Lowerhouse chief Stan enjoying fruits of the club’s foresight

Joe Hawk for Lowerhouse Cricket club in their game against Church
Joe Hawk for Lowerhouse Cricket club in their game against Church

Lowerhouse chairman Stan Heaton has hailed the club’s strength in depth as they battle for honours on a number of fronts.

Lowerhouse chairman Stan Heaton has hailed the club’s strength in depth as they battle for honours on a number of fronts.

While the treble dream has evaporated, beaten in the Worsley Cup semi-final and 20/20 Final, the West Enders remain top of the Lancashire League, while the seconds are also at the head of their respective division.

The firsts have been without key senior personnel of late, with skipper Charlie Cottam and the evergreen Chris Bleazard absent, but players have stepped into the breach.

That has weakened the seconds as a result, but they have maintained their challenge at the top of the table as well.

Lowerhouse host Rishton on Sunday with a 12-point advantage over Ramsbottom, and Heaton assessed the situation: “It’s been quite a difficult season - lads have come into the first team who we probably didn’t expect to this season, and have done very well.

“But all told, on some weekends, we’ve had as many as 13 players missing.

“The pleasing thing is we have been winning when not at full strength.

“It will be the same this weekend though, we’re probably looking at three players coming in without five first team games between them.”

The Lowerhouse conveyor belt of talent has become the envy of the league, but producing the amount of prodigious young players has it’s own problems: “We probably have lads in the seconds who would get in many first teams around the league, and Jack Edgar had to go to Great Harwood to get more regular first team cricket.

“So there is the chance that some players may feel the grass is greener elsewhere, and we can’t afford to lose players.

“You have to find a way of maintaining a balance while developing players.

“It’s a good problem to have though.

“I was playing when we were at the wrong end of the table with no players, and that’s my motivation for doing what I do.

“We’re certainly in a far better position - only Charlie and Blez in the first team will remember the dark days.

“Everyone who has come through over the last 10 years has seen success - they know what it’s like to win, and once you have that attitude, it’s a hard habit to break.”

Meanwhile, Burnley are in good form ahead of next Sunday’s Worsley Cup Final at Rawtenstall.

Bharat Tripathi’s side have won six of their last seven games in league and cup, including last weekend’s double header success.

They are on the road at East Lancashire on Saturday, with places up for grabs for the final showdown.