‘House have heaps of experience

Captain Ben Heap opens the batting for Lowerhouse
Captain Ben Heap opens the batting for Lowerhouse

Ben Heap is hoping to tap in to the experience of his Lowerhouse squad after the West Enders moved tantalisingly close to securing more silverware.

The four-time Lancashire League champions, currently sixth in the standings after 12 games this term, play the first of two quarter-finals on Friday evening when they travel to Lanehead to tackle Bacup in the Twenty20 competition.

Heap’s ‘House have also made the cut in the LCB Knockout Cup after victory over Rochdale secured a tie against Clitheroe at Chatburn Road on July 23rd.

“We’re not taking anybody lightly in these two quarter-finals,” said the Liverpool Road skipper. “Quite a few members of the squad have been in this position before so it’s all about tapping in to that experience on the day. Hopefully that will give us the edge.”

That ‘know how’ paid dividends in the previous rounds of both competitions as Lowerhouse were forced to dig deep in contrasting situations to prevail.

Against Accrington, at Thorneyholme Road, they successfully defended a 110-run total before overcoming a collapse against Rochdale to win by four wickets despite having been reduced to 40-6 at one point.

“We’re seven games unbeaten now in all competitions and we are winning games in all manners, even when we’re up against it,” Heap said. “That was the case again at the weekend.

“I don’t think anybody would have backed us in those games. We were in the box seat against Rochdale at the halfway point but then they showed what a good addition they’ll be to the Lancashire League.

“They had us on the ropes because we were 40-6 at one point but the pro showed great courage to see us through that sticky patch. It was a vital knock to see us over the line.”

He added: “I’m pretty pleased considering we’ve had a lot of injuries. I’ve never known anything like it; it’s been unreal. To get to two quarter-finals is an amazing effort from all the squad.

“It’s just been one of those seasons. Vital players have dropped out at crucial times but others have come in and stepped up.

“It shows how important it is to have that depth. It proved a good move to bolster the squad in the winter but players from the second team have been ready to step up as well.”

Lowerhouse host Accrington at the Brooks Foundation Ground on Saturday.