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Widdup goes wild to see Barnsley through

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With the national stages of this year's ECB National Club Championship firmly in their sights, 64 teams contested the group semi-finals last weekend, with numerous good individual and team performances seen throughout the country.

The best individual batting performance came in the game between Barnsley CC and Doncaster Town CC, with Barnsley coming out on top by 66 runs. Simon Widdup's unbeaten 146 helped Barnsley post 254 for eight off their 45 overs with Greig Batty taking 3-35 for Doncaster Town CC.

In reply 66 from Alex Gosney wasn’t enough for the away side as 5-22 from Graham Attenbrough restricted Doncaster to 185 all out.

The highest team score, and scoring game, was seen in group one as Scarborough CC took on Easingwold CC at Back Lane. Batting first, Scarborough posted a mammoth 301 for five with Mark Tennant top-scoring with 109, supported through the middle order by Darren Harland (72) and Ashley Lyth (61).

Although the hosts gave a good chase, four wickets for Simon Tennant and Ashley Lyth helped the visitors dismiss Easingwold CC for 246, despite 78 from Steven Piercy, handing Scarborough CC a 55-run victory.

A solid team batting performance gave York CC a 52-run win over Treeton CC at Washfield Lane. Batting first half centuries from Simon Mason (86), Alex Collins (76) and captain Marcus Wood (57 not out) gave York a commanding total of 268 for six, Andrew Tomlinson the pick of Treeton’s bowlers finishing with 3-51.

In reply, 3-27 from Ashley Hume stopped Treeton from getting closer to the York CC total as they finished 216 all out.

Chester-le-Street overcame South Northumberland on run rate in a rain affected game at Ropery Lane. Batting first Chester-le-Street CC posted 262 for nine off 45 with the mainstay of the home side's innings coming from Richard Waite's 90 off just 82 deliveries; Stephen Humble was the pick of the South Northumberland attack as he finished with figures of 5-44.

Only 27 from Christopher Hewison and 23 from Captain John Graham gave the away side any chance of a surprise run chase, but this was not to be as they finished on 80 for eight after 24.5 overs. Quentin Hughes was the best of the Street bowlers, finishing with 3-6.

In the southern groups there were two destructive run chases. The first took place in the Hampstead versus Chingford game, where set 217 to win by Chingford (James Hill 55) Hampstead chased the total down inside 32 overs for the loss of just three wickets with captain Paul Weekes (84) and Shaun Levy (86 not out) doing the damage for the home side.

The second took place at Horntye Park Sports Complex as Hainault & Clayhall CC set Hastings & St Leonards Priory 204 to win, which the home side comfortably knocked off for the loss of two wickets in just 28.1 overs, Richard May top scoring with 111 off just 83 balls including 16 fours and two sixes.

Lytham CC (238 all out, Guy Roberts 55, Andrew Holdsworth 4-51) won a one-sided contest at Windsor Park, overcoming the hosts Chorley CC (72, Andrew Holdsworth 41, Jimmy Wisniewski 3-16) by 166 runs, with the main problem for the hosts being the six batsmen who were dismissed without scoring.

Another one-sided contest took place in Bromley CC’s game versus Bickley Park. Batting first Bromley racked up 250 for nine, James Butterfill top-scoring with 71 and Phil Browning the pick of the bowlers with 4-31. Bickley Park could only manage 103 all out in reply, James Lincoln top-scoring with 46; Craig Peters doing the damage for Bromley with 4-19.

Ormskirk CC owe their continued participation in this year's National Club Knockout to young Nick Caunce. Chasing 232 against Hyde CC, Jim Duffy top-scoring with 67, Caunce built on the start made by Ian Robinson (75) and John Armstrong (69) to smash an unbeaten 41 off just 20 balls to guide his side to a five-wicket victory with just 13 balls remaining.

Ormskirk will be hoping that he can continue that form when they host Kearsley CC in the Group 5 final.

The draw for the last 32 of the National Club Knockout, the final group round, is now available on play-cricket.com.