WINNING FORMULA: Hanging Heaton earned a seventh Heavy Woollen title with victory New Farnley
STAR MAN Gary Fellows led the charge as Hanging Heaton romped to a seventh Heavy Woollen Cup crown, brushing aside New Farnley in a compressive six-wicket success.
Despite the eventual margin of victory, with 12 overs to spare New Farnley, who operate one tier below the final’s Bennett Lane hosts in the Bradford League, were no pushovers.
The ‘visitors’ batted first but were bowled all out for 158 by favourites Hanging Heaton – with nine overs to spare.
But as player-chairman John Carruthers, following the close of play, said: “It wasn’t as easy as it looked.
“They put us under a lot of pressure at times,” added Carruthers, who made the initial breakthrough in the New Farnley innings when he had Matthew Good caught by Joe Suggitt for 17 after a 33-run opening stand alongside Lee Goddard.
Goddard was one of five former county players on show and finished with a top-scoring 36 for his side, before being bowled by 6ft 6ins one-time Yorkshire, Somerset and Kent paceman David Stiff.
Stiff’s management by skipper Mark Lawson was to prove crucial.
Bowling in three short bursts, he took two wickets in both his second and third stints to finish with 4-15 haul from eight overs.
CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: Gary Fellows was named man of the match
At 123-4, and with ex-Yorkshire and Gloucestershire all-rounder Ian Fisher going well, New Farnley looked set for a challenging total.
However, man of the match Fellows, sparingly used in the attack this term, ripped out the middle order.
His effort of 3-36 left Lawson, Stiff and Carruthers to finish New Farnley less than 160 runs.
When Fellows and Joe Sykes went out to bat the target appeared well within Hanging Heaton’s grasp.
But while in-form Fellows progressed steadily Sykes, Joe Fraser and Lawson all perished cheaply.
And as a result it was left to James Stansfield, who matched Goddard’s 36, to provide the necessary support.
By the time fifth-man-in Stansfield was caught by visitor Tom Suggitt, off Neil Walker, there were only 19 required.
And top-performer Fellows was on hand to deliver, finishing unbeaten on 79 to clinch the title – his fifth having won with Wrenthorpe in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Fellows’ match-winning effort came off 110 balls and contained two sixes and 10 fours.
“It is fantastic and brilliant to have something to show for years of hard work,” said a delighted Carruthers.
“To win it on our own ground was tremendous and it was nice to make a contribution myself.”
Meanwhile, Hanging Heaton are to battle New Farnley once again on Sunday when the two sides’ second teams in a further battle for silverware to decide the 2013 Priestley Shield.
Hartshead Moor CC provides the setting, with the action due to get underway from 12pm.
By Mike Popplewell