MICHAEL CRANMER is targeting a knockout treble after holding his nerve to bowl Hoylandswaine to victory against Honley in the Sykes Cup.
The 24-year-old Australian all-rounder delivered a decisive last over of their quarter-final contest in the Holme Valley, leading the current Drakes Premiership champions to a thrilling five-run victory and a place in the semi-finals.
The draw for those will take place at Cumberworth tomorrow night (7.30) – along with the Paddock Shield and next stages of the Oddfellows and Earnshaw Cups – and Hoylandswaine are joined in the last four of the Sykes Cup by Golcar, Kirkburton and Shepley.
Adelaide-based Cranmer, from the East Torrens club, is helping Hoylandswaine recover from a terrible start to the season which has left them trailing leaders Shepley by 23 points after 10 matches.
And he produced the goods when needed at the death against Honley, who were chasing a target of 230-9 and needed 10 to win off the final over.
Big paceman Harlon Haye – who had earlier taken five for 46 during the Hoylandswaine innings – was the man facing but could manage only one snicked boundary off Cranmer’s right-arm seam as the home team came up short.
“We are trying to compete in every match like last year and, for me, it’s been good to get back into it and find some winning form,” said Cranmer, who returned to Haigh Lane only at the end of last month.
“It’s obviously going to be tough in the Premiership because of the start we’ve made and the fact we’ve got ground to make up, but there are three more competitions we are looking to try and win with the Sykes Cup, the Black Sheep (Yorkshire Champions Trophy) and the T/20.”
Hoylandswaine host Skelmanthorpe tonight in their first group game of the allroundercricket.com T/20, and they will be looking to carry through the best elements of their win at Honley.
After the cream of their batting had gone reasonably cheaply, Ryan Robinson pulled them around with a solid 72 and received dogged backing from Cranmer (22) and Richard Wilkinson, who finished with 55.
Sid Sharma and young Alec Jakeman picked up two wickets apiece to back up Haye for a Honley side shorn of their three Joe Lumb Cup representatives, Tim Taylor, Harvey Booth and Will Fraine.
Simon Kelly was once again the backbone of the Honley reply with 82, while Max Joice (45) and Danny Howard (31) kept them going at a sensible rate. Young Jakeman also chipped in with 22 but there was just too much left for Sharma and Haye to do at the end.
Tight bowling from Matt Garrety, skipper Greg Buckley, left-armer Gurman Randhawa and Andrew Smith did the trick for Kirkburton at home to Barkisland as they won by 10 runs to go through in the arrowselfdrive.com sponsored competition. Garrety top scored with 52 as Burton posted an all-out total of 174, Smith adding 27, Iqbal Khan 24 and Oli Davidson 23, Jonny Whiteoak claiming three for 42 for the visitors.
Craig Fletcher quickly put Barkisland on the back foot in reply (he had three for 39 from 10) and despite 45 from Darren Robinson, they were never able to get their noses in front as Buckley’s bowling unit came up with the goods.
Shepley remain on course for a their successive final as they gained revenge over Delph for last year’s showpiece defeat.
The league leaders had Greg Wood in magnificent form, cracking 129 as they had the tins showing 291-9 after 50 overs – opener Tom Denton contributing an entertaining 76.
Craig Glover and Danny Wood finished with three wickets apiece – South African leg-spinner Sean Savage had two – as Delph never got within sniffing distance and were eventually dismissed for 143, Luke Hargreaves top scoring on 28.
In the other tie, Golcar skipper Steve Whitwam hit his second century of the weekend, compiling 114 to back up his 112 against Skelmanthorpe and end the hopes of Lascelles Hall – the last remaining club from outside the Premiership.
Golcar totalled 238-4 – Cameron Fletcher 52 and Rizwan Haider 30 not out providing the back-up to Whitwam – and it proved just too much for the Cedar Court Conference promotion chasers.
Jack Hargreaves took five for 23 to peg Lascelles Hall back, and they were eventually dismissed for 182 with Kamran Saleem top scoring on 57 and Tom Wightman 43.
Tonight’s T/20 fixtures are:
Group I: Golcar v Delph & Dobcross, Holmfirth v Marsden.
Group II: Hall Bower v Elland, Barkisland v Slaithwaite.
Group III: Shelley v Kirkburton, Honley v Clayton West.
Group IV: Hoylandswaine v Skelmanthorpe, Scholes v Shepley.
Twenty/20 Shield – Preliminary round: Kirkheaton v Almondbury, Cumberworth U v Paddock.