Lowerhouse make history!

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LOWERHOUSE are the 2011 Lancashire League champions after securing a tense 45-run win against Todmorden at Centre Vale on Sunday.

The club only secured it’s first-ever league title in 2005, having been the only club since the famous old league’s inception in 1892 - bar Bury - not to win it.

But now they have another to go with it, as well as their Worsley Cup success of 2004.

And their blossoming youth policy suggests there will be more where they came from over the coming years!

Lowerhouse entered the weekend with a 27-point lead over Accrington, and good wishes expressed by Lowerhouse supporters from all over the world.

Former professionals Brendan Drew, Andrew McDonald and Aaron Heal from Australia, Ryan Harris from Sri Lanka, Hassan Abbas from Pakistan and Shane Higgins from USA were among the many expressing their support.

The Saturday match at East Lancashire lasted nine overs before the drizzly rains came, and the players were ushered from the field to never return.

The players and supporters waited hoping that a similar fate awaited challengers Accrington at Colne.

News filtered through that despite it still raining, the covers had been removed and play was to commence, giving Accrington the chance of clawing back nine points with still a game in hand.

At 4-45 p.m., one of the Lowerhouse intrepid reporters came back with news that play had been abandoned, as was the game at the Meadows, meaning victory at Todmorden on Sunday would clinch the title.

Winning the toss and batting at Todmorden, Lowerhouse struggled on a difficult wicket.

Losing wickets at regular intervals without getting the run rate much over two runs per over, the Lowerhouse team stuck to their task and hit any loose deliveries to the boundary, sweeping spinner Qaiser Abbas to good effect.

Late in the innings, Paddy Martin and Matty Walker batted well to lift the Lowerhouse followers spirits a little.

Led by Jonathan Finch, the injured professional Francois Haasbroek and Fergus Bailey, and magnificently supported by their team-mates in the field, Lowerhouse never allowed Todmorden a sniff of the required 128 for victory. Finch was outstanding, finishing with 8-38.

The celebrations began, with the unfancied Lowerhouse champions of the league.

Now for Sunday when Lowerhouse are at home to Accrington, when they hope to make history as the only side to win all their home matches in a season.

The Championship Trophy will be presented after the match.

However, professional Haasbroek will not be present, having been by his state side Free State back in South Africa. Former Colne professional Anwar Ali has already been engaged for the game.

Haasbroek will be back to help Lowerhouse try and defend their title next year.