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It is ‘do or die’ time for those eyeing championship glory or promotion, or seeking to avoid relegation, as Yorkshire’s 2022 club cricket season enters its final weeks.
We start our review with the county’s four ECB-rated Premier Leagues.
With two games to play, Woodlands (343pts) are on course to retain the Bradford Premier Cricket League title.
The Oakenshaw side have opened what appears to be an unassailable 20-point advantage over their leading rivals, New Farnley (323), where they won, by nine wickets, on August 20.
It was a third straight defeat for New Farnley, who lifted the Priestley Cup recently.
Woodlands, who have an enviable ability to win crunch games, will be confident of securing a third title in consecutive seasons – and a ninth in 17.
At the other end of the Premier Division, Batley (153pts) were relegated by their August 20 defeat at home to Heavy Woollen neighbours Hanging Heaton.
Cleckheaton (171) will take the drop if they fail to win their last two matches, at home to Ossett (August 27) and away to Batley (September 3).
Bankfoot, 10th, are on 201. They visit Bradford & Bingley on August 27 then host Hanging Heaton on September 3.
Despite a couple of recent wobbles, Jer Lane (338pts) are likely to top Division One, which has three rounds outstanding.
Pudsey Congs (307) and Carlton (295) are contesting the other promotion slot.
Jer Lane finish with fixtures against Gomersal (August 27), relegated Wrenthorpe (September 3) and Pudsey Congs (September 10). That final match, at the Britannia Ground, could well have an important bearing on who finishes where.
Congs host Birstall on August 27 and travel to Baildon the following Saturday.
Carlton’s schedule features home fixtures with East Bierley (August 27) and Morley (September 10), sandwiched between a visit to Birstall. All three opponents are in the table’s bottom half.
A Yorkshire champion looks likely in the Premier Division of the North Yorkshire & South Durham Premier Cricket League.
Middlesbrough (348pts) and reigning champions Richmondshire (346) are neck and neck, although the former have only two matches left.
With three rounds remaining for the bulk of the division, Barnard Castle, third on 304, are certainly not out of contention.
On August 29 , a Bank Holiday, Richmondshire go to Barnard Castle, who then travel to Middlesbrough on September 3. Thornaby (August 27) and Darlington (September 3) provide Richmondshire’s other opposition.
Richmondshire beat Barnard Castle, by four wickets, in the recent Kerridge Cup final.
Despite a recent revival, Marton (177) now seem doomed to relegation.
Stokesley (210), Billingham Synthonia (211), Saltburn (230) and Stockton (236) are battling to avoid joining the south Middlesbrough club in next year’s First Division.
Stokesley entertain Darlington (August 27) then visit neighbours Great Ayton (August 29) and Stockton (September 3).
For Saltburn, an August 29 trip to Marton looks crucial. They are at home to Great Ayton on August 27 and end their season, on September 3, with a visit by Hartlepool.
Two County Durham clubs, Bishop Auckland (401pts) and Darlington Railway Athletic (389), should be playing Premier Division cricket in 2023. Yorkshire duo Normanby Hall (346) and Guisborough (341), third and fourth respectively, are set to miss out.
With three matches left, Tickhill (168pts) and Wakefield Thornes (162) trail defending champions Appleby Frodingham (188) in the Premier Division of the Yorkshire Cricket Southern Premier League.
Scunthorpe-based App-Frod meet Treeton (August 27), Wakefield Thornes (August 29) and Cleethorpes (September 3) before the seasons ends.
Tickhill’s assignments – two of them away from Alderson Drive – are Elsecar (August 27), Cleethorpes (August 29) and Cawthorne (September 3).
In addition to the App-Frod encounter, Wakefield Thornes face Sheffield Collegiate (August 27) and Whitley Hall (September 3).
Arguably, the battle to avoid going down, in the company of relegated Whiston Parish Church, is more interesting. Cawthorne (100), Cleethorpes (108), Elsecar (110) and Treeton (116) are all in the mix.
Key fixtures – other than those above – are Cawthorne versus Elsecar (August 29) and Elsecar versus Whiston Parish Church (September 3).
Runaway leaders Aston Hall (216) are about to return to the Premier Division in 2023 after all but securing the Championship Division title.
Recent Whitworth Cup winners Hallam (188) and Wickersley Old Village (182), each relegated in 2021, are vying to accompany Aston Hall.
The crunch game is on August 27, at Crimicar Lane, where Hallam host Wickersley. Two further rounds of fixtures follow. Aston Hall go to Hallam on September 10.
Only York (142pts) can deny Driffield Town (150), surely the surprise package of 2022, the Yorkshire Premier Cricket League North title.
York stayed in contention with a win at Driffield, on August 20, by six wickets. The visitors got home with five balls to spare.
Driffield go to lowly Beverley Town on August 27 and Harrogate on September 3. They receive Clifton Alliance, York’s neighbours, on August 29.
York also have two away-days: 2021 champions Castleford (August 29) and Scarborough (September 3). Harrogate are at Clifton Park on August 27.
Acomb have been relegated to the First Division. Coming up in their place (thereby bringing the 2023 top-flight up to 12 clubs), from the Championship, are likely to be Stamford Bridge (166pts) and Malton & Old Malton (146). Carlton Towers (132) and Easingwold (130) seem destined to be cast in the role of ‘best of the rest’.
There are four rounds left. Pick of the outstanding fixtures is on September 3, when Malton & Old Malton entertain Stamford Bridge. Easingwold visit Malton & Old Malton on August 29.
