Cricket: Fellows has his sights set firmly on title race

Gary Fellows
Gary Fellows
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HANGING HEATON skipper Gary Fellows insists the Tewits will be right in the thick of the Bradford League title race at the start of August – if they beat leaders Pudsey St Lawrence tomorrow.

Lawrence head to Bennett Lane with a 30-point advantage over the fourth-placed hosts, who narrowly lost out to second-placed Woodlands in a cracker last weekend.

But Fellows and his troops are mindful that all is still to play for in what is shaping up to be a compelling end to the Division One campaign, especially if they sink Lawrence, who have lost three of their past four matches.

Ex-Yorkshire player Fellows, in impressive form for the Tewits this term, said: “There’s still a lot of cricket to be played and if we get the right result, we will stay in the mix.

“If we beat Pudsey, we are definitely still in it.

“It might take some other teams such as Woodlands to slip up, but that can easily happen in Bradford League cricket.

“The bottom of the league can often beat the top and you get some strange results.

“We have to believe we are still in it. We have played Pudsey in the league and the cup and both have been good games.

“Our game at their spot was similar to the Woodlands game in that we posted a really good total, but unfortunately we just couldn’t defend it.

“We have played some really good cricket, although looking back over the course of the season, we have probably lost three or four games which could have gone either way.

“Maybe we have lacked that ability with the ball to finish games off sometimes.”

Fellows was certainly left to rue fine margins last Saturday, when late hitting by Jordan Laban and Safraz Ahmed got Woodlands over the line after fine knocks from himself and Ishy Dawood had earlier helped Heaton post a strong total of 259-7.

On an ultimately unrewarding afternoon for the Tewits, who last lifted the title in 1999, he added: “We just came out on the wrong side of a really good game.

“It is one of those things; we knew they batted all the way down and that the lads coming in at six, seven and eight are sometimes more dangerous than those at three, four and five.

“We knew it would go right down to the death, but couldn’t contain them in the end, to be fair.

“There are probably not many teams who have gone to Woodlands in recent times and got a score like we did.

“There are certain areas of the game where we have been really strong and successful. But it was unfortunate we couldn’t put enough pressure on them with the ball.”

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FARSLEY may still reside in the Division One drop zone after last weekend’s loss to Cleckheaton, but they were at last offered one chink of light.

It arrved from 16-year-old debutant bowler James Thorp, a late replacement for the injured Chris Henry, with his fine late cameo against champions Cleck offering Farsley captain Mark Harrison food for thought ahead of the run-in.

Thorp took the wickets of the experienced duo of Tim Jackson and Ian Nicholson and then sent Michael Nicholson packing with the young bowler taking three wickets for one run in his first two overs.

Just for good measure, Thorp followed up to take the wickets of former Yorkshire duo James Lee and Iain Wardlaw to take a remarkable five-fer en route to superb figures of 5-11 in an outstanding four-over spell.

The overall result may have represented another setback in the Red Laners’ fight against relegation, but Thorp’s display certainly augered well for the future for Farsley, who play host to Bradford & Bingley tomorrow (Saturday).

Elsewhere in the top flight, second-placed Woodlands make the short trip to lowly East Bierley and Cleckheaton visit Undercliffe. New Farnley go to Saltaire and Pudsey Congs host Lightcliffe.

It’s a double-header in Division Two and tomorrow’s game of the day sees Scholes visit Baildon while leaders Morley host Bowling Old Lane.

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