JUBILANT Aston Hall snatched the Division One title on a nervy and dramatic final day—but even though Whiston Parish Church have to settle for second place it still means there will be SEVEN Rotherham teams in the Premier Division next year.
The title jitters were evident as Aston took the championship, beating Shiregreen by just 12 runs while Church blew it at relegation-haunted Norton Woodseats.
Aston started with 220-8 as Carl Tiler notched up his seventh half century of the season, reaching 52. Chris Holland held the fort to closure with 42 not out.
Shiregreen lost both their openers with only 1 on the scorecard but Liaqat Ali rectified matters with a swift 32.
But disaster returned and the innings collapsed to 69-6. Hedar Rasool (51) combined with Mehfooz Khan (58) and they added 92 to drive the score to 161-6.
Three wickets fell quickly, including Mehfooz and when the score reached 165 the last pair were at the crease. They pquickly settled in and had the home nerves jangling as they added 43 for the last wicket with Antisham Khan the last man to go on 35.
Then it was over to Graves Park, where Whiston only needed to win to take the title.
But if Aston had a case of the shakes, Church’s could be measured on the Richter Scale.
Norton built their innings around a patient 93 from Irfan Mirza, with further contributions from Shahzad Hussain (24), Roger Bird (30) and Shoaib Yasin (29). Johan Bothma rounded his season off with an excellent 7-63 from his 15 overs as Norton posted 220-9.
But then it all went wrong for Whiston.
They had 29 from Kevin Cooper before Steve Dunsford with a steady 57 and Bothma (41) put together a stand of 93 for the fourth wicket. However, from 158-4, they slumped to 177 all out—sparking the celebrations over as Aston.