On August 28, Woodhouse Grange, members of the Yorkshire Premier Cricket League North top-flight, travel to Denby Cricket Club’s The Copper Yard, in Derbyshire’s Amber Valley, to contest the North Regional Final of the ECB National Club T20 competition.
In their semi-final, Woodhouse Grange face Barnt Green, of the Birmingham & District Premier Cricket League. The other semi brings together Ockbrook & Borrowash (Derbyshire Premier Cricket League) and Kendal-based Netherfield (Northern Premier Cricket League).
Rawdon (347pts) and Otley (325) are battling it out for the Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cricket League’s First Division championship.
The rivals meet, at Rawdon’s Larkfield Road, on August 27. With three rounds left, Otley must win. Rawdon’s points advantage may be enough for them to secure the title and compensate for a shock defeat, by second tier Steeton, in the recent Waddilove Cup final.
Collingham & Linton, fifth, will have their say in how things pan out because they are at Otley on September 3 then, seven days later, receive Rawdon.
Showing just one defeat all season, with four sets of fixtures left, Thornbury (339pts) are well clear of Interlink (306) and Leeds Sikh (299) in the Dales Council’s Division A.
On August 27, Leeds Sikh visit Thornbury, who go to Interlink on September 10. Leeds Sikh entertain Interlink on September 17.
Killinghall (312pts) have the Nidderdale & District Amateur Cricket League title in the bag.
With four rounds remaining, Killinghall are way ahead of Division One challengers West Tanfield (259), Darley (258) and Arthington (255).
The most testing assignment left for Killinghall – promoted into the top-flight only last September, as Division Two runners-up – is on September 17, when they entertain Darley.
Bingley Congs (339pts) are heading for championship glory in the Craven & District Cricket League.
With four Saturdays to go, the Beckfoot Lane men are well clear of Oakworth (304).
Congs wind up their campaign with games against Sutton-in-Craven (August 27), Ingrow (September 3), Haworth Road Methodists (September 10) and Denholme (September 17).
Copley (192pts), who in 2021 had a mid-table finish, continue to set the pace in the Halifax Cricket League.
Only Illingworth St Mary’s (180) can deny the Calder Valley club the First Division laurels.
The rivals meet, at Illingworth, on August 27. Saints simply must win. Three further rounds of games follow.
Copley visit third-placed Bradshaw on September 10, seven days after Illingworth travel to fourth-placed Booth.
The Huddersfield Cricket League Premiership title is heading to reigning champions Hoylandswaine, it would seem. How many times has that sentence been written?
Having racked up 20 victories, Swaine hold an 18-point advantage over second-placed Honley, with Scholes a further 15 back.
With the league’s top-flight being reduced to 12 clubs for 2023, three will be relegated.
Delph & Dobcross (44pts) will be one of them. Three Saturdays and a Sunday from the end of the season, Armitage Bridge (56), Golcar (56), Sykes Cup winners Moorlands (58), Broad Oak (61), Skelmanthorpe (63), Barkisland (65) and Almondbury Wesleyan (67) are in peril.
Important fixtures include Golcar versus Barkisland (August 27), Broad Oak versus Golcar (September 3), Moorlands versus Almondbury Wesleyan (September 3), Armitage Bridge versus Broad Oak (September 4), Skelmanthorpe versus Barkisland (September 4) and Skelmanthorpe versus Armitage Bridge (September 10).
Over the winter, all eyes will be on the ECB, to see if the national governing body awards the Huddersfield League ECB Premier League status.
With four rounds outstanding, Kirby Sigston (70pts) are unbeaten in the Langbaurgh Cricket League First Division, and comfortably ahead of Westerdale (54) and Stafford Place (36). Kirby Sigston visit Stafford Place on August 27.
Barwick-in-Elmet topped the Leeds & Wetherby Cricket League First Division after a 14-game regular season. They were 11 points ahead of Scarcroft. Play-offs are taking place, with the final scheduled for September 3.
Askern Welfare, 25 points ahead of Division One rivals Frickley Colliery, are the likely champions in the Pontefract & District Cricket League.
In 2021, Askern finished third, behind champions Fairburn and runners-up Ackworth, who left the league over the winter.
On August 27, third-placed Streethouse, two points behind Frickley, entertain Askern.
Three further rounds follow. Interestingly, West Bretton host Streethouse (September 3) and Askern (September 17), and visit South Elmsall-based Frickley (September 10).
Mulgrave (361pts) are poised to secure a first Scarborough Beckett Cricket League championship after bossing the Premier Division all season.
Trailing in their wake are Staithes Athletic (281), Cayton (279), Scalby (278) and Ebberston (271).
On August 20, Mulgrave edged visitors Staithes by two runs in a real thriller. Four rounds remain. Mulgrave travel to Cayton on September 3.
De La Salle Sheffield, fifth last season, have been the team to beat all summer in Division One of the Yorkshire & Derbyshire Cricket League. With two games left, they are 48 points ahead of second-placed Sheffield Transport.
In the York Vale Cricket League First Division, Dunnington Seconds have a 48-point advantage over Clifton Alliance’s Thirds. Most clubs have two games to play.
To round off the season, the champions of Yorkshire’s four ECB Premier Cricket League competitions will play off to determine the county’s leading club team.
Headingley Stadium is to host the final of the White Rose Yorkshire Premier Leagues Championship on Sunday 18 September.
Castleford, of Yorkshire Premier Cricket League North, are the trophy holders. They beat, by six runs, Bradford Premier Cricket League champions Woodlands in a pulsating 2021 decider.
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