Lowerhouse sign off in style

Lowerhouse batsman Jonathan Finch defends the bowling of Accrington professional Ashar Zaidi.
Lowerhouse batsman Jonathan Finch defends the bowling of Accrington professional Ashar Zaidi.

CHAMPIONS Lowerhouse rounded off a magnificent campaign in record-breaking fashion on Sunday.

Hosting runners-up Accrington, the West Enders won by 61 runs to claimed a Lancashire League record of winning every home fixture of the season, after securing the championship at Todmorden a week ago.

Charlie Cottam’s side also end the season having not allowed one team to score 200 against them all term, while clocking up a club record 248 points.

In a season of inclement weather, this is a huge achievement not only for the players, but for the grounds man, Peter Tighe and his voluntary assistance.

It brought to a close a perfect season that began with the untimely deaths of huge supporters Phil Astin and Keith Hudson, who would have loved the happy scenes at the ground as Cottam and his talented team lifted the Lancashire League Championship trophy for the second time in the club’s history.

It has been a wonderful team effort by every player who has represented the club, but also team manger Paul Stansfield, cricket chairman Stan Heaton and all of the off field support.

The fans have played a huge part also, and have outnumbered and out shouted the opposition at every game home and away.

The game itself was something of a non-event as Lowerhouse were already champions and Accrington the winners of the Holland Cup, the runners-up trophy.

Lowerhouse batted first and managed to accrue a competitive total against the talented and experienced David Ormerod and professional Ashar Zaidi.

Jon Finch produced an innings of high quality, ably supported by good knocks from sub professional Anwar Ali, Ben Heap and Chris Bleazard.

Ali, Finch, Fergus Bailey, and Johnny Russell always maintained control of the match when Accrington replied, with only Graham Lloyd, Zaidi and Hanson managing double figure scores.

Anwar enjoyed his day with the Lowerhouse boys, taking 4 for 24.

The winning of the league in 2005 was very special as it was the first time the club had been the premier team.

But 2011 must be the greater achievement, taking account of the inexperience of the professional Francois Haasbroek, and the fresh young faces of the Lowerhouse home-grown talent.