THE END to Hanging Heaton’s epic wait may be in sight, but you won’t catch Gary Fellows getting carried away.
The Tewits captain and former Yorkshire man has been in the game long enough to appreciate the perils of overconfidence, and while Heaton may be on the cusp of their first ECB Bradford Premier League title since 1999, the job is clearly not finished yet.
Heaton will secure some cherished league silverware if they claim a 15-point haul against relegation-haunted East Bierley at Bennett Lane tomorrow, but given the fact that the visitors are fighting for their lives at the foot of the table, Fellows is not taking anything as read.
Fellows, whose side are 29 clear of second-placed Farsley, with two games to go, said: “You can always fall at the last few hurdles.
“But we realise we are in a fantastic position, there is no doubt about it and we don’t want to shy away from that.
“But we also realise that we have won nothing yet, in that respect. We have got a game on Saturday against a team who we drew with early on in the season. They are also desperate for points as well, with the position that they are in.
“We are under no illusions. Nothing has been won yet. We are close, but we need the points on Saturday to get us over the line and we will certainly be treating it like any other game and we will need to perform to get to where we want to be.
“Nothing is a given. We played Pudsey Congs a few weeks ago and they had just beaten Pudsey St Lawrence. When a team has beaten St Lawrence, you cannot be turning up a week after, expecting to just roll them over.
“Every team that you play against have got players who have the potential for it to be their day and who can hurt you.
“You are not to know exactly which team might turn up for East Bierley and they have a different team week in, week out a little bit.
“It is an old cliché, but we will concentrate on ourselves and make sure we are ready for it.
“The last thing that we want to do as a team is get carried away a little bit and assume it is done and assume that we have won. Sport has a funny way of kicking you up the backside and you have to be careful in that respect.
“But we are lucky enough to have a few old heads in the team who have played quite a bit of cricket and we will make sure that we keep our focus.”
One player who has definitely done that is in-form opener Nick Connolly, who smashed through the magical 1,000 league runs for the season barrier last week, with fellow top-order man Fellows being quick to pay tribute.
On Connolly, whose knock of 75 in the win over Cleckheaton took his runs tally to an outstanding 1,031, Fellows added: “He’s been fantastic all year from game one, really.
“I suppose at some point he might have thought that he would go through a bit of a sticky spell and have a few games where he would struggle. But he hasn’t.
“He has just kept going and churning the runs out. When he is batting first at the top of the innings, he sets the tone and he has been fantastic, there’s no doubt about it.
“He has obviously had the personal milestone of reaching 1,000 runs and it is great for him and the club as well and I am really pleased for him.”
Farsley face a ‘toughie’ at third-placed Woodlands tomorrow.
Key fixtures at the bottom see Cleckheaton visit Bradford & Bingley and Batley head to Priestley Cup winners New Farnley, while Pudsey Congs go to Lightcliffe.
Pudsey St Lawrence entertain Townville.