Heap helps Lowerhouse recover from T20 exit

Ben Heap
Ben Heap

Lowerhouse missed out on the opportunity to attend the Lancashire League’s first ever Finals Day in the Twenty20 as Bacup claimed the invitation.

The West Enders set a 121-6 total when opening the tie at Lanehead, a tally that the hosts comfortably knocked off to secure a seven wicket win and book their place in the finale on July 29th.

Lowerhouse needed a response in the league to stay in the hunt for a fifth title and they got it courtesy of an inspired display from skipper Ben Heap.

The 29-year-old passed 500 runs for the season with a knock of 55 before posting his best bowling figures with a first league five-fer as ‘House beat Accrington by 75 runs at The Brooks Foundation Ground.

Professional Ockert Erasmus top-scored with 62 against his former club, striking six fours and a six, in Lowerhouse’s 252-5 finish on home soil.

Earlier, captain Heap put on 95 for the second wicket alongside his predecessor Charlie Cottam after the premature loss of Dean Barlow. Heap hit four fours and two sixes in when surpassing his half-century and Cottam made 43.

Joey Hawke entered the fray at number five and banked 45 runs before Chris Bleazard and Paddy Martin saw out the innings with respective unbeaten knocks of 15 and eight.

Lowerhouse have won games in a whole host of manners this term, whether it be defending a low score, chasing a low target or attempting to capture a larger total.

This time they were tasked with defending another big finish and, expectedly, they did it well.

Openers Graeme Sneddon and professional Michael Erlank put on 74 to give the home side something to think about before Erlank was stumped by Joe Martin off his opposite number Erasmus for 30.

Sneddon went on to make 80 from 95 balls with six fours and two sixes. Keiren Grimshaw made 24 and skipper Simon Hanson 14 but Accrington collapsed from 159-3 to 177 all out with Heap rounding off a fine all round day by taking 5-28.

Paddy Martin also took 3-40 and Joe Martin claimed four victims behind the wickets.