Lowerhouse bounce back to set up mouth-watering LCB Cup tie

Chris Bleazard rolled back the years to help Lowerhouse progress to the quarter-finals of the LCB Knockout Cup
Chris Bleazard rolled back the years to help Lowerhouse progress to the quarter-finals of the LCB Knockout Cup

Lowerhouse Cricket Club stalwart Stan Heaton praised the response of his players after the West Enders booked a LCB Knockout Cup quarter-final tie with rivals Burnley.

Charlie Cottam’s side saw an opportunity to lead the Lancashire League slip on Saturday as they suffered a 27-run reversal at the hands of Haslingden at Bentgate while the top-of-the-table clash between Ramsbottom and Burnley at Turf Moor was abandoned due to the rain.

After suffering a crushing 10-wicket loss against Alex Coleman’s side in the second round of the Worsley Cup last month, disaster struck again.

With the match reduced to 20 overs per side, the hosts posted a score of 121-7 with opener Phil Hayes (34) and captain Coleman (33 not out) starring with the bat.

Paddy Martin regained his place as the league’s leading amateur bowler with a five-wicket haul, at the expense of 51 runs from a 10-over spell, which took his tally to 32 for the season.

Lowerhouse professional Dieter Klein eclipsed the totals of Haslingden’s top-scoring pair but only veteran Chris Bleazard was able to form a partnership with the South African.

The duo put on 41 for the third wicket but the bowling of Lewis McIntosh and paid man Babaar Naeem forced the collapse. The amateur claimed 2-39 while the Pakistan pro took 5-48.

“We were very disappointing in our league game against Haslingden so the win against Ramsbottom was very welcoming,” said Heaton. “Saturday’s defeat was, without a shadow of a doubt, a missed opportunity.

“It was difficult on a sticky wicket at Bentgate; we gave too many runs away in the field and then didn’t get off to a good enough start in our innings.

“It was a slow start with the bat and we failed to recover. Haslingden thoroughly deserved their win and seem to have a hold over us this year after beating us by 10 wickets in the cup.

“It was a huge missed opportunity but we’ll console ourselves in the fact that we haven’t lost any ground having picked up three points. There’s still a long way to go so we won’t cry about it.”

However, ‘House had the character to recover and went on to beat Ramsbottom at Liverpool Road in the county cup competition.

Joey Hawke took 3-26 and Klein added 2-16 as the visitors closed on 133 with visiting professional Daryn Smit contributing 57 of those runs.

In reply Jon Finch (19), Ben Heap (25), Cottam (18) and Bleazard (35 not out) all performed positively to see the hosts over the line by three wickets.

“It was a great response,” beamed Heaton. “It wasn’t an easy wicket to score runs on because it has been flooded three times this week.

“Both teams bowled very well but we just had enough players who stuck in with the bat and saw us through. It was very important for us that people dug in.”

Burnley also progressed in the LCB Knockout Cup with a dramatic victory over holders Bootle on home soil.

After the visitors posted a 183-8 total, Burnley left it late to secure their passage through to the next round.

Vishal Tripathi was the leading light in the home side’s innings as he built an impressive knock of 95 to set the platform.

Dan Pickup added 20 to the equation but it was Jhangir Liaqat who stepped up at the tail end to help Burnley recover from 80-6 and 109-7.

The 21-year-old fired an unbeaten 33 with the final six of those coming from the penultimate ball of the afternoon to seal the win.

Burnley and Lowerhouse will square up at the Brooks Foundation Ground in the final eight of the competition on July 24th.