‘House return to winning ways at home to Church

Matt Walker for Lowerhouse in their game against Burnley
Matt Walker for Lowerhouse in their game against Burnley

Lowerhouse returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory over Church at the Neville Gee (Recruitment) Ground on Sunday.

Lowerhouse were without the services of youngsters Joe Halstead, who was representing Lancashire, and Dominic Stuart, who suffered a toe injury during the week.

Chris Bleazard returned from injury and another youngster Tom Bridge made his first first XI start of the season.

Cobus Pienaar also returned as professional for Lowerhouse after his brief return to South Africa for the birth of his daughter.

On a wet afternoon, Lowerhouse won the toss and put Church in to bat.

Church made a rapid start, racing to 24 in the first four overs before the pace sedated and wickets began to fall.

The first wicket fell at 26 with Josh Scully being caught and bowled by Matt Walker for eight.

At 42 Bilal Abbas (2) was caught by Joe Martin also off Walker before the Church professional Usman Tariq was also caught by Joe Martin off the bowling of brother Paddy with the score on 51.

With the score on 77 Ali Sartaj was caught by Jonny Whitehead off Walker.

Church then rebuilt their innings with skipper Craig Ferguson and Jack Gaskill sharing a stand of 81.

The pair rode their luck with some missed chances in the field, but also ran very well to put the fielders under pressure. The stand was finally broken in the final over with Ferguson skying a chance to Cottam to give Pienaar his first wicket.

The Church innings closed on 164-5, with Walker being the pick of the bowlers with 3-31 from his 14 overs.

In reply Lowerhouse also got off to a flyer, racing to 40 in the first four overs, but also losing three wickets with Whitehead shouldering arms to a straight one from Bentley on 13, and skipper Cottam being cleaned up by Basharat for five with the score on 38.

Fergus Bailey soon followed, also bowled by Basharat for 12, to leave House in trouble at 41-3.

However, the left handed pair of professional Pienaar and Walker set about rebuilding the innings, sharing a stand of 98 to take the score to 139 before Pienaar mis-timed a pull shot to sky one to the bowler Basharat after a well-crafted 53.

Paddy Martin joined Walker at the crease to see Lowerhouse home with over 16 overs to spare, Walker finishing unbeaten for an excellent 51 and Martin unbeaten on 7.

Saturday’s Worsley Cup game at Enfield was rained off without a ball being bowled and will now be played this coming Saturday.