Club cricket

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - By Char­lie Peat

News, re­sults and fix­tures from the ECB Pre­mier Leagues

Pages 30-33

WHEN two bats­man put on a 268-run part­ner­ship you might as­sume it to be their high­est ever but for Hang­ing Heaton’s Gary Fel­lows and Nick Con­nolly it was just another Satur­day af­ter­noon.

The pair have pro­duced three part­ner­ships of more than 200 runs with their most re­cent com­ing against Pud­sey Congs in a con­vinc­ing 234-run vic­tory at Ben­nett Lane.

Fel­lows smashed 146 from 130 de­liv­er­ies with Con­nolly fin­ish­ing on an un­beaten 123 as they inched Hang­ing Heaton to­wards their first Brad­ford Pre­mier League ti­tle in 18 years.

There is no real se­cret to their suc­cess, ac­cord­ing to club cap­tain Fel­lows, but he does ad­mit the right-hand, left-hand, part­ner­ship can leave bowlers in a spin.

The 39-year-old said: “I think we’re prob­a­bly two very dif­fer­ent play­ers. We’re a right-hand and left-hand com­bi­na­tion and Nick is more of an ac­cu­mu­la­tor of runs so we have dif­fer­ing styles.

“It’s one of them things that once we get our­selves in we have the po­ten­tial to make top scores. We are the type of char­ac­ters that we want to make the op­po­si­tion pay once you’re past the new ball.

“It’s our jobs to set a plat­form and we want to take the game away from teams as much as pos­si­ble early on. Nick will like to build an in­nings and I’m a bit more at­tack­ing so that mix­ture can make it dif­fi­cult for the op­po­si­tion.

“We’re get­ting to the point of the sea­son where every point is es­sen­tial, we’re scrap­ping to try and win the Brad­ford League so it was im­por­tant.”

Another huge part­ner­ship was far from on the cards when the pair were on just 20 from seven overs as the rain started to come down.

But the duo hit the ground run­ning fol­low­ing the rain de­lay to help Heaton to 291-1.

And the phe­nom­e­nal part­ner­ship might have earned the open­ers the prize for the high­est open­ing stand in the league for the third suc­ces­sive sea­son.

Fel­lows, from Hal­i­fax, added:“At home to East Bier­ley we got 299 to­gether in 2015, which is our high­est. I think we’ve had three 200-plus part­ner­ships since we’ve opened the bat­ting.

“Open­ing is some­thing I’ve done for a while, I’m used to that. We’re quite an ex­pe­ri­enced team and I guess as a cap­tain you want to lead by ex­am­ple and if you can get in there and lay a marker down then that’s part of my job.”

Three more wins would seal the ti­tle for Hang­ing Heaton for the first time in al­most 20 years but Fel­lows is not think­ing too much about the pos­si­ble suc­cess.

He said: “It would be bril­liant for the club, the lads in the first team de­serve this as well as ev­ery­one be­hind the scenes who pro­vide us with the ground. It would be fan­tas­tic but we’re not past the fin­ish­ing line yet.”

Un­beaten: Nick Con­nolly

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