FRUSTRATION is creeping in at Liverpool Road as Lancashire League champions Lowerhouse await their start to the new season.
After starting their pre-season campaign in early April in preparation for the 2012 season, the West Enders have seen their Ron Singleton Trophy final versus Ramsbottom abandoned as well as league games against Bacup and Accrington.
“The forecast is fortunately better this weekend,” said club chairman Stan Heaton. “We’ve managed to get quite a bit of net practice in but it’s been a complete false start. We’ve had friendlies, indoor nets and outdoor net sessions but it doesn’t feel right. The first two games have been cancelled and I can’t remember that happening in my lifetime.
“We are straining at the leash. That being said if there’s a club that has practiced more than us then they must be some outfit. The lads have really put the work in. Everyone is simply fed up but once they get those whites on over the weekend then everyone throughout the league will just kick on.”
Charlie Cottam’s side entertain East Lancs on Sunday hoping to add another defeat to their opponent’s record. East Lancs were beaten by 39 runs at the hands of Accrington in a rare match that survived the inclement conditions.
“They are capable of beating anybody,” said Heaton. “They’ve got a handy pro (Ockert Erasmus) and some good amateurs. They are in a bit of a transitional period having had an experienced side. Their skipper Mark Bolton has stepped down to captain the second XI. We’ll take nobody lightly.”
And Lowerhouse will be praying for double joy, in a bid to wash away recent blues, as they face Colne CC at the Horsfield on Bank Holiday Monday. Colne were thrashed by 108 runs at home to Enfield on their only start to the season.
“Colne have got dangerous individuals including professional Shadley Van Schalkwyk and have brought some new players in,” Heaton said. “Having been soundly beaten by Enfield last week they’ll be looking to bounce back. They’ve lost Jeff Ellis but brought in Khurram Nazir who is a good player. They won the Worsley Cup in 2010 having performed poorly in the league so they can’t be underestimated.”
Burnley will be hoping to get their season of to a good start when they take on Todmorden away on Sunday.
The following day they take on Nelson at home.
Elsewhere, in the Ribblesdale Cricket League Read are faced with a trip to Preston Old Road to take on Cherry Tree in the league before a journey to the Marshfield Ground awaits for a Ramsbottom Cup tie against Settle.
“We’ve got Cherry Tree at their place,” O’Connor said. “They are a bit like Whalley in that they chip in together and work well as a unit. Paul Turner is captain and he’s a very good player, and their pro (Liam Jackson) is also a dangerous player. We’ve just got to carry on playing the way we have been. They can frustrate teams on their day.”
O’Connor added: “Obviously we’d like to improve on last year’s cup run (losing to Ribblesdale Wanderers in the final). Finals day is one of the best days I’ve been involved in. It’s a great occasion. We hope to push on this year and hopefully win it instead of getting the wooden spoon.”
Padiham are home to Edenfield tomorrow before a home tie against Ribblesdale W on Sunday in the first round of the Ramsbottom Cup.