Heaton hoping ‘House can stay on course

Opener Jon Finch was 21 not out  before rain halted play against Enfield
Opener Jon Finch was 21 not out before rain halted play against Enfield

Lowerhouse chairman Stan Heaton is hoping the club can establish themselves in the division’s top three while keeping the pressure on their rivals.

The West Enders, who are eight points off Ramsbottom at the summit, have edged ahead of the teams below them with a 15-point cushion forming over local rivals Colne and Nelson.

“You always want to open up a gap between yourself and the team below and it has started to appear,” said Heaton, who received a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“It’s not a big gap but it’s breathing space. Hopefully we’ll be in the top three and challenging from here on in.

“Burnley have clicked in to gear and as long as Ramsbottom have Daryn Smit they will be formidable.

“It’s all setting up to be another exciting division while the cup competitions are interesting as well.

“That will generate great interest which is only good for the league. It’s going to be a really thrilling cricket season.”

The Liverpool Road outfit, captained by Charlie Cottam, are still challenging on all fronts and could make significant inroads this weekend when they take on Haslingden at Bentgate in the quarter-final of the Worsley Cup tomorrow before travelling to Blackburn Road to tackle Church in the league on Sunday.

Lowerhouse, currently third in their Twenty20 group with two games remaining, will also host Ramsbottom in the last 16 of the LCB Knockout Cup after downing Egerton on a bowl out.

“We’re disappointed that we’re not going to be making new friends or going somewhere new in the county competition,” said Heaton.

“I’m not being disrespectful or suggesting it’s an anti-climax but I’m sure Ramsbottom feel the same way.

“We see plenty of Lancashire League opposition in our own competitions. We like the competition and the spirit it brings, though, and we’re looking forward to another good challenge.”

He added: “We’ve got Haslingden away in the cup on Saturday and then Church away in the league on Sunday.

“This is an opportunity for us to keep asserting ourselves. We don’t want to slip up.”

On his BEM, Heaton said: ““It’s very nice to have your work recognised. I feel proud, humbled and very pleased.

“I was told about a month ago but I was sworn to secrecy. I haven’t had time to celebrate it though because it’s been business as usual.”