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District Cricket Jottings.

20 July 1907

Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Saturday 20 July 1907

District Cricket Jottings.

A General Survey. A glance at the Mexborough Cricket League table shows that the clubs are well on in the second .half of the season. The figures are in some instances rather curious. For example, Hickleton, the leaders, have yet to taste their first defeat, their record, before to-day’s games, reading 21 points for 15 matches—the outcome of six victories and nine drawn games.

Close behind Hickleton come Mitchell Main, the champions, who are but two points in arrears, with game in hand with which to make up leeway. Mitchell’s have only lost one match, and the meeting of the two clubs to-day aroused a tremendous lot of interest, in now the important issues at stake. To my mind, although Swinton, Mexborough, and Hoyland aro not yet completely out of the running, the championship is already narrowed down to a keen duel between the present and past honour-holders. Week by week reveals the excellencies and strength of these great rival teams, which possess about the two best batsmen in the League in the persons Irving Washington (Mitchells) and Alban Turner (Hickleton). Which of two sides has the balance of power is a matter somewhat difficult to determine. From purely hatting point of view Mitchell’s appear to hold the whip hand, having players holding second, third, fifth and sixth positions in the League batting averages. But Hickleton supply the present individual leader, and have couple more players with averages of 20 and upwards. But when we come talk of bowling, choice from two varied attacks must to Hickleton, who, in Beckett and Symester possess a couple of trundlers of really good class on their day out.

Sensation at Swinton

The sensation of last Saturday’s cricket was provided at Swinton, where the homo team sadly spoiled their promising chances by an inglorious display. The crack bowlers of Hickleton proved their undoing, Swinton being dismissed for paltry 17 runs, easily the season’s record for low scoring, and one that probably no club will in hurry to taka from Swinton. Of course, Hickleton won anyhow, and with Mitchell’s only drawing with Wombwell, the championship became a matter of relatively level pegging between the two leading clubs. The performance of Beckett and Symester was unusually striking that I give the Hicklctou bowlers’ figures special prominence:

Beckett 5 wickets for 7 runs.
Symester 5 wickets for 3 runs.

Mexborough Moving

Whereat there was the still silence of sorrow at at Swinton, Mexborough continue to do well, despite the fact the bowling could do with a bit strengthening. The old club gained an easy victory over Wath, and climbed to the third position the League. Walter Bennett, the famous footballer, came out with the top score of the match, he subscribing 39 for the victors, besides taking a couple of valuable wickets. Pleasing to the winners was the comparative success of Frost, who bagged four wickets. Last season Frost was quite one of the best bowlers in the League, but this year he has somehow not been able to get going in his best form. “Tommy” Hakin, as usual, lent a helping band to Mexborough’s victory, taking three wickets, although for in a way his batting was off. The Mexborough batsmen and like the men of Mitchell’s, pretty prominent in the League batting returns. W. P. Turner having an average if 58.57, T. Hakin 29.66, W. Bennett 27.90, and W. Hague 21.41—figures that pretty clearly indicate that Mexborough owe their present excellent position to batting rather than bowling.

Incompetent Umpiring

That the class of umpiring Incompetent not what it should be in the six Mexborough League is a fact to which the players will readily testify. It is only natural for the best-intentioned of the white-coated gentlemen make mistakes, but unfortunately many of the rulings are tinged with unmistakable ignorance.

We had an example at Wath, on Saturday. Peech, a Wath batsman, seeing his partner drive a ball with tremendous force, started run. Hardly had he got off on his tees before the ball crashed into his wicket, without touching the runner en route. The South Kirkby umpire ruled that Peech was run out, but the Wath batsman rightly refused to go, pointing out that the M.C.C. rules would prove that, as the ball didn’t touch anybody, he was not out. The umpire was only convinced when shown a copy of the rules, when Peech was allowed to continue his innings. The incident caused a lot of unpleasantness. The spectators very wrongly putting the blame the Mexborough men, who never appealed for the return of six Peech to tho pavilion. The umpire question is a difficult one. The fees paid are not large enough to ensure the engagement of thoroughly competent officials. If the clubs could see their way to give a little better remuneration, it might be possible to secure umpires, qualified by examination. The better the umpires, the better for the game.

At Denaby

Denaby’s defeat by South Kirkby once again illustrates the remarkable falling-off of the team, so prominent for years past through the prowess of the brothers Robinson and Bury. Denaby’s batting on Saturday was lamentably’ weak, three men being caught at the wicket, and as many more snapped in the slips, a series of disasters brought about stilted methods and frothy play. At one time the Denaby batsmen invariably showed the full face of the bat to the ball, and strong drives were as plentiful blackberries in autumn. P. Bury alone of the side showed this acceptable characteristic on Saturday. He ran up 44 in his inimitable style, what time his colleagues were scraping about to little purpose. It’s a bad thing for Denaby that that brilliant cricketer, G. L. Robinson, is so completely out of form. Last season “Luther,” as he is familiarly called, was quite one of the best “all-rounders” in the League. This summer, both with bat and ball, his skill seems to have deserted him. But all cricketers strike bad patches, and the “turn of the tide” will come for as sportsmanlike a player as ever donned flannels. If G. L. Robinson finds his form we shall see a real revival in Denaby’s play. Let it be soon.

Odds and Ends

Irving Washington, of Mitchell’s Main, was the top scorer of the League last Saturday, he knocking up  85 against Wombwell Main. Evidently his proper place is with the county team. Lee, his colleague, who was his partner in a big stand, came out with a fine score of 55.