Bradford League: Hanging Heaton step up bid for illustrious double
Well positioned in second spot in the ECB Bradford Premier League – and with strong designs upon claiming the top-flight title for the first time since 1999 – the Tewits are also through to the quarter-finals of the Royal London ECB National Club Championship and are just two wins away from a finals place at Essex CCC on September 17.
Gary Fellows’ men booked their last-eight berth on Sunday, courtesy of a thrilling two-wicket win at Cheshire outfit Hyde, with the captain leading the way.
Ex-Yorkshire player Fellows, out for a rare low score in the league win over New Farnley the previous day, made key contributions with both bat and ball to see Heaton over the line for a sweet victory.
Well placed at 129-2, Hyde lost their way and were dismissed for 214, with Fellows taking 4-39.
In reply, an opening stand worth 94 between Fellows (46) and Richard Foster (76) provided the Tewits with a sound platform and while wickets then started to tumble, the visitors held their nerve to reach 217-8 – sparking a joyous bus journey home.
In the quarter-finals on August 13, Heaton will travel to Liverpool Premier League side Ormskirk or York.
Fellows said: “We had a really good day and put on a good performance and now we’re into the last eight and it is really good for the club.
“We had a bus that went over and a lot of people came to support us and it was really pleasing to see for us as players. It was great that so many spectators come over to watch.
“As a club, it is great to get as far as we have done in quite a prestigious competition. We will now go onto the next round and take it as it comes.
“Our consistency has been pleasing this year. As a club, we do enter a lot of competitions and we have been playing Saturday and Sunday cricket a lot of the time. The consistency and character we have had to show in some games has been really pleasing. But there’s a lot of cricket left yet.
“You are getting close to that part of the season where every game ends up being a must-win one.”
Heaton maintained the pressure on league leaders Farsley with a 46-run victory over New Farnley, in a game which saw Callum Geldart score his first ton for the club.
The Tewits recovered from a poor start to reach 243-7, with Geldart (100) leading the way.
Replying, several Farnley players made starts, but failed to capitalise with the side dismissed for 197, with Muhammad Rameez taking 4-33 for Heaton, who are six points behind Farsley.
Fellows added: “New Farnley are a very good side with some very good players and we were pleased to come away with the result that we got, definitely.
“It was good for Callum, without a doubt and I was really pleased for him. He has fitted in really well and it was a really good innings.”
On-song leaders Farsley powered to another crushing win, with a comprehensive eight-wicket win at East Bierley, skittled for just 80.
James Wainman proved an early tormentor for Bierley with 4-28 before Adam Ahmed (4-3) cleaned up at the end.
Replying, captain Ryan Cooper (50no) saw the Red Laners home after an early wobble saw them slump to 3-2.
Champions Pudsey St Lawrence (145-8) suffered a damaging seven-wicket loss to Woodlands (149-3) in a match reduced to 37 overs per side.
St Lawrence’s leading light with the bat was Adam Waite (62), with Chris Brice and Scott Richardson taking three wickets apiece for Woodlands.
Replying, the visitors shrugged off the early loss of captain Tim Jackson and Jamie Pickering to prevail with just under six overs left, with Sam Frankland (57) and Greg Finn (50no) in the runs.
Fourth-placed St Lawrence are now 43 points adrift of leaders Farsley, who they visit on Saturday.