Bradford League: Heaton captain Fellows relishing packed schedule

Hanging Heaton skipper Gary Fellows.
Hanging Heaton skipper Gary Fellows.
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FOR HANGING HEATON, the sight of a crammed itinerary in July and August is not unusual.

Used to being firmly in the reckoning at the sharp end of competitions over a good few seasons during high summer, the Tewits again have plenty on their plate in the coming weeks and they face their second successive double-header this weekend.

Hanging Heaton's Joe Fraser in action against New Farnley.

Hanging Heaton's Joe Fraser in action against New Farnley.

After visiting Woodlands in the Bradford Premier League tomorrow, Heaton entertain crack Drakes Huddersfield League outfit Hoylandswaine in the semi-finals of the Heavy Woollen Cup on Sunday.

The Bennett Lane outfit will be seeking better fortune than their cup foray last Sunday which saw them exit the Priestley Cup at New Farnley.

Despite elimination, Heaton still have plenty of interest elsewhere in the coming weeks.

Well positioned in their quest to reclaim their league title in third spot, Gary Fellows’ side will have home advantage on JW Lees T20 Finals Day on July 15 with the National T20 Area Finals also scheduled to be held at Bennett Lane on July 29.

If we want to win things, you are going to be playing a lot of Saturday and Sunday cricket and if you are going to be successful at this stage of the season, you are going to be playing in a lot of games and semi-finals.

Gary Fellows

Should Heaton progress in the latter, then the National T20 North of England Finals are pencilled in for August 12, seven days after the HW Cup final at Spen Victoria, which they also aim to be competing in.

If that is not enough, Heaton will also have to fit in a Black Sheep semi-final in with Hoylandswaine.

Despite the congested roster, captain Fellows says his side will be relentless in their pursuit of success on all fronts, as they have been for several seasons with their well-stocked trophy cabinet being proof of that.

Fellows said: “The lads work during the week and have families and commitments and we are playing a lot of Saturday and Sunday cricket. But it is something we are kind of used to and we can be aware of that.

Callum Geldart of Hanging Heaton hits out against New Farnley.

Callum Geldart of Hanging Heaton hits out against New Farnley.

“Realistically, if we want to win things, you are going to be playing a lot of Saturday and Sunday cricket and if you are going to be successful at this stage of the season, you are going to be playing in a lot of games and semi-finals.

“That’s the idea at the start of the season and why you play – to take part in these big games at home and be successful.

“We have got to keep that consistency because the games come thick and fast. We have some big games coming up, not just in our league cricket, but Sunday cricket as well.

“There’s a lot of cricket and also the T20 finals day at home and at the end of the month, we have the National T20s game at home.

“They will be two really good days for the club.

“There’s some good cricket to be played and some big, tough games as well.

On the importance of momentum, he added: “You see it in a lot of sports and if you start getting on a bit of roll, it breeds confidence and momentum to the team.

But if you look at it, we are only halfway through the season and there’s still a very long way to go in terms of adding trophies. But we have certainly got some enjoyable and big games coming up.”

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A HOST of local cricketers will be donning their whites earlier than usual tomorrow, with several leagues having opened up the prospect of games starting earlier than usual – to enable players to view England’s World Cup quarter-final with Sweden in mid-afternoon.

In a one-off, the Bradford League have allowed clubs some flexibility regarding start times of fixtures.

Games can start at 1pm as scheduled; begin at 9am with a 10-minute break between innings or start at 11.30am with a long tea interval until the football is completed.

The match must restart immediately once the football is over. This can only be done with the agreement of both clubs, otherwise the match starts at 1pm.

Aire-Wharfe and Dales Council matches can also start earlier by mutual agreement with tea intervals extended to a maximum two hours and 20 minutes.

One Bradford League game which will definitely be starting at the usual 1pm time is Hanging Heaton’s trip to Woodlands.

Two sides with identical five-match winning streaks face journeys west, with leaders New Farnley calling in at Cleckheaton, who pushed Heaton all the way last weekend.

Meanwhile, fourth-placed Farsley will be eyeing a sixth league victory on the spin when they make the trip to rock-bottom East Bierley.

Pudsey St Lawrence, who totalled almost 300 last weekend, play host to Lightcliffe, while Methley call in at Bradford and Bingley.

Townville welcome second-from-bottom Scholes.

In Championship 1, leaders Undercliffe welcome struggling Hartshead Moor, who have lost their last two matches against Hunslet Nelson and Batley in disappointing fashion.

Wrenthorpe, 14 points adrift of the leaders, call in at fourth-placed Bankfoot and third-placed Morley welcome Gomersal, who lie in sixth.

The bottom two square off at Queens Terrace with Ossett entertaining Yeadon, who currently prop up the table – although just three points separate the pair.

Pudsey Congs, who reside in fifth position, play host to Baildon, while third-from-bottom Hunslet Nelson will be hoping to follow up victory last weekend when they play host to Batley.