Fellows steers Hanging Heaton to a first national trophy

Hanging Heaton celebrate with the Vitality National Club T20 trophyHanging Heaton celebrate with the Vitality National Club T20 trophy
Hanging Heaton celebrate with the Vitality National Club T20 trophy
Hanging Heaton became the first Yorkshire club to win the Vitality Club T20 thanks to a masterful unbeaten 88 from their captain Gary Fellows which steered them to a five wickets win over Swardeston from Norfolk at the 3aaa County Ground in Derby.

Fellows turned 40 in July but he displayed the skills and temperament that made him a key member of the last Yorkshire county side to win a one day trophy – the C&G Trophy final in 2002 - to help Hanging Heaton of the Bradford League their third trophy in consecutive weekends.

Last weekend they won the Yorkshire Champions Trophy and the week before that the historic Heavy Woollen Cup but this was their first national title in a competition that attracted an initial entry of 850 clubs from 32 leagues across England and Wales.

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Hanging Heaton’s success also completed a trophy treble for Yorkshire on the day as Bradford won the ECB City Cup at Leicester and Folkton and Flixton lifted the National Village Cup at Lord’s.

Fellows reached a fluent half century from 37 balls and 62 in his unflappable innings which included the winning single as Hanging Heaton chased down 165 with three balls to spare on a pitch that was 100 overs old before they began the final innings of Finals Day.

Swardeston proved admirably competitive with both bat and ball in both the final and their semi-final victory over Nantwich.

Brothers Jordan and Callum Taylor gave Swardeston the early impetus after acting captain Mark Thomas had won the toss, with an opening stand of 51 in the Power Play overs before Callum, recently released by Essex, gave Callum Geldart a steepling return catch from a top-edged pull.

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Lewis Denmark, man-of-the-match in the 2016 final when Swardeston beat Sandiacre Town, holed out to deep midwicket but Jordan Taylor pushed them past 100 with a 44-ball half century.

But Swardeston lost momentum after Taylor was bowled giving himself room against slow left-armer Aqsad Ali and they required a late flurry of boundaries from Richard Sims, a former Zimbabwe international, to get past 160.

Sims’ off spin also proved an effective weapon in slowing Hanging Heaton’s progress but by the time he took two wickets in his final over Hanging Heaton were already within touching distance of victory.

Fellows added 45 for the first wicket with Ben Kohler-Cadmore and 48 for the second with Geldart. The loss of hard-hitting left-hander Joe Fraser gave Swardeston a glimmer of hope but they could not dislodge Fellows, who struck seven fours and four sixes in a perfectly-paced innings.

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Hanging Heaton’s semi-final victory over Roffey from the Sussex Premier League owed much to the economical bowling of former Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Kent and Somerset pace bowler David Stiff and his new ball partner Tom Chippendale.

Stiff had his former Leicestershire team mate Paul Harrison brilliantly taken by Nick Connolly at backward point in his first over and Chippendale took two wickets in his second over.

Roffey effected a mini-revival but superb fielding kept them in check before Stiff and Chippendale returned to stifle the resistance.

Hanging Heaton lost Royal Navy opener Ben Kohler-Cadmore, the elder brother of Yorkshire batsman Tom, to the first ball of their innings but they were able to pace their pursuit of a meagre target of 100.

Fellows anchored the innings before Joe Fraser and Ismail Dawood, another four county man, eased them home with 15 balls to spare with an unbroken fourth wicket partnership of 51.