Lowerhouse CC make it three wins out of three

Burnley's James Capstick bowls at Jack Edgar.
Burnley's James Capstick bowls at Jack Edgar.

The Lowerhouse armada sailed home with the points from Turf Moor on Sunday to make it three wins from three in pursuit of their third successive Lancashire League title.

The West Enders took maximum points in the first derby of the season with Burnley, to back up the 10 they took in Saturday’s win at home to East Lancashire, to climb to second in the table, with a game in hand on leaders Accrington.

Burnley captain Bharat Tripathi and wicket-keeper Chris Burton appeal in vain for a lbw decision in the game against Lowerhouse.

Burnley captain Bharat Tripathi and wicket-keeper Chris Burton appeal in vain for a lbw decision in the game against Lowerhouse.

Lowerhouse supporters made their way across town by canal barge on Bank Holiday Sunday, with the usual big noisy crowd in attendance.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first, and Josh Whitehead opened the bowling and soon had Ben Heap expertly stumped by Chris Burton for eight.

A good partnership of 105 by younsters Jack Edgar and Joe Martin (38) laid the foundation for their total of 198.

Edgar scored his maiden senior 50 in a total of 74 until he fell to the spin of Bharat Tripathi. Burnley fought back after this partnership in an innings which was looking ominously like a 250-plus score, with James Capstick (seven overs for 21) and Tripathi putting the brakes on the scoring. Tripathi took the bowling honours with 5-68, and professional Adnan Rasool claimed 3-60.

Only professional Francois Haasbroek (17) and some late hitting by Joe Hawke (26) gave the visitors a competitive total.

In reply, Burnley’s response got off to the worst possible start as none of the top five made double figures through some excellent bowling from Haasbroek (3-35) and Fergus Bailey, as they collapsed to 23-5.

This became 60-8m with only Whitehead (21) showing any resistance in the middle order. It was left with Graham Lalor (27) and Cole Hayman with his top score in senior cricket of 37 to put a partnership of 54 to make the score more respectable, but Lowerhouse won by 65 runs with Bailey claiming 5-52 and Hawke and Paddy Martin each taking a wicket.

The previous day, Lowerhouse were inserted at home to East Lancs, with the promising 17 year-old Edgar deputising as opener for Jonny Whitehead, out with a damaged finger.

Edgar impressed with a cool,assured innings of 44, particularly with his judgement of quick singles.

Unfortunately wickets tumbled elsewhere, and when Edgar was lbw, the ‘House were reeling at 74-5. Enter stage left Chris Bleazard, and he and Hawke decisively tilted the balance of the game. Bleazard’s third six brought up his 50, and when he was caught behind in the next over, he and Hawke had put on exactly 100.

Lowwerhouse finished on a healthy 230-6, with Hawke unbeaten on 83,his highest Lancashire League score.

Fergus Bailey (2-39) bowled manfully for 17 consecutive overs into the wind and was Lowerhouse’s best bowler in the reply, while Edgar added 2-22 and Paddy Martin 3-35.

Adam Chester made 35 not out and helped get two bonus points for his team whilst denying the ‘House the bowling bonus points as East Lancs finished on 198-8.

Saturday saw Burnley visit Todmorden, and the away side won the toss and batted on a good pitch. After the early loss of keeper Chris Burton, Steve Brunt (46) and Qasim Ali raced to to 9-1 off 15 overs in a partnership of 81. Then Brunt was controversially adjudged caught behind and Ali was bowled by professional Geeth Alwis for Burnley to slip to 97-3.

The visitors kept losing wickets and were unable to form partnerships with skipper Bharat Tripathi, who top scored with 52 in a total of 206.

In response, the only wicket to fall fell to Tripathi who bowled the opener Simon Newbitt for 24.

But Ben Sutcliffe (89 not out) and Alwis (80 not out) batted expertly to guide Todmorden to 12 points.