Bradford League: Hanging Heaton aim to keep the pressure on leaders

Gary Fellows of Hanging Heaton.
Gary Fellows of Hanging Heaton.
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WE are not out of it, yet.

That is the defiant message from pre-season Bradford Premier League title favourites Hanging Heaton, despite having plenty of work to do to propel themselves firmly back into league contention.

Woodland's Brad Schmulian.

Woodland's Brad Schmulian.

The Tewits started a potentially definitive run of July fixtures on a losing note last weekend against Farsley, their second successive league reverse after losing out to Cleckheaton on the previous Saturday.

It leaves Gary Fellows’ side in fourth place ahead of tomorrow’s trip to New Farnley, some 39 points behind leaders Woodlands. Heaton welcome Woodlands a week tomorrow, the second leg of a massive league and cup double-header with the Albert Terrace outfit who they visit in the semi-finals of the Priestley Cup this Sunday.

On the Tewits’ league position and not giving up the ghost by any means, captain Fellows, who hit 97 in last weekend’s loss to Farsley, said: “Definitely not, there’s a lot more cricket coming up.

“But you really do not want them (Woodlands) to get much further in front.

“We will probably know a lot more by the end of July.

“They (Woodlands) are frontrunners without a doubt. They are a strong outfit with all bases covered with their seam options and the third spinners that they have got.

“They are also putting in the consistent performances that other teams have not managed to do yet. It is for everyone else to chase them, definitely.

“We have played them in the league and t20 and they are a very strong side and their overseas (Brad Schmulian) has probably galvanised them a little bit and done well for them.”

After games against Farnley – who inflicted a first league defeat of the season upon Woodlands last weekend – and Woodlands, Heaton face four of the current bottom five in a favourable looking run of fixtures.

But to give themselves the best possible chance, positive results must be garnered on the next two Saturdays.

Fellows added: “It is a good period and opportunity to try and put some performances together.

“Ultimately, that is why we play and these are the games you want to be involved in. Certainly in the past few years, we have played some really good cricket and had some success.

“We are just over halfway and we realise that if we put some performances together, we can put pressure on the teams above us. But we also know it is down to us.”

Game of the day tomorrow sees second travel to third, with champions Pudsey St Lawrence heading to Bradford & Bingley, while leaders Woodlands welcome rock-bottom Methley, still without a league win this term.

Fifth-placed Farsley host Townville and Cleckheaton entertain Wrenthorpe, while a big game at the bottom sees Lightcliffe visit Undercliffe.

In Championship One, third-placed Morley visit East Bierley, in fourth. Second-placed Batley host Ossett.