Leaders Lowerhouse extend superb run

PRO PLUS: Francois Haasbroek hit 32 not out and claimed 3-51 against Todmorden
PRO PLUS: Francois Haasbroek hit 32 not out and claimed 3-51 against Todmorden

LOWERHOUSE extended their lead at the top of the Lancashire League with a five-wicket victory over 4th placed Todmorden at Centre Vale on Sunday.

Winning the toss, Lowerhouse chose to put Todmorden into bat on a wicket which was wet at one end and dry at the other, and wickets fell at regular intervals.

Top wicket taker was Joe Hawke with figures of 4-35 with Lowerhouse professional Francois Haasbroek taking 3-51.

Unfortunately Lowerhouse were unable to secure the two bowling bonus points with the last two Todmorden batsmen surviving the final four overs and posting a score of 143-9.

Lowerhouse’s innings could not have got off to a worse start with Ben Heap adjudged lbw off the second ball of the innings. This brought Joe Martin to the middle, who, with opener Johnny Whitehead, who put on a second wicket partenership of 45 before Martin was given out lbw trying to sweep the Tomorden professional Qasir Abbas.

Whitehead contineued to bat in a determined manner, achieving his half century off 94 balls before being dismissed to a brilliant running catch by Simon Newbitt.

Lowerhouse continued to close in on the target with Haasbroek (32 not out) and Chris Bleazard (36 not out) taking the visitors to victory with three over to spare.

This vital win gives Lowerhouse an 11-point lead at the top of the table, following Church’s defeat against Ramsbottom.

Saturday’s Worsley Cup quarter-final with Bacup was again postponed, and is scheduled again for Sunday - the scheduled semi-final date, with the semi-finas played six days later on the original reserve date. This means Lowerhouse have had to concede their last 16 Lancashire Cup game against Firwood Bootle as they were unable to offer any further date to their scheduled opposition.

Its extremely dissapointing that the club has had to forego the opportunity to compete against the best in Lancashire.

Lowerhouse and Colne brought forward Friday’s scheduled Twenty20 game 24 hours in the hope of avoiding the forcasted rains on Friday.

It was to no avail and Lowerhouse won the bowl out 2-0.

Experience counted as both Joe Beneduce and Chris Bleazard hit for the West Enders.

Lowerhouse must overcome Nelson away on Friday and increase their net run rate significantly to qualify as only three group winnders plus the best runner-up qualify for the semi-finals.

Lowerhouse are at home to Todmorden in the league on Saturday.

• SATURDAY’S Ribblesdale League action fell victim to the weather with only two games able to start - Ribblesdale Wanderers reaching 2-0 against leaders Barnoldswick before being washed out, while Clitheroe got to 30-1 against Cherry Tree.

The Ramsbottom Cup quarter-finals went ahead on Sunday, with Barnoldswick, Oswaldtwistle Immanuel, Settle and Baxenden progressing.