A DREAM season just got a whole lot better for Hanging Heaton on a Super Sunday.
After achieving their Holy Grail of Bradford League title glory for the first time since 1999 and also winning the T20 Cup, the Tewits have promptly secured another addition to the trophy cabinet at Bennett Lane – by way of the Yorkshire Premier League trophy.
Being champions of Yorkshire, achieved thanks to a tense victory over 2016 play-off winners Wakefield Thornes at Headingley, is a source of immense pride for everyone connected with the club, as captain Gary Fellows can venture.
On added gloss to a vintage season for Heaton, the former Yorkshire player – afforded a sweet playing return to Headingley – said: “Obviously, the league at the start of the year was something we focused on. Not necessarily on winning, but challenging. To get over that hurdle and win it after such a long time was brilliant.
“I think we probably went into this weekend just wanting to enjoy it at a ground that a lot of lads had never played at before. It is a Test match ground and it was a special moment for all of us.
“It was a long time since I last played there and it was really good to get a couple of games in and to win it in the fashion we did made it even more special.
“We had a few beers together on Sunday night in Leeds. A lot of families were there and a lot of people from the club were there all weekend, really. It was good to sit back and have a beer and reflect on what we have achieved.
“It has been a building process for us. It is my fifth year here and prior to that, John Carruthers and the committee, members and supporters have all slowly been building towards this.
“It took quite a while to get the club into this position. There’s 11 lads on the pitch, but a lot behind the scenes who also deserve the success that has come this year.”
On an enriching reacquaintance with Headingley, Fellows added: “It was probably 15 years since I had played there, so it is a long time ago.
“It brought good memories and was an enjoyable weekend.”
Star turn in the final was Callum Geldart, who followed up his 90 not out in the semi-final against York with a man-of-the-match winning 85 against Thornes, who had Heaton in early trouble at 16-2.
It helped the Tewits reach 231, with Geldart sharing in a stand worth 104 with Richard Foster (36) in his last game before retirement. Left-arm spinner Akila Isanka took 4-53 for Thornes.
Thornes pushed hard in the run chase, only to be stymied by the fact that they received a costly five-run penalty for not bowling their overs in the required limit of three hours and 10 minutes.
It proved pivotal as they fell agonisingly just short at 228-6, with Jared Warner (68) top-scoring for Thornes.
Fellows said: “Callum played brilliantly with the bat and a couple of other lads chipped in as well.
“We got a par score, to be honest and didn’t take many wickets in the first 35 or 40 overs.
“But we were fortunate in that three of our main bowlers (David Stiff, Tom Chippendale and Muhammad Rameez) all stepped up again at the end.”