Bradford League: Continuity key for Hanging Heaton to enjoy further success

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THE surname of Bethel is a well-known one in Bradford League circles – and Hanging Heaton’s chief off-season recruit has plenty to live up to.

The Tewits have high hopes for ex-Whitley Hall all-rounder Callum Bethel, son of former Pudsey Congs stalwart Andy, who scored almost 12,000 league runs during his time with Congs and Spen Victoria.

On Bethel, Heaton captain Gary Fellows said: “He is young, but very keen and talented and we are looking for him to bed himself in and get involved with the club, which he has done already and enjoy his cricket and showcase his talents.

“He will also bring the youth side of it in the field as we are quite an experienced team. He can make a big difference, while he is very attacking with the bat and will look to take wickets with his left-arm spin.”

Bethel’s arrival is the main close-season capture at Bennett Lane, with Fellows hopeful that the benefits of continuity can breed success for the 2017 champions, who have their sights set on silverware on several fronts with the league representing the ‘bread and butter’.

Fellows added: “It is not always the easiest thing to do – keep the same 11, 12 or 13 lads.

Hanging Heaton captain Gary Fellows.

Hanging Heaton captain Gary Fellows.

“We are fortunate that the club tries to work as much off the pitch as on it and create an atmosphere that lads like turning up to – whether it is training or events after games.

“The team spirit is just as important as the talent on the field, without a doubt.”

On the priority importance of league business, he added: “We spent many years in the Bradford League where we have not been in contention. The league is your bread and butter; you need to do the right things on a Saturday to perform well, put runs on the board and take your wickets. Then that can follow into Sunday if people are in form. It can breed confidence.

“We want to go as far as we can in the cups we have entered into and get to the last month of the season and be in contention in the league – whether you are chasing somebody or someone is chasing you.”

We are fortunate that the club tries to work as much off the pitch as on it and create an atmosphere that lads like turning up to – whether it is training or events after games.

Heaton triumphed in Saturday’s game with New Farnley, having reached a revised Duckworth Lewis-Stern target of 135 for the loss of six wickets.

Earlier, despite the best efforts of Dan Hodgson (45) and Lee Goddard (38), Farnley were dismissed for 145, with Josh Holling taking a superb 6-35.

Meanwhile, Woodlands pair Brad Schmulian and Tim Jackson were in sensational form as they set a new all-time league first team record partnership of 326 against Methley.

Their unbroken stand beat the previous highest for any wicket of 304 and bettered the previous best for the second wicket of 295.

Kiwi overseas signing Schmulian smashed a brilliant unbeaten 153, with Jackson reaching 137 not out as the Oakenshaw outfit totalled 329-1, with Methley reaching 247-7 in their rain-reduced reply, Jordan Laban top-scoring with 72.

Champions Pudsey St Lawrence (178-9) pipped Bradford and Bingley (175) by three runs at Tofts Road with key contributions coming from Barrie Frankland (53), Jordan Thompson (4-24) and Archie Scott (4-24).

Wrenthorpe (178-7) claimed their first top-flight win in seeing off Cleckheaton (181-9) by three wickets under DLS, with Khalil Khan (4-37) and Irfan Amjad (68no) impressing. Azeem Rafiq took 5-54 for Cleck, with John Wood (50) top-scoring.

Farsley were skittled for 75 in their 61-run defeat to Townville (136), with Connor Harvey (5-18) and Jack Hughes (3-22) excelling, while Harry Warwick hit an invaluable 456.

Chris Beech took a fine 5-26 for the Red Laners.