Lowerhouse took maximum points from both weekend games to maintain their 12-point lead at the top of the Lancashire League.
The West Enders won by five wickets at East Lancashire on Saturday before a one-side demolition of Nelson on Sunday.
At Seedhill, Nelson won the toss and elected to bat but probably wished they hadn’t! Within six overs, they were 6-3 with Tyler McGladdery (5), Russell Bradley (0) and Toxy Hussain (0) all back in the pavilion, with opening bowler Joe Hawke on 3-4 at this point.
Ryan Canning and Lewis Bradley stopped the rot temporarily until Canning was caught behind for 5 after facing 35 balls. Bradley top scored with 16 (if you don’t count Mr Extras) but another surge of wickets brought Nelson to their knees.
Matt Walker was brought into the attack and soon snapped up Canning’s wicket, followed by the wickets of Neil Thompson (7) and Bradley, both clean bowled.
Professional Cobus Pienaar chipped in with the wicket of Syed Shah (6) before Walker grabbed two wickets in an over. Harrison Phelan was caught behind for 5 and Sam Halstead bowled for 1 as Walker’s figures went to 5-10. Walker wasn’t finished though and it didn’t take long to knock over Uzair Khalid’s stumps in his next over. His 6-10 was his best-ever return.
Nelson’s total was a paltry 67 and Jonathan Finch and Jonny Whitehead opened Lowerhouse’s reply with the intention of reaching the target as quickly as possible. Both batsmen hit a couple of fours as the score sped to 20 from two overs.
Hussain was first change bowler and he had Whitehead caught at slip for 13 and when Uzair Khalid bowled Finch for unlucky 13 as well, Nelson’s prospects suddenly improved.
Pienaar, however, dashed any further hopes held by Nelson as he blasted three fours and a six in a 27-ball 21. Ben Heap was undefeated on 8 as the winning runs were scored in the 17th over.
The previous day, Paddy Martin’s contribution was crucial as he took 5-33 as East Lancs went from 78 without loss, before losing six wickets for 17 runs, and being 133 all out.
David Pearson (39) and professional Matthew Kleinveldt (24) had put the hosts in a commanding position, before Martin’s intervention.
Finch (48) and Whitehead (20) shared 65 for the first wicket in reply, but Lowerrhouse stumbled to 98-5 as Minhaj Bhada took 3-39 and Kleinveldt 2-45.
Joe Hawke, however, hit an unbeaten 35 to see Lowerhouse home.
Burnley also won both games at the weekend.
Bacup were the visitors on Saturday and batted first, getting off to a flying start before the opener bowlers made the breakthrough and reduced Bacup to 35-3, with Cole Hayman (1-64) and Jhangir Liaqat (2-14 off five).
Hayman was particularly unlucky with a few missed chances in a fiery opening spell. The innings was rebuilt with professional Haseeb Azam (69) and Peter Killelea (55) putting on 120, before Azam fell to a good diving catch on the boundary by Hayman off professional Chris Holt. Holt was in the middle of a terrific spell, bowling 15 overs and taking 6-46 to put the visitors in a spin, and they collapsed to 185-9.
In reply, Burnley set off well with Holt taking control, despite the departure of Daniel Pickup (5) at 35. Holt had good support from Josh Whitehead (16), Chris Burton (15), Bharat Tripathi (22) and Steve Brunt (13 not out) as Burnley cruised to a victory with over five overs to spare. Holt ended up 98 not out.
Sunday saw Colne arrive, and in a very similar game, they won the toss and elected to bat first and set off well with Joel Duerden (38) anchoring the innings , but after the early loss of Tom Bradshaw to Liaqat (1-17 off seven), visiting professional Ali Azmat took charge and secured a run-a-ball 50 including a number of sixes to the midwicket boundary off Holt. Holt got his revenge as he was defeated in the flight and could only hit it down long off, where Liaqat took the catch. Colne got to 176-3 before losing their last seven wickets for only 25 runs. Spinners Tripathi (4-41 off 13) and Holt (3-91 off 17) did the damage.
In response Burnley set off quickly and Holt (55) and Pickup (53) shared 116 to put the home side in a dominant position. Burton (39 not out) and Whitehead (37 not out) eased to victory with seven overs left.