Lowerhouse have one hand on title

Early breakthrough: Lowewrhouse pro Cobus Pienaar takes the wicket of Ramsbottom opening batsmen Tom Parton with the third ball
Early breakthrough: Lowewrhouse pro Cobus Pienaar takes the wicket of Ramsbottom opening batsmen Tom Parton with the third ball

Lowerhouse made it 17 wins on the spin over the weekend and now require only seven points from their final three games to claim a third Lancashire League title in four years.

On Saturday, the West Enders thumped their closest rivals Ramsbottom by nine wickets to go 24 points clear, and as Rammy were losing to Enfield on Sunday, Charlie Cottam’s men beat outgoing champions Accrington by five runs at Thorneyholme Road.

Lowerhouse won the toss and put Ramsbottom in at the Neville Gee Recruitment Ground, and made an immediate breakthrough, as professional Cobus Pienaar had Tom Parton clean bowled with the first delivery of the day, with no score.

Callum Kay (6) and Brad Fielding (7) shared 21 before both fell at the same score, bowled by Matt Walker, and caught behind by Joe Martin off Pienaar respectively.

Sub professional Peter Trego and Jon Fielding moved the visitors to 49, before the latter was trapped in front by Walker for nine, and Joe Hawke claimed his first victim of the day to remove captain Rob Read at 58, again lbw.

At 60, Trego was caught at long on by Pienaar off Jon Finch for 26, before Hawke saw off Dale Gabriel (0) and Matt Sutton (4) - both caught behind by Martin, and Tom Booth (4), caught at cover by Cottam. Finch saw off Jonny Dack (2) and Ramsbottom were all out for 70.

Hawke finished with 4-27.

In reply, Finch hit an unbeaten 37 to see Lowerhouse home with one wicket down - that of Jonny Whitehead, who hit 18 before being caught by Booth off Jon Fielding at 38.

Sunday was a somewhat tighter affair at Accrington.

Cottam again won the toss, but chose to bat.

Finch and Whitehead laid a firm foundation, with an opening partnershop worth 77, before the latter was bowled by home professional Ockert Erasmus for 35.

Finch followed at 83, caught by Erasmus at mid on for 36, and Pienaar was then out lbw to Simon Hanson for three.

Lowerhouse were 93-4 when Hawke (3) was out caught and bowled to Erasmus, but Ben Heap had his end tied down and shared 29 with Walker (7), who was caught by Ramiz Hussain at long on.

Chris Bleazard (9) added 39 with nephew Heap before he was lbw to Erasmus, and Cottam (5 not out) and Heap took the score to 183-6 at the close, Heap unbeaten on 66.

Lowerhouse just managed to rein Accrington in in reply, to win by five runs.

Hussain (17) fell at 40, cauht by Cottam off Pienaar, and shortly after Hanson (4) was stumped by Joe Martin off brother Paddy at 51.

Erasmus and Sam Excell (26) found runs hard to come by, adding 18 before Excell was caught by Bleazard at long on off Finch.

Paddy Martin went on to claim 5-44, seeing off captain Stuart Crabtree (7), Graeme Sneddon (7), Ali Hasham (1) and Bryn Hargreaves (18), but while Erasmus was unbeaten at the close on 72, Accrington fell short - despite scoring 16 off the last over.

Worsley Cup winners beat Church on Sunday after losing to Enfield by three wickets the day before.

At Dill Hall Lane, Burnley could only score 122-9, with captain Bharat Tripathi top scoring with 29, backed up by Daniel Pickup (10), Josh Whitehead (11), professional Chris Holt (33), Michael Kelly (18) and Cole Hayman (17).

Hassan Fazal took 4-44.

Pro Werner Coetsee hit 42 and Lewis Wright an unbeaten 30 to see Enfield home.

But at home to Church, Holt claimed his first Lancashire League century as Burnley won by 54 runs.

Holt hit exactly 100, after putting on 132 with Tripathi (62) for the fourth wicket as Burnley totalled 217-9.

In reply, Hayman took 3-28, Tripathi 3-39 and Holt 2-41 as Church were bowled out for 163, captain Craig Fergusson top-scoring with 32.