Lowerhouse given boost in battle - Heaton

Lowerhouse skipper Charlie Cottam with the Lancashire League trophy
Lowerhouse skipper Charlie Cottam with the Lancashire League trophy

Stan Heaton believes Burnley’s first blemish of the campaign will provide a psychological boost to the rest of the division.

The West Enders, in the Ron Singleton Trophy, Bacup Enfield, Church, East Lancs, Haslingden in the Worsley Cup and Irlam in the LCB Knockout Cup had all fallen by the wayside as Bharat Tripathi’s side appeared formidable in the opening stages of the campaign.

However, that sequence of seven successive victories was brought to an abrupt halt as Rawtenstall claimed a 58-run triumph at Turf Moor last weekend.

That result, coupled with Lowerhouse’s eight-wicket demolition of Bacup at Lanehead, ensured the gap between the Lancashire League’s top two was cut to a solitary point.

“It was a good weekend,” beamed Heaton. “Psychologically it was important that the rest of the league saw that Burnley aren’t invincible.

“They’re an extremely strong side but that loss will be significant. On paper they do look a very daunting side though.”

With the margin so fragile the positioning of the town’s two rivals could switch at any point, particularly as the pair lock horns at the end of the month.

Liverpool Road captain Charlie Cottam and his squad will welcome Todmorden tomorrow in their bid to resume the club’s domestic dominance while Burnley travel to Blackburn Road to tackle Rishton.

“It’s got nothing to do with myself or Lowerhouse Cricket Club with how they act or react,” Heaton said. “We just need to focus on ourselves.

“We’ll just keep chipping away and producing the right performances to get the right results. The table is pretty meaningless at this time of the year.

“They’ve won the Worsley Cup back-to-back so you’d expect them to be able to deal with pressure situations, especially with the pedigree of their players.

“But the game on May 31st is looking incredibly tasty now.”

Heaton, who has seen his club win four titles in five seasons, added: “We don’t want to lose our crown to anybody.

“I don’t begrudge Burnley having success just as long as it isn’t at our expense.

“Burnley being top doesn’t motivate us any more than usual though. There’s a long way to go and plenty to play for.”

Meanwhile ‘House will be in Bolton on Sunday as they face Horwich RMI in the county cup competition.

“It’s the first time that Lancashire League clubs have a clear run at this competition due to the fixture clash in previous years,” said Heaton.

“The league, in its wisdom, has left a window for the Lancashire Cup.

“We will give it our best shot. It’s nice to go round and play at new grounds and meet new people.”

Burnley will face either Thornton Cleveleys or Southport Trinity in the next round of the Lancashire Cup, with the clash to be played at Turf Moor on Sunday, July 5th.