HANGING HEATON are just one match away from reaching the national finals of the Vitality ECB National Twenty20 Cup after winning the area final at Billingham.
Defending the title that they spectacularly won last season, they defeated Burnmoor by 38 runs and Harrogate by 60 runs.
They had been enduring a dismal run of form with seven defeats in a row, but this competition and this format continues to bring the best out of the side.
In the area semi-final against North East Premier League outfit Burnmoor, they won the toss and posted a score of 130-5, with skipper Gary Fellows scoring an unbeaten 63.
It looked to be a reachable target but Hanging Heaton bowled superbly to contain their opponents to just 92-5 in reply.
Opening bowler Josh Holling set the tone with 2-18 before spinners Callum Bethel (2-18) and Callum Geldart (0-12) proved decisive.
That moved them into the area final where they faced Yorkshire Premier League North T20 champions Harrogate, who had beaten hosts Billingham Synthonia in the other semi-final.
Hanging Heaton again chose to bat first and the opening partnership of Fellows (50) and Ben Kohler-Cadmore (39) shared a first-wicket stand of 70 to help them to a score of 165-5.
That strong total never looked like being threatened by Harrogate, with Bethel’s 3-23 and David Stiff’s four miserly overs at 1-10 restricting them to 105-7.
Hanging Heaton will welcome Yorkshire Premier League South T20 champions Sheffield Collegiate to Bennett Lane for the quarter-final on August 18, with the winners going to the national finals.