Doncaster Town 'sack' captain despite leading Premier League

Doncaster Town ‘sacked’ captain Luke Townsend and then lost by one run at Elsecar as the race for the ECB Yorkshire South Premier League title race took an unexpected twist.

Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 11:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 5:33 pm
Luke Townsend, left, has been replaced by James Ward, right, as captain of title-chasing Doncaster Town

Townsend was dismissed following a meeting with club officials last week - with Doncaster top of the table and just five games of the season remaining.

The all-rounder’s last game in charge was a home defeat to Treeton, Town’s third straight defeat in all competitions.

Doncaster are hoping to win only their second ever Yorkshire League title.

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They were founder members of the Yorkshire League in 1936 and won the competition in its original guise in 1999 before the league was split into north and south divisions in 2016.

Town have topped the table virtually all season and a month ago had suffered just one league defeat.

Townsend has told the Free Press he was sacked but did not make any further comment. Town also made no comment.

Director of cricket James Ward has taken over the captaincy role but his first game in charge ended in an agonising defeat at Elsecar.

Despite the loss, Doncaster actually increased their lead at the top from 18 to 20 points as a result of second-placed Barnsley suffering a surprise home defeat to Hallam, while third-placed Collegiate’s game with Tickhill was cancelled due to the weather.

Town host bottom side Aston Hall on Saturday (noon). They then face trips to reigning champions Wakefield Thornes and Wickersley before hosting relegation-threatened Hallam on the final day of the season.

Paceman Aamir Jamal snared 7-36 to help reduce Elsecar to 103 all out on Saturday.

Town would have fancied their chances of returning to winning ways but the home side’s spinners caused no end of problems, reducing Town to 83-8.

Ward, who held the innings together in determined fashion, was at the crease but he departed for 34 with five more runs still required for victory.

Elsecar skipper Saeed Anwar bowled the final over and, as the last pair raced for the tying run, ran out Sonny Day-Tennant with a direct hit to earn his side the narrowest of wins.