Lowerhouse move top of the table as hold on Colne continues in league and Worsley Cup!

Francois Haasbroek celebrates a wicket on Sunday with his teammates
Francois Haasbroek celebrates a wicket on Sunday with his teammates

LOWERHOUSE beat Colne twice over the weekend to move top of the Lancashire League, and reach the Worsley Cup quarter-finals.

On Sunday, the West Enders recorded their sixth consecutive league win against Colne to replace champions Ramsbottom at the head of the table.

The game was a mainly turgid affair of slow run rates and little action on a cold, blustery day.

The main highlight was a second League 50 of his short career by 17- year-old Joe Martin, in an innings full of character and no little skill.

Colne displayed little confidence as they had first use of the wicket in a rain reduced 42-over game.

Gary Hunt led the side after an overnight change of skipper, but struggled throughout their innings against an attack of Francois Haasbroek, Jon Finch and Matty Walker.

Losing wickets at regular intervals, they were never able to produce a decent scoring rate, but at least had the satisfaction of denying Lowerhouse the two bonus points for taking all 10 wickets.

Finch finished with 4-42.

The Lowerhouse reply got off to the worst possible start, with Finch and Jonny Whitehead both dismissed without a run on the board.

Martin initially defended soundly to withstand Amjad and Wallbank, and Haasbroek began to play attractive shots to change the course of the game.

The pair added 101 unbeaten runs for the third wicket to win the game with six overs to spare.

The previous day at the Horsfield in the Worsley Cup, Lowerhouse trounced the 2010 winners by 146 runs.

The match highlights were a magnificent innings of 75 by Chris Bleazard, and a remarkable bowling performance by 18 year-old Walker, who finished with figures of 5-1 in his permitted age-restricted seven overs.

The one run was a wide bowled in his first over!

Lowerhouse won the toss, and after a slow start, losing Finch in the first over, Bleazard, ably supported by Haasbroek, added 113 for the fourth wicket before Jamal produced an excellent one-handed catch in the covers to dismiss Bleazard for 75.

The Lowerhouse innings fell away a little, but still managed to achieve a competitive total of 221 on a wicket offering a little assistance to the bowlers.

Youngsters Fergus Bailey and Walker opened the bowling for the visitors and had Colne reeling at 18-6.

Wicketkeeper Tillotson, Hunt and Walker gave Colne a little respectability as Lowerhouse gave less-used bowlers Paddy Martin and Matt Marquis an opportunity.

Marquis responded with three wickets.

Lowerhouse will now play Nelson at home in the next round on Saturday, after they defeated Rawtenstall by six wickets.

The West Enders are then at Rawtenstall in the league the following day.