LOWERHOUSE extended their perfect start to the Fosters Lancashire League season over the weekend as they won their top-of-the-table clash with Accrington, before advancing in the Worsley Cup.
On Saturday, the West Enders came out on top in a hard-fought contest at Thorneyholme Road - meaning the champions are now the only unbeaten side in the league.
Winning the toss and batting, Lowerhouse started in the worst possible way by losing in-form opener Johnny Whitehead to a needless run out in the second over.
Ben Heap and Joe Martin added 54 runs before Martin was lbw to the evergreen David Ormerod.
Professional Francois Haasbroek upped the pace of the innings with 46 runs in 51 balls as Ormerod and Zaidi bowled intelligently and unchanged throughout from the 15th over onwards.
Matty Walker added a brisk 13 for Lowerhouse to reach a competetive 160-8, denying their closest rivals the two bowling points.
Third top scorer was the extras including 20 wide deliveries.
Sneddon made his intentions clear from the start with aggressive strokes, and Zaidi looked in little trouble before being dismissed thanks to a brilliant catch by Haasbroek.
Graham Lloyd batted surprisingly low at number seven with the score at 73-5.
Lowerhouse still needed to bowl the opposition out to secure the win with the run rate at a negotiable level with wickets in hand.
Lowerhouse stuck to the task and set about increasing the run rate and forcing the batting side to play attacking shots on a wicket still assisting the bowlers.
Walker and Fergus Bailey combined to restrict Accrington to 34 runs from their combined 14 overs, taking three wickets between them.
Cricket coaches preach the importance of the fielding discipline in the game, and it is hard to remember a better fielding unit than the current side.
Brilliant run outs accounted for Hargreaves and Hayhurst, and quality stops increased the pressure on lone hope Lloyd.
A confident boundary catch by the incomparable Chris Bleazard ended his fight.
The following day, Lowerhouse reached the second round of the Worsley Cup by easily defeating Rawtenstall by seven wickets with over five overs to spare.
Rawtenstall took first use of the wicket with youngsters Matt Walker and Fergus Bailey opening the bowling for the home side.
They both did an excellent job, removing both openers with only 17 runs scored.
Substitute professional Pelser batted well as regular wickets fell at the other end.
Rawtenstall were reduced to 78-7 when he was brilliantly caught by home professional Haasbroek on the square leg boundary.
Lowerhouse became sloppy, bowling several wides and allowing Hanson, Shafiq and Roscoe to double the score, before Bailey returned to end the Rawtenstall innings.
Whitehead was adjudged lbw as Lowerhouse replied, but the locvals were always in control with Haasbroek 45 not out and opener Ben Heap 39 not out.
Roscoe was his usual economic self conceding only 16 runs from his allotted 10 overs, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the House advancing.
Lowerhouse are back in league action at Haslingden on Sunday.