits out in his unbeaten innings of 90 
You never lose it! The evergreen Richard Wilkinson bowling 
James Moorhouse was batting well, and when he was run out for 57, it looked like a wicket that could turn the game the home side’s way. But Whitley Hall’s young Australian batsman Jack Wood played the innings of the day, combining defence and aggression in an unbeaten 90. Wood put on 64 with James Brown in an unbroken sixth- wicket stand that gave the visitors a very competitive total of 239-5. In their reply, Cleethorpes never managed the big partnership they needed, with batsmen losing their wickets in various ways when well set. In the end, they settled for securing four bonus points. 
 
It was good to see one of last year’s inductees to our Hall of Fame, Richard Wilkinson, making a rare appearance. Brought into the attack a little earlier than expected due to an injury that prevented skipper Greig Batty from completing his bowling stint, he took three wickets – and pointed out to me afterwards that he should have had four had one of the fielders gone for a catch that he should have. Richard is one of the characters of our game – a fierce competitor but one with whom humour is never far away. In my umpiring days, he was one of my favourite bowlers – at his end, it was never dull. 
 
I was surprised that the game at Treeton was rather one-sided, with Doncaster producing a dominant performance to go clear at the top of the table. Wakefield Thornes had a comfortable win over Hallam at Crimicar without being at their best. They have moved ominously into second place – write them off at your peril! At the other end of the table, Aston Hall leapfrogged Wickersley, who now occupy bottom place. I am sure that is a false position – I shall be really surprised if they finish in the bottom two come September. I was very sorry to hear of Ali Jahangir’s bad hand injury – I understand that he will be out for a few weeks, but hope that he will be fit enough to resume bowling for Barnsley – and our representative sides – as soon as possible. 
 
After a pint in the clubhouse, we returned home and put our feet up for the evening. I was up early on Sunday morning to do the weekly bulletin, have a little walk with Kirsty to get the paper, and prepare for our usual Sunday visitors. As the day progressed, I kept in touch with live scores from the t20 group stages. With no disrespect to Doncaster or the other two teams, I was sorry that Barnsley did not make it through to the finals day on their own ground. I confess too that I had looked forward to seeing Harpreet playing live in a t20 tournament. 
 
Notwithstanding that, my congratulations go to Doncaster, Sheffield Collegiate and Treeton on winning through to Shaw Lane on 23 June. They are three strong sides who are well equipped to do well and it could come down to one outstanding individual performance – and all three have contenders to provide just that. These three will be joined by the winners of the SYSCL competition that concludes at Wath this Sunday – after which the finals day draw will be conducted by our vice-chairman, Matt Summerhill. Matt’s own club, Oughtibridge, are in the finals, and Matt will have more than a passing interest in the proceedings. 
 
It was back to work at the university on Monday morning. I caused some amusement by repeating Andrew Watson’s comment that invigilation is boring – one of my colleagues wryly commented that she was looking forward to a boring session one day. Sadly, for obvious reasons, I am unable to regale you with any anecdotes from my experiences there – let us just be kind and say that the students are under pressure, they have a lot on their minds, and sometimes they are perhaps not quite with it. 
 
I swapped my Wednesday afternoon shift so that I could be at home when British Car Auctions came to collect my old car. I long ago stopped buying my cars, preferring to utilise a Personal Contract Purchase or similar. It is an arrangement that has many advantages and that I would recommend. But you are dealing with finance companies, who are keen and helpful at the start, but completely the opposite when you are ready to hand the car back. Who would have thought that it could be so difficult to get people to come and take their car back? I was very close to losing it in one telephone conversation. Anyway, in the end, the collection was accomplished and the collector declared the car to be in ‘A’ condition – result! 
 
On the cricket front, I wrote up some notes of our committee meeting last week and sent them to Steve for his input. I shall be writing out to clubs with some feedback over the next couple of days. This Saturday, we be at Green Lane to see Aston Hall play Wakefield Thornes and I very much look forward to that – hopefully the wind will drop a bit! 
 
Till next week! 
 
Roger 
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