JUBILIANT Hanging Heaton captain Gary Fellows believes that the Tewits’ stellar feats in winning the Vitality Club T20 competition have put the club – and the Bradford League – firmly on the national cricket map.
Batley-based outfit Heaton saved their best until last to secure the third leg of a memorable trophy treble by beating Norfolk-based rivals Swardeston in the T20 final at Derby’s County Ground on Sunday evening.
A captain’s effort from former Yorkshire player Fellows, who struck a magnificent unbeaten 88, saw Heaton triumph by five wickets against Swardeston after chasing down 165 with three balls to spare.
In the process, Heaton became the first Yorkshire side to win the prestigious T20 national competition, with their success following glory in the Yorkshire Champions Trophy and Heavy Woollen Cup.
Fellows said: “It is fantastic for the lads, the club and our fans. It can be tough sometimes playing a lot of Saturday and Sunday cricket, but this is three out of three in the last three weeks. We have won three finals and that is why you put those hours in.
“We have worked hard for it, not just this year, but the last three or four years. This is the culmination of that, playing at a county ground against the best in the country.
“It puts Hanging Heaton on the map and the Bradford League on the map.
“I am pretty sure we would not have been favourites coming in, but we did not mind that. It was a case of making sure we enjoyed the day. If you are happy, you play your best cricket and we know we have a lot of talent.
“There were more than 800 teams at the start of the competition so to come out on top in September and be classed as the best in the country for six months is a fantastic achievement.”
Heaton booked their place in the final after comfortably beating Sussex outfit Roffey by seven wickets – to set up a showpiece against Swardeston, T20 winners in 2010 and 2016.
I am pretty sure we would not have been favourites coming in, but we did not mind that. It was a case of making sure we enjoyed the day. If you are happy, you play your best cricket and we know we have a lot of talent.Gary Fellows
David Stiff and Tom Chippendale took three wickets apiece against Roffey, dismissed for 99.
After a comfortable semi-final, the Tewits faced a much more challenging test against Swardeston, with brothers Jordan and Callum Taylor giving them a good start with a first-wicket stand of 51 in their opening salvo.
Jordan went onto score a 44-ball half-century as Swardeston passed 100, only for the East Anglians to lose momentum, with only a late run of boundaries from ex-Zimbabwe international Richard Sims seeing them past 160.
Fellows anchored Heaton’s reply masterfully, adding 45 for the first wicket with Ben Kohler-Cadmore and 48 for the second with Callum Geldart, before seeing his side home in a perfectly-paced innings.