A potential lifeline for Doncaster Town B

FREE REIGNS: Impressive Doncaster Town B bowler Curtis Free takes the wicket of COnisbrough opener Jonathan Phillips to get his side off to a great start. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D4597MB

FREE REIGNS: Impressive Doncaster Town B bowler Curtis Free takes the wicket of COnisbrough opener Jonathan Phillips to get his side off to a great start. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D4597MB

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DONCASTER Town Seconds may still earn promotion to South Yorkshire League Division One despite losing their must-win final day clash.

The 68 run defeat at Division Two champions Conisbrough was a bitter blow for Town who spent much of the season in the top three, only to be overtaken in third by Thorncliffe on Saturday.

Conisbrough Cricket Club. Back l/r Lewis Barnes, Lee Johnson, Jonathan Phillips, Gary Strephen, Stuart Bellwood and Michael Blakemore. Front l/r Darren Hough, Des Steete, Scott Lowe, Paul Hemmingway and Matthew Barnes. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D4593MB

Conisbrough Cricket Club. Back l/r Lewis Barnes, Lee Johnson, Jonathan Phillips, Gary Strephen, Stuart Bellwood and Michael Blakemore. Front l/r Darren Hough, Des Steete, Scott Lowe, Paul Hemmingway and Matthew Barnes. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D4593MB

But Thorncliffe may yet be denied promotion as an investigation is carried out into the alleged fielding of ineligible players.

Town will discover whether they have been handed a lifeline next week, but for now their future appears to lie in the third tier.

It seemed to have started so well for Town when they restricted Conisbrough to 163-8.

Opener Jonathan Phillips went for a duck and Conisbrough only managed a particularly slow run rate from then on in.

Michael Blakemore scored 30 and Darren Hough 44 against some miserly bowling from juniors Lewis Brown and Curtis Free.

Doncaster never really looked like taking their opportunity as they lost three wickets with the score at 12.

Opener Luke Sykes and skipper Mark Dickinson led the way with 39 and 32 respectively but there was no support as two man wrecking machine Gary Strephan and Stuart Bellwood ripped through the order.

Strephan claimed 6-36 and Bellwood 4-20, sparking a collapse which saw the last seven wickets fall with just 14 runs added and seeing Doncaster’s contribution end on 95 after 27 overs.