BURNLEY won the only Lancashire League game to finish on Sunday - although they had to wait for a dramatic air ambulance rescue to complete their victory over Bacup at Turf Moor.
As Bharat Tripathi’s side looked to knock off Bacup’s first innnings total of 88-5, their reply was halted as a spectator suffered a suspected heart attack, and an air ambulance helicopter needed to make an emergency landing on the pitch, before taking the patient to Blackpool Hospital.
The game was held up for 30 minutes, but on resumption, Steve Whittaker smashed 35 not out off just 24 balls to seal the 10 points for Burnley.
The locals entertained Bacup in the reverse of the fixture from last week, and the game didn’t start until just before 3p.m. due to persistent drizzle.
All credit to the players and umpires to attempt to get the game underway in far from ideal conditions, and Bacup won the toss and surprisingly elected to bat with rain in the air.
Burnley started well and had the away side 15-2 off nine overs when the first rain interruption came.
On the resumption, Bacup upped the run rate with skipper Tim Farragher (24) and substitute professional Dale Deeb (17) setting a platform to take the score to 41, until Deeb fell to his opposite number Adnan Rasool (pictured), who finished with 5-40 off 12 overs.
The home side were in control of the game, and though Joe McCluskie upped the rate with two sixes to take the score to 88, the umpires controversially took the players off with five overs left due to the rain, much to the disappointment of Bacup.
In reply, due to yet more rain, Burnley had to score the total runs in only 18 overs to get the win, and they set off quickly as Steve Brunt (20) and Rasool (14) took the score to 37 off just five overs, until a couple of mix ups led to Rasool and then Brunt being run out as they chased quick runs.
Then came the intervention of the air ambulance, but Whittaker went about his task superbly on the restart to seal victory.
Next Sunday Burnley host Todmorden on Sunday, followed by the local derby on Bank Holiday Monday at Nelson.
All other games were rained off.
The match between Lowerhouse and Rawtenstall saw no play whatsoever, and the Worsley Cup winners, and title chasers, now have six games remaining to see off joint-leaders Enfield.
The sides are locked on the same points, though Lowerhouse have a game in hand.
On Sunday, the West Enders are at East Lancashire, before hosting Colne in the mini-derby on Monday.