Heap hoping it’s third time lucky

Ben Heap for Lowerhouse in their game against Burnley
Ben Heap for Lowerhouse in their game against Burnley

Ben Heap has suffered defeat twice at Old Trafford in the past but the Lowerhouse captain is determined to make it third time lucky.

The West Enders are three wins away from reaching the finale of the LCB Knockout Cup now and play Rochdale in the round of 16 at Liverpool Road on Sunday.

The 29-year-old skipper represented both Habergham and North East Lancashire as a teenager at England’s second oldest Test venue, playing alongside the likes of Bharat and Vishal Tripathi.

Lowerhouse, one of six Lancashire League teams remaining in the competition, have already seen off the challenges of Great Harwood and Farnworth Social Circle to reach this stage and now a quarter-final tie against either Clitheroe or Longridge is at stake.

“Playing for the chance to get to Old Trafford is enough to get anybody’s juices flowing and whet the appetite,” said Heap.

“We just want to stay in every competition that we’re in and keep the season alive in all formats. We’ll just see where that takes us.

“We want to keep that appetite for winning going and it would mean a hell of a lot for myself and the rest of the players to get there. It’s driving me a lot to perform in this competition.

“I’ve played there twice before but I got beat both times. It would be nice to get the chance to go back there and right those wrongs.

“It’d be a great experience to play on the main stage. What a day it would be for Lowerhouse. It would be fantastic.”

Lowerhouse are also involved in Twenty20 action at Thorneyholme Road as they face Accrington in a ‘winner takes all’ match.

Whoever wins the Blonde Witch Group game will qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

“We want to keep our momentum going,” said the former Padiham professional. “We’ve won five games in a row now across three competitions.

“We’ve found different ways of winning each of those games too. We’ve been winning in all different fashions so I’m pleased with that.

“We’re definitely confident. If the rain doesn’t interfere, and it’s all full 20 overs, then I would back us to get the win and progress to the next round.

“If we win we’re through so it’s worked out quite well. We’ve just built up momentum at the right time.

“It’s been a massive turnaround. We just needed that one good performance and result to gain that belief.

“Everyone is learning their roles in all formats now and they’re always looking forward to the next game which is a positive sign.”