HANGING HEATON welcome last year’s champions Pudsey St Lawrence to Bennett Lane tomorrow (Saturday) in a must-win game for their hopes of claiming the Bradford Premier League runners-up spot.
As it stands they are in third place but, having played a game more than most teams, there are five clubs that could overtake them if they win their game in hand.
The fact that they are still in the hunt for a top-two place is due to a remarkable performance from hitherto out-of-form opener Nick Connelly in the win over Lightcliffe last weekend.
Batting first, the dismissal of skipper Gary Fellows without scoring put Hanging Heaton on the back foot, but Australian-born Connelly carried his bat for an unbeaten 86.
In doing so, he compiled more than half his side’s total runs in a total of 166 all out.
In reply Lightcliffe sank further into relegation trouble as left-arm spinner Callum Bethel took 5-29 to dismiss them for just 117.
The title still looks likely to end up with Woodlands, who can go closer to settling it this week when they take on second-placed Bradford and Bingley at Albert Terrace.
With a 29-point lead over Bingley, plus a game in hand, a win for Woodlands would effectively put them out of reach in the title race.
Cleckheaton, who are at Farsley tomorrow, had been making a strong push for the top four in the past few weeks, but suffered a setback with a two-run defeat at the hands of bottom club Methley in their last outing.
• HANGING HEATON’S defence of their national T20 crown came to an end with a five-wicket defeat at home to Sheffield Collegiate in last weekend’s quarter-final.
They were the first Yorkshire club to become national champions with a famous triumph last year, but instead the Sheffield side will fly the county’s flag in the finals after a comfortable win at Bennett Lane.
Jamie Carrington blasted an unbeaten 70 from just 31 balls as Collegiate passed Hanging Heaton’s score of 174-7 with 17 balls to spare.
The hosts could hardly have got off to a more disastrous start, with openers Gary Fellows and Ben Kohler-Cadmore both dismissed for one as their side slipped to 3-2.
Joe Fraser also fell cheaply before Callum Geldart (62) added 94 for the fourth wicket with Ishmail Dawood (44) to finally get them going.
David Stiff hammered six sixes in a rapid 48 not out to see them finish with a score of 174-7, with Henry Eldred (3-33) the pick of the bowlers for Collegiate.
The visitors lost early wickets in their reply and slipped to 24-3 before Carrington came to the fore to fire his side into the national finals.