Lowerhouse go top with hard-fought victory

On top: Ben Heap was involved as Lowerhouse moved to the Lancashire League summit.

On top: Ben Heap was involved as Lowerhouse moved to the Lancashire League summit.

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Lowerhouse went to the top of the Lancashire League following a hard-fought victory in the battle of the joint second placed club at Rawtenstall.

Matt Walker hit a career best 88, including eight fours and four sixes, as the visitor’s made 250-7.

Jonny Whitehead also made 60 from 56 balls with nine fours and two sixes, while professional Cobus Pienaar added 42, Joe Hawke 19 and Ben Heap 18.

Facing a reduced target of 159 from 22 overs, Rawtenstall lost skipper Vinny Hanson (five) at six, professional Brett Pelser (one) at 12, Danny Barlow (two) at 26.Sam Kershaw made 42 before falling to Pienaar who finished with 5-69. Dean Barlow hit a late career best 49 from 41 balls with three fours and a six and Andy Riley was unbeaten on 29 to earn Rawtenstall 4 batting points.

Lowerhouse also made the semi-final of the Worsley Cup over the weekend with a three-wicket win over East Lancs at the Neville Gee Recruitment Ground. Chris Bleazard rescued his side, hitting an unbeaten 44 after his side had slumped to 76-6 chasing East Lancs ‘ 168 all out. Bleazard found an ally in Declan Bailey who made 38 before falling to Shahrukh Khan (4-40) with 7 runs needed. Khan had earlier removed Ben Heap (26), Jack Edgar (8), Matt Walker (2) and Joe Hawke (1). Edgar (3-23) and Heap (3-40) took three wickets apiece in the East Lancs innings. John Turner top scored with 44 and Nick Turner and Minhaj Bhada made 31 apiece for the visitors.

It was a triple header weekend to remember for Lowerhouse who also

Lowerhouse won their Group C derby with Burnley at The Neville Gee Recruitment Ground by 86 runs on Friday. Batting first, Lowerhouse piled up 191-7 with Jonny Whitehead top scoring with 53, adding 81 for the 2nd wicket with Pienaar (44) after Burnley skipper Bharat Tripathi (3-50) had removed Ben Heap at eight. Tripathi began with a wicket maiden but conceded 50 off his other 3 overs as Matt Walker (31), skipper Charlie Cottam (24) and Declan Bailey (20) threw the bat. Man of the match Joe Hawke took 5-21 to dismiss Burnley for 105.

Burnley made it into teh semi-final of the Worsley Cup after defeating Todmorden. Burnley won the toss and elected to field and soon made a couple of breakthroughs to make it 5-2. Todmoden’s innings was anchored by Kristian Garland (79) who helped his side to 224 despite good bowling throughout the innings. Pick of the bowling was Tripathi (2-25-10) and Hayman (3-45-10) but perhaps the most important spell was by Josh Whitehead (1-20 off 3) which included the vital wicket of home professional Michael Neser for 24. In reply Burnley took advantage of the power play and were 51-1 off 10 overs with Pickup (39) and David Brown (11) taking advantage. Whitehead (23) and Chris Burton (21) also chipped in but it was Michael Brown who stole the show with a classy 74.

Sunday saw Burnley entertain Todmorden again at the Myprotein.com Turf Moor and the hosts finally got off the mark with their first win at the 10th attempt in the league. Having won the toss the hosts inserted Todmorden they were soon in trouble with Jhangir Liaqat (1-23 off 9) and Graham Lalor (4-23 off 12) reducing them to 31-5 with only Ben Sutcliffe (15) showing any resistance.

Dan Pickup got in on the act with his first wickets in the Lancashire League in taking 3-13 off 5 overs and they never recovered. Todmorden ended all out for 68 after professional Chris Holt took the last two wickets. In response and with rain around Burnley soon lost Chris Burton but a partnership of 35 between Josh Whitehead (6) and Pickup (20) took them to the brink of victory. It was left to skipper Bharat Tripathi (12) and Holt (14) to ensure the first victory.

Next week sees the 2020 against Nelson with a band on afterwards and the local derby of Lowerhouse against Burnley on Sunday.