BASSETLAW LEAGUE ROUND-UP: Farnsfield on the brink of third title in five seasons

BIG MAC -- man-of-the-match Callum McKenzie, who took three wickets and scored an unbeaten 40 in a victory that edged Farnsfield closer to the Bassetlaw League, Championship title (PHOTO BY: Richard Parkes Photography)
BIG MAC -- man-of-the-match Callum McKenzie, who took three wickets and scored an unbeaten 40 in a victory that edged Farnsfield closer to the Bassetlaw League, Championship title (PHOTO BY: Richard Parkes Photography)
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Fantastic Farnsfield will be crowned Bassetlaw League champions for the third time in five seasons if they beat their closest rivals, Papplewick and Linby, in The Championship on Saturday.

Farsnfield have yo-yoed between the Bassetlaw and the Notts Premier League (NPL) in recent years, with immediate relegation following promotion in both 2013 and 2015.

But they will be hoping to avoid an unwanted hat-trick this time round as they go into the clash at Papplewick with a healthy lead at the top of the table of 35 points.

Even avoiding defeat could be enough to give them an unassailable advantage and send them back to the NPL, with just two more fixtures to negotiate after Saturday -- at home to Whitwell and away to North Wheatley with Leverton.

Papplewick, who were runners-up last term, must hope they beat Farnsfield convincingly and then also win their last two games, at Glapwell Colliery and Edwinstowe, while the tabletoppers slip up.

The reason for Farnsfield’s commanding position in the title race is a rain-hit day last weekend when they dodged the showers to inflict a maximum-points defeat on Glapwell, while Papplewick were victims of the weather and collected only ten points in a draw at third-placed Clipstone Welfare.

The leaders wasted no time in bowling out Glapwell for 119, with Dave Loveridge taking 4-47 and Callum McKenzie 3-9 in only 26 deliveries. Man-of-the-match McKenzie then steered his side to their victory target with an unbeaten 40, well supported by opener Iain O’Brien (45).

The Papplewick-Clipstone match was in the balance before the elements intervened. The visitors built a satisfying total of 243-8 after 71 from South African star Leon Botha and 38 from Tom Bowers, and Clipstone were 90-2 exactly halfway through their allotted 50 overs in reply, with skipper Lee Wilson still there on 45.

Three other matches were also weather-affected abandonments, including a duel between the doomed bottom two in the division, Worksop and Whitwell. The visitors were dismissed for 169, with Liam Cairns taking 4-20, but the rain prevented Worksop even starting their response.

It was a similar story at Anston, where the hosts posted a terrific score of 272-6 in the hands of Amila Perera (68) and Anthony Roddis (49), but Edwinstowe had no opportunity to bat after tea.

At Thoresby Colliery, relegation-threatened North Wheatley with Leverton did at least start their innings, reaching 81-3. But they might have been pleased to see the rain because they faced a formidable task chasing down the home side’s impressive total of 282-7, which included a magnficent 140 from Muhammad Yasar and 50 from Mitchell English.

One other match did reach a conclusion as Notts and Arnold Amateurs (224-8) collected a winning draw at home to Retford (183-7). Individual highlights were knocks of 85 from Ben Scott and 75 from Sam Ecob for Amateurs, with the pair sharing 134 for the fifth wicket, rescuing a dodgy 42-4, and a fine innings of 77 from opener Aqib Afzaal for Retford.