HANGING HEATON go into Sunday’s Priestley Cup last-four clash against Bradford and Bingley as hot favourites to secure a second cup final place inside seven days.
A superb eight-wicket league triumph over Pudsey St Lawrence put them in the best possible mood for the visit of Central Yorkshire League leaders Townville, for their Heavy Woollen Cup clash the following day.
And there seemed little doubt over the outcome when – from the first ball of the match – Danny Busfield had Townville’s Tim Walton caught by James Stansfield.
Busfield finished with three wickets for 29 runs as the away side finished all out for 133.
Last year Gary Fellows led Wrenthorpe to a final victory over Townville and Hanging Heaton’s newest signing came back again to haunt the Castleford club.
Fellows managed an unbeaten 75 as his side cruised to a seven-wicket victory, securing a grand finale at home to New Farnley on August 4.
Bradford and Bingley qualified for this weekend’s Priestley Cup tie by default, their quarter-final defeat at the hands of Bankfoot being overturned by a player qualification irregularity.
But the current form of key players at Bennett Lane clearly puts Hanging Heaton in the driving seat.
Skipper Mark Lawson’s 5-29 haul, during their league win over Baildon, took his tally to 33 for the season and with Fellows now up to 457, courtesy of 82 not out in that game, their big guns are certainly firing.
There is still a little way to go before the Bennett Lane men can match the leading clubs in Division One – but that cannot be said of pace-setters Cleckheaton.
Tim Jackson is proving a superb acquisition with his 84 in the eight-wicket verdict over Pudsey St Lawrence taking his season’s run tally to 646 and making him the top-flight’s leading scorer.
His effort saw Cleckheaton into pole position for the first time in 2013.
Meanwhile, reigning champions Woodlands do seem to be missing the injured Chris Brice, for both his batting and bowling, having failed to chase down Lightcliffe’s 253-5 despite a hefty 102 from Simon Mason.
In Division Two, there was further joy for the district as Spen Victoria recorded another fine victory over Idle in a match which was played out across only 37 overs.
Rob Burton, whose 3-29 took him to 48 wickets for the season, and left arm spinner Ben Platt (4-15) helped bowl out the visitors for 61 on the way to a brilliant eight-wicket success.
Spen are still 16 points adrift of leaders Farsley, but boast a 24-point lead over third-placed New Farnley.
Tomorrow Victoria make the short trip to Hartshead Moor (Saturday), while in Division One Cleckheaton tackle basement strugglers Baildon.
Hanging Heaton host Morley, as second-placed Woodlands look to get back to winning ways at home to Saltaire.