AN ALL-ROUND professional display took Delph & Dobcross through to their fourth Sykes Cup final after a five-wicket triumph over Drakes League-leaders and pre-match favourites Hoylandswaine.
From the moment he won the toss and put the visitors in to bat, Grant Jones’ Delph side were always in command, especially after Adnan Ghous knocked over opener Alan Mynett’s off peg in his first over and then had Alex Morris snapped up at first slip by Graeme Simpson in his second over.
The old expression that ‘catches win matches’ was never more evident than when Warren Jones snapped up a terrific left-handed catch, millimetres off the deck at mid-on to remove Hoylandswaine skipper John Sadler off the bowling of Matt Norvall.
It was arguably the pivotal moment of the innings, as Yorkshire’s Joe Sayers had to reign in and hope to find someone to support him at the other end and re-build the innings from 13-3 after eight overs.
That support never really came however, as Norvall had Aussie all-rounder Michael Cranmer caught behind before Arron Lilley took his turn in the limelight as he took out Amar Rashid, leaving the visitors at 75-5 at the halfway mark.
And then immediately following the drinks break, Lilley bowled Ben Potter, who had tried to push the score with a couple of lusty blows onto the bowling green.
Although Swaine bat all the way down, they needed Sayers to stay through to the end, but when Ghaus sent him a slower delivery, the county opener only succeeded in lashing it round the corner and down the throat of Irfan Zahoor at deep fine leg for 33 to leave them on 87-7.
Don Bandula brought up the 100 in the 34th over and briefly gave the Barnsley club’s supporters hope with a cameo knock of 40 before he fell to Norvall who finished with four for 33, while Lilley trapped last man Danny Mulhall for his third victim.
With only 135 on the board, Swaine needed to make a number of early strikes, and Don Bandula did get Zahoor leg before, while Mulhall also gained a lbw decision against Faisal Butt to leave Delph on 36-2.
Lilley made a good looking 16 before Chris Schofield (with his second delivery) enticed him into driving straight into the hands of Cranmer at mid-on after a 30-run stand with the solidly-reliable Bruce Cruse.
Kevin Hook started nervously and was given a life, thanks to a superb gesture from Alex Morris, who looked to have taken a brilliant one-handed slip catch off the bowling of Rashid.
Hook set off walking, but was sent back when Morris sportingly declared he had scooped the ball up on the bounce (an admission which deservedly won him applause).
It probably wouldn’t have cost his side the game as Delph only needed a further 44 at the halfway stage of their innings with Cruse (57no) bringing up his half-century in the 32nd over after peppering the boundary with three successive fours.
With the end in sight Hook (25) went for the glory but was caught by Rashid. Simpson perished two balls later, but Norvall came out and smashed a four off the first ball to send Delph into the final, where they will face holders Shepley at Honley, on August 12.