Heaton hails record breaking skipper

Lowerhouse captain Ben Heap
Lowerhouse captain Ben Heap

Liverpoool Road Stalwart Stan Heaton hailed long-serving amateur Ben Heap after the Lowerhouse skipper fired 281 runs in two games over the weekend.

The 29-year-old followed up an unbeaten 106 in the Twenty20 win over Ramsbottom with a club record 175 in victory over Great Harwood in the Lancashire League.

The first ton brought a nine-wicket win at the Brooks Foundation Ground as ‘House got off the mark in the Blonde Witch Group of the limited overs competition.

The man of the match added 62 with Joe Halstead (24) and an unbroken 99 for the second wicket with his professional Ockert Erasmus (19 not out) as the hosts surpassed their opponent’s 157-6 total.

Heap then hit the highest ever individual score for his club to secure a 79-run triumph over Patrick Swanney’s side.

The former Padiham professional smashed a record that had stood for 112 years when Tom Shutt scored 173 at Haslingden. Heap hit 18 fours and six sixes from 142 balls to contribute heavily to a club record finish of 333-5.

Heap added 43 with Dean Barlow (15), 27 with professional Ockert Erasmus (13), 135 for the third wicket with Charlie Cottam (38) and 58 with Paddy Martin (38 not out). Joe Halstead also made an unbeaten 20.

“It’s quite amazing, to score 175 runs is an incredible feat,” said Heaton. “He’s scored more than 280 runs in two games. Scoring over 100 in the Twenty20 really does take some doing.

“They were two tremendous performances. The second was an amazing knock. No matter where the bowlers put it, Ben dispatched it.

“There was a collection of superb technical shots. He showed us every shot in the book. It was great to see.”

With the West Enders climbing to sixth in the table, Heaton added: “It was very important for us because we’ve not been getting off to particularly good starts.

“We’re usually a formidable force if we do that. From a club point of view it was very important in terms of confidence and long term strategy.

“Supporters may have been getting a little bit concerned so it was an important weekend for us. This weekend has put us back on track.”