CRICKET: Minutes in the middle key as Tickhill look to pump up Yorkshire Southern Premier League title push

TABLE-TOPPING Tickhill skipper Alex Rowland wants a run of cricket-friendly, dry weather to help his team really hit full stride.

The Yorkshire Southern Premier League leaders have won all three of their completed games so far but have suffered three no-results due to the soggy spring weather.

But speaking ahead of tomorrow's home date against second-placed Sheffield Collegiate, Rowland is conscious that only with more game time can the players really hit their straps.

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“We are behind where we'd like to be in terms of minutes on the pitch,” he said. “The batters are a bit rusty because they've not had much opportunity to bat.

“We had Aston all out for 40 odd. Treeton only got 70 odd. When we batted first we've got 200 twice. Both times we've chased we've not had a lot of time in the middle for the batters so I hope in the coming weeks that will change.”

Last weekend's tally of 230-7 that set up victory against Elsecar will have helped, keeping Tickhill top of the fledgling Premier Division table.

“It's been a bit of a weird one,” added Alex. “It's nice to be top but I don't think the table has really taken shape yet.

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“We have managed to play our home games and our away games have been rained off.

“We have a sand-based outfield and it does drain quite quickly so we've been quite lucky in that respect.”

Harry Swindells hit 84 of Tickhill's latest total and enjoyed half-century partnerships with Jordan Lowe (30) and Liam Guthrie (49).

Taruwar Kohli provided Elsecar with some hope, but after he was out for 66 Rowland himself mopped up the tail with 5-38 to close out a 76-run victory ahead of this weekend's visit of Collegiate.

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“It's the first time I've had a really decent bowl since last year,” added the skipper.  “I feel like I've contributed rather than just do the coin toss and then sit and watch. That's basically been my role for the first few weeks of the season.

“This next game against Collegiate is a big one. They've started well and it will be a good test to see where we're at. Fingers crossed the forecast stays nice.”