Thrilling end in sight to Bassetlaw title race

Farnsfield batsmen, James Smith in action during their match at Papplewick and Linby on Saturday.
Farnsfield batsmen, James Smith in action during their match at Papplewick and Linby on Saturday.

The race for the Bassetlaw League Championship title gets more exciting every week with Farnsfield’s lead over Clipstone being reduced to just three points after the latest round of matches.

Farnsfield always faced the biggest threat against third-placed Papplewick & Linby and they almost pulled off a terrific 20 point haul, but were denied by the last pair after a tremendous struggle.

Batting first, Farnsfield closed on 234-4 with fine knocks from James Smith (40), Callum McKenzie (79) and skipper Curtis Mitchell (52 not out).

On a wicket as good as Papplewick’s this left the match wide open and meant Farnsfield needed to bowl very well indeed.

Alex Lloyd moved Papplewick away to a good start with 44, and other fine efforts by Kosala Kulasekera (39) and Ross Fitz-John (49) gave them a sight of victory.

However, some excellent slow bowling by ‘Mr. Reliable’ Dave Loveridge (4-67) turned things around and Papplewick were left holding on at 201-9 at the close.

Farnsfield came out of this tussle with 18 points which still sees them in the box seat with just two matches remaining.

Clipstone simply blew Glapwell away after they had made a good start. From 60-0, Glapwell were all out for just 118 with skipper Ian Woodall leading the way with 3-10.

The match was then a foregone conclusion as West Indian opener Justin Braithwaite blasted a quickfire unbeaten 81 to take his side to victory.

After a lull in form, Clipstone are back to their best and it would be foolish to write off their title aspirations.

But Glapwell are in serious trouble and at the moment look relegation certainties.

Killamarsh are the other side in serious trouble and they were blown away in similar fashion by North Wheatley with Leverton.

Batting first, Killamarsh were dismissed for just 118 with skipper Steve Ludlam being the only player to stand up and be counted as he made 38.

Spin twins Jamie Bovill (4-20) and Callum Harrison (3-25) went through the rest with ease.

Despite losing wickets to Steve Ludlam (3-23), who didn’t deserve to end on the losing side, the result was never in any doubt.

Matt Loates (59 not out) and Rob McConnachie (31 not out) steered North Wheatley to an easy win to consolidate their mid-table position.

Killamarsh are in serious trouble and their next fixture against Caythorpe II is now vital.

Caythorpe II put in a terrific performance to gain a winning draw over Worksop.

Caythorpe II registered an excellent 263-4 with Oliver Clarke (43), Andrew Hunt (59 not out) and James Hemmings a magnificent unbeaten 100.

Worksop made a good reply but couldn’t keep up with the clock and closed on 209-7.

Bernhard Beukman (57) and Conor Smith (71) batted excellently, but it was James Hemmings’ day as he bagged 4-62 to crown a fine all-round display.

Caythorpe appear to have more fight in them that the other two and a win next week should see them to comparative safety.

At the start of the season Kiveton Park virtually had to put out a new side with a load of departures from their ranks.

They have done remarkably well to avoid the relegation places and the 20 points they acquired from beating Anston has ensured they will be in the Championship next season.

Anston were bowled out for just 142 with only Kalyan Ampolu (35) and Andrew Pickering (46) making any headway.

James Gilbert (5-48) and John Smith (4-26) bowled brilliantly for Kiveton, who recognised the importance this match held.

The reply was excellent and Alex Gilbert (60) and Regan Musgrave (31 not out) steered Kiveton to a comfortable five wicket win.

Thoresby Colliery were in their best form as they crushed Notts & Arnold Amateur by 96 runs at Goosedale Lane.

Thoresby made 224-5 with Chris Bennett (96) and Lee Willis (54) the stars of the show.

Notts & Arnold’s reply was rather poor and they were dismissed for just 128. Only Jordan Finney (34 not out) made any impact as off-spinner Jack Willis (6-37) went through some rather dismal resistance to give Thoresby maximum points.