Hanging Heaton hold nerve to win Heavy Woollen Cup thriller

Hanging Heaton celebrate winning the Solly Sports Heavy Woollen Cup with victory over New Farnley last Sunday.  Pictures: Paul Butterfield
Hanging Heaton celebrate winning the Solly Sports Heavy Woollen Cup with victory over New Farnley last Sunday. Pictures: Paul Butterfield

Hanging Heaton held their nerve to win a thrilling Solly Sports Heavy Woollen Cup Final, beating New Farnley by just two runs last Sunday.

A decent crowd bathed in early September sunshine at Spen Victoria and they were treated to a superb final, which produced 526 runs.

Nick Connolly was the mainstay of the Hanging Heaton innings as he carried his bat for 110 to help his side post 264-6.

Heaton lost captain Gary Fellows, trapped lbw by Alex Lilley for 16, and Joe Fraser caught behind by Steve Bullen off the bowling of former Yorkshire player Ajmal Shahzad for eight before Connolly and Callum Geldart shared a 74-run stand.

Geldart was looking well set having reached 46 and appeared menacingly capable of producing a big innings until he offered a simple catch to Lee Goddard off the bowling of spinner Dave McCallum, which sparked three wickets falling for 14 runs.

A key moment in the game came when Connolly was dropped at mid wicket on 61 and he went on to cash in by reaching a brilliant century.

David Stiff played an unusually sedate innings early on as Heaton looked to rebuild from 140-5.

Having steadied the ship, Stiff took the attack to the Farnley bowlers, launching four sixes on his way to 39 after sharing a 93-run stand with Connolly.

Connolly received a deserved ovation having reached his century off 138 balls and went on to finish with a six and 15 fours as he ended 110 not out and ensured that his side posted a challenging total.

Tom Chippendale trapped dangerous Farnley opener Simon Lambert lbw first ball of the reply and then had David Cummings leg before off the final ball of his opening over.

When David Stiff had Yorkshire batsman Andrew Hodd caught behind by Dawood for five, New Farnley had slipped to 7-3.

Many in the crowd sensed Heaton were on course for a comfortable win but opener Steve Bullen had other ideas and produced a magnificent innings to take his side to the brink of victory.

Bullen and Goddard rebuilt the Farnley innings with a 52-run stand, which was only ended by a dubious run out of the latter.

Chris Goodair threw, in an attempt to run out Bullen, but missed the stumps and the ball rolled to the other end where wicketkeeper Dawood gathered to run Goddard out.

Goddard was convinced he had made his ground but was forced to depart having made 23 from 22 balls.

When Richard Atkins was lbw to spinner Aqsad Ali for 13, Farnley were 98-5.

Shahzad struck four fours and was looking to accelerate the innings when he was caught by Joe Fraser off the bowling of Geldart for 23.

Lilley was caught behind by Dawood off Ali for two and Heaton again looked to have one hand on the trophy with Farnley 145-7.

Bullen and McCallum refused to give up the fight and added 73 runs for the eighth wicket to set the nerves jangling.

McCallum struck six fours on his way to 41 before he was caught by Geldart off returning pace man Stiff.

Bullen continued to take the game to Heaton and completed a superb century off 131 balls with 12 fours.

Bullen managed to get the target down to 16 from the final over but scored just four runs from the first four deliveries.

Bullen struck his 14th four from the penultimate ball and then hit a six off the final ball of the match to finished on 126 not out but Farnley ended agonisingly short on 262-8.

Hanging Heaton had held their nerve in a dramatic finale as they completed the first leg of a potential hat-trick of trophies.

Heaton will aim to become double Yorkshire Champions this Sunday when they meet Wakefield Thornes in the final of the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy at Cleckheaton (start noon).

Thornes recorded a six-run victory over Pudsey St Lawrence in last Sunday’s semi-final to set up a repeat of last season’s Yorkshire Premier League Champions final.

St Lawrence looked to be well placed to chase down the Thornes score of 185 when they reached 152-5, but when James Smith was dismissed for 40 it sparked a collapse which saw the last five wickets fall for 27 runs as they were bowled out for 179.

Following Sunday’s Black Sheep Final, Hanging Heaton travel to Derbyshire CCC on September 16 for the Vitality ECB National T20 finals day when they face Sussex Premier League champions Roffey.