Hanging Heaton were crowned Champions of Yorkshire after fighting back superbly to defeat Wakefield Thornes by three runs in a thrilling Yorkshire Premier Leagues Championship final at Headingley on Sunday.
Heaton’s total of 231 all out appeared slightly below par and Thornes looked well on course to retain the crown they won in Abu Dhabi last year as they reached 118-2 from 32 overs.
Jared Warner and James Wolfenden made a bright start to the Thornes innings sharing a 49-run opening wicket stand before the former was bowled by David Stiff for 29.
David Toft was the Thornes match winner in last season’s final win over Pudsey St Lawrence, hitting a superb century, and another ton helped Wakefield overcome Great Ayton is Saturday’s semi-final at Scarborough.
The danger man was brilliantly run out backing up by the quick thinking of Muhammad Rameez for 20.
Joe Cook (31) shared a 70-run stand with Warner for the third wicket and even when he was stumped by Imran Dawood off the left arm spin of Rameez, Thornes required 76 runs to win at a run a ball, with seven wickets in hand.
Warner produced a well crafted innings of 68 from 112 balls before being trapped lbw by Rameez.
Rameez then tempted Akila Isanka to dance down the track and Dawood was left with a simple stumping as Heaton’s overseas man finished with 3-47 from 15 overs.
The returning opening bowlers of Tom Chippendale and Stiff restricted the Thornes scoring and as pressure mounted, they required 32 to win from the last four overs.
Faisal Irfan hit 34 not out from 32 balls but Thornes were left needing 15 to win from the final over and Stiff bowled Greg Wadsworth for 13 to put Heaton on the brink of victory.
Thornes captain captain Tom Froggett hit Stiff’s final two balls for four but Heaton were left celebrating, edging home by three runs.
The Heaton innings again owed much to another impressive innings by Callum Geldart.
The former Yorkshire batsman followed up his 90 in Saturday’s semi-final win over York with 85 against Thornes.
Heaton had lost captain Gary Fellows (1) and Joe Fraser (8) to Mahmood Rasool and with their leading run scorer Nick Connolly unavailable, they appeared in a spot of trouble.
Geldart was dropped at gully on two and again behind the stumps on 18 and made Thornes pay as he made 85 from 108 balls including 10 fours and three sixes.
Geldart rebuilt the Heaton innings with Richard Foster (36) as the pair shared a 104 stand.
James Keen followed up his debut half century the previous day with 27.
Imran Dawood made 22 and second teamer James Byrne struck a useful 15, including a memorable six into the Western Terrace, as Heaton looked to post a challenging total.
The Hanging Heaton total was further boosted by five penalty runs as Thornes failed to bowl their 50 overs in the allotted three hours 10 minutes and this was to prove crucial.
Left-arm spinner Isanka was the best of the Thornes bowlers with 4-53, while Warner finished with 2-34 from 11.4 as he picked up the wickets of Dawood and Chippendale in the final over.
Thornes appeared on course for victory for much of their reply until Heaton fought back to claim the White Rose Trophy, adding to their Bradford Premier League title and Twenty20 Cup success in a memorable season.