Cleethorpes Cricket Club plunged back into relegation trouble on Saturday after slipping to a 34 run defeat at the hands of Treeton.
Their defeat allowed Hallam, who won their 5th game on the trot, to reduce the gap between them to a mere 6 points. The remaining four games favour Hallam who have a much easier run in than the Meggies who next play second placed Barnsley before travelling to third placed Sheffield Collegiate.
If they are to survive in the 4 Probate & Wills ECB Yorkshire South Premier League for another season they must win at least one of the remaining four games and they must feel that they missed out on securing a win on Saturday. At one stage they had reduced Treeton to 112-6 but appeared to sit back, and not push home their advantage, allowing their opponents to reach 199-9. This total proved too much for the Meggies brittle batting line-up which lost wickets in clusters to finish on 165.
After winning the toss and inserting their visitors Cleethorpes opening bowlers Basheeru Walters and Joe Baker each claimed an early wicket with the latter unlucky not to get a second. Lee Charlton replaced Walters and clean bowled Shahjahan Younis leaving the Rotherham area side on 31-3. Charlton was then unlucky when a delivery was played onto the stumps by Sam Drury but failed to dislodge the heavy weight bails which were being used due to the gale force wind.
The batsman made the most of the good fortune and added 62 before Alex Osmond trapped Drury leg before. Osmond then put his side in the driving seat by claiming a couple more wickets, both due to catches by wicket keeper Tom Rollinson, which left the tail exposed. However, Haseeb-ur-Rahman was still there and went on to complete a half century after finding a willing partner in Ben Birtles. Together they added 71 before the latter holed out to a boundary catch confidently taken by Bill Kirby.
Walters returned to claim his second wicket but it was not until the penultimate ball of the innings
that Rahman departed after making 79. Osmond claimed his wicket to finish with figures of 5-57 but the home side must have been disappointed that they allowed themselves to be set a target of 200 for victory.
That target seemed a long way off when the Meggies lost three wickets for just 34 runs when they replied. Sensible batting from Tom Rollinson and Alex Osmond stopped the rot and they proceeded to add 63 before the former was adjudged leg before after scoring 23. Another wicket fell without addition but Walters and Osmond took the score into three figures with Osmond reaching a half century to add to his five wicket haul.
Needing 5 an over victory did not look impossible as runs began to come easily. However this all quickly changed after Walters departed on 125. Two more wickets followed leaving Osmond stranded and although two bonus batting points had been gained thoughts of victory had gone. Osmond went on he attack in an effort to boost the total but was eventually caught in the outfield after scoring 65. The innings closed in the 48th over with Harry Costello on 15 not out leaving the Meggies just hoping for an upturn of form in their remaining fixtures.