Bradford League: Fellows hoping players not the rain decide title

Pudsey St Lawrence captain James Smith. PIC: Steve Riding
Pudsey St Lawrence captain James Smith. PIC: Steve Riding
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GARY FELLOWS may have achieved plenty of milestones already in a stellar league career to date, but his CV contains one glaring omission.

Namely a Bradford League winner’s medal, something that has evaded him so far in a career which has seen him record many personal accolades – with his most recent feat seeing him pass the 5,000-run milestone for current club Hanging Heaton.

If the Tewits are to lift league silverware for the first time since 1999, then it would prove somewhat ironic for captain Fellows, given that he spent a decade trying to reach that accolade with Heaton’s big title rivals Pudsey St Lawrence.

It is Fellows’ former club who lead the way by just four points heading into the final weekend of the season and while the ex-Yorkshire player is loathe to make predictions, he is just hoping that the weather does not ultimately decide the destination of the title after a couple of rain-ravaged weekends.

Fellows said: “Since I started in the Bradford League, I have not won it and it would be great if we could get over the line.

“We will have to see on Saturday, it is just fingers crossed that everyone can get a full game in and that the weather doesn’t dictate.

“I cannot recall a title race being like this going into the last day. It is quite funny; over the past six weeks or so, we have all said: ‘it will go down to the last game’ after each weekend and it has proven to be that.

“It is all set up, with Farsley also mathematically having a chance.

“Our aim at the start of the season was to be in the mix in the last month and having something to fight for in the run-in and we have done that.”

While promises to be a tense day for second-placed Heaton, who finish off at New Farnley, leaders St Lawrence, who welcome Bradford and Bingley at Tofts Road and third-placed Farsley – they entertain Scholes – Fellows is admirably retaining a sense of perspective and is embracing the pressure.

Whenever transpires, he is of the view that Heaton are a club firmly on the up, with planning for next season having already begun, with overseas bowler Muhammad Rameez to return next season following an excellent campaign at Bennett Lane.

Fellows added: “The plan on Saturday is to just go out and enjoy it. Hopefully, we can get as many points as possible and if Bingley do us a favour in that respect, we will be very happy. But we’ll see and whatever happens, we have had a good season.

“It is a good club to play at and long may it continue. I have spoken to friends who are my age and some have retired from playing. I am keeping my fingers crossed I stay fit and healthy and if you keep getting runs and enjoying it, you just keep going.

“This has been my fourth year here and if the club looks to where it was seven or eight years ago to where it is now, it has progressed and there are lot of people who have done a lot of hard work off the pitch and Roy (Holdsworth), the groundsman, does a brilliant job. The club is building over a period of time and hopefully the groundwork that has been put in will keep it going.

“I remember playing at Pudsey where I played for 10 years and it took a lot of years to win the title. Things do take a bit of time and the club and the team are building; and if it is not this year, then we will dust ourselves down and go again next year.”

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THE WEATHER may have ensured the first complete wash-out of the season at an untimely juncture, but it did not prevent Townville from being winners.

Silverware was confirmed for the runaway Championship B leaders with two games of the campaign to go, after their game with closest rivals Wrenthorpe fell victim to the elements.

It has been an outstanding campaign for Townville, who have blazed on trail en route to 17 wins from 20 matches so far this term, losing just once.

In the process, they have smashed past the 300-point barrier and have accrued 58 batting points, 13 more than nearest rivals Wrens.

Meanwhile, one significant issue has been decided in the top-flight with Scholes’ relegation confirmed after just one season in the big time.

The Spen outfit have been left hamstrung more than most by the recent weather, with hopes of pulling off a Great Escape, only for the rain to scupper their hopes of late.

Their fate was finally sealed when their home game with rivals New Farnley was abandoned.

Morley are in gravest danger of accompanying Scholes into the second tier, with the Scatcherd Lane outfit being 10 points behind third-from-bottom East Bierley.

Lightcliffe, seven points clear of Bierley and 17 ahead of Morley are still not out of trouble.

One side who are safe after last weekend’s abandonments, are Pudsey Congs, who welcome Morley in their seasonal finale on Saturday.

Lightcliffe need just four points from their home clash with Woodlands to avoid the drop while East Bierley require ten when they entertain Cleck’, with Morley needing to win and hope for favourable results elsewhere.

At the top, Pudsey St Lawrence require 16 points from their home clash with Bradford & Bingley to retain silverware.

Hanging Heaton, who are fourth points adrift, visit Heavy Woollen Cup winners New Farnley.

Farsley, who are also in the mix and retain an outside chance of top-flight silverware for the first time since way back in 1962, play host to relegated Scholes in their seasonal finale at Red Lane.

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BATLEY moved a step closer to the Championship A title at the weekend, despite being inactive.

The frontrunners were without a game and saw their silverware rivals Yeadon’s match abandoned without a ball before bowled due to the elements.

With two rounds of fixtures to go, Batley have 228 points and lead Yeadon by nine.

They require 31 from their home games with Saltaire and Undercliffe to take the title.

Yeadon complete their programme at home to Undercliffe and then travel to Baildon the following day, hoping to secure two victories and hope that Batley slip up.

With Townville confirmed as champions in the Championship, Wrenthorpe are in pole position to finish second, although Methley could yet deny them. Wrens need 14 points from their trip to Spen Victoria and home clash with Altofts to seal the runners-up berth.

Methley face a tough end to the season, hosting Townville on Saturday before making the trip to Bowling Old Lane – the only team to beat champions Townville in a peerless campaign.

Buttershaw St Paul’s require six points from their final two fixtures to be crowned as Conference champions.

And they travel to Azaad and host Wakefield St Michael’s at home.

Second-placed Northowram Fields saw their hopes hit by the weather at the weekend.

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