LASTING the championship course is very much the aim at Hanging Heaton in 2016 – and the early signs are promising.
The Bennett Lane outfit are the early pace-setters at the top of the ECB Bradford Premier League after two wins from two, with Saturday’s win at much-fancied Woodlands certainly turning a few heads.
For the past few years, Heaton have been bracketed as possible dark horses in the title stakes with the quality at their disposal – including the likes of captain and former Yorkshire player Gary Fellows and the experienced David Stiff – being self-evident.
But walking the walk for the Tewits, who last won the top-flight in 1999, over the seasonal piece is another thing entirely, as Fellows well knows.
Fellows, who hit an impressive century in the weekend success at Albert Terrace, said: “Wins like Saturday can bring a bit of belief. It is not often you go to Woodlands and beat them on their own turf.
“It is very early days, but it showed we can beat a top side in a game that could have gone either way.
“But in this league, you have to perform week in, week out as there aren’t any poor teams.
“In regards to our aims, we just want to be in the running going into the last month to give ourselves the best chance really.
“We want to put in the performances that can count at the end of September time so we are in the running for some silverware.”
Fellows hit a classy 100 in the Tewits’ innings of 250-7 in the reduced 40-overs a side game at Woodlands – putting on 111 for the third wicket with Joe Fraser (56).
Replying, Woodlands – given late hope by Sarfraz Ahmed’s typically explosive 60 – fell short at 228-8.
Fellows added: “It is a difficult place to play as a batter. There were nearly 500 runs scored on the day and I wouldn’t have thought that at one o’clock when I looked at the wicket and I was pleased to get a hundred.
“No doubt about it, they were missing one of their better players in Chris Brice as he does make a difference with the ball. It was a tight game and good to come out with a result.”
Five points behind the Tewits are 2013 and 2014 champions Cleckheaton (159-3), with newcomer Chris Holliday (70no) and spinner Andrew Deegan (4-42) helping them to a seven-wicket success over Morley (158).
Matthew Duce hit a quick-fire 50 as champions Pudsey St Lawrence (158-4) also recorded their second win, beating neighbours Farsley (125-7) by 33 runs in a match reduced to 20 overs a side.
Leg-spinner Tom Hudson claimed 3-34 for the victors.
Opener Chris Taylor (76no) and Suleman Khan (5-29) helped Lightcliffe (167-5) defeat Scholes (166-7) by five wickets, while East Bierley (111-6) lost out to Bradford and Bingley (115-3), who were inspired by Noman Ali (3-37 and 58).
There was no play possible in the game between Pudsey Congs and New Farnley due to a wet outfield.