Rare Burnley win – as leaders stay in front

Still top: Professional Cobus Pienaar in action for leaders Lowerhouse against Bacup on Sunday at the Neville Gee Recruitment Ground
Still top: Professional Cobus Pienaar in action for leaders Lowerhouse against Bacup on Sunday at the Neville Gee Recruitment Ground

Burnley claimed only their second league win of the season on Sunday - while leaders Lowerhouse remain out in front after beating both Haslingden and Bacup.

Burnley had mixed fortunes over the weekend, losing on Saturday to Ramsbottom, but they bounced back on Sunday against Rawtenstall.

Sunday saw a terrific game of cricket which swung both ways as Burnley won the toss and elected to bat at Rawtenstall, and despite the early loss of Daniel Pickup (6) progressed to 50-1 off the first 14 overs.

Then the brakes were put on by the home spinners Imran Abid (17 overs, 3-29) and experienced Keith Roscoe (12 overs, 2-51) as the away side collapsed to 80-5, as Chris Holt (30) and Josh Whitehead both fell when well set.

Michael Kelly and Steve Brunt (17) then rebuilt the innings with a quick-fire partnership of 36, but when Brunt fell to Roscoe, it was left to Kelly to steer the innings to a competitive score as he ended up with a hard-hitting 42 to leave Burnley on 159 all out.

In reply, Graham Lalor (1-28 off 12) struck early to send back the dangerous Vinny Hanson for four in a tight opening partnership with Cole Hayman.

There was a partnership of 47 from Sam Kershaw (26) and Chris Cook Martin (39), but the Burnley spinners soon got to work and Bharat Tripathi (2-50 off 17) and Holt (4-43 off 12) to send wickets falling regularly.

But they couldn’t remove the home professional Brett Pelser who anchored the innings for 59 and was eventually last man out.

It came down to Rawtenstall needing 27 off the last three overs, and when Pelser attacked Holt and took 12 off that over, it was down to Hayman to first run out Abid and then uproot Pelser’s middle stump in the penultimate over to give Burnley 12 points.

Saturday saw Ramsbottom visit My Protein Turf Moor, and the home side decided to field first and soon got the early wicket of the in-form Tom Parton (10) by Hayman, but then there was a big partnership from Dale Gabriel, with his first senior half century, and Kay 34.

Straight after drinks the home side reduced them to 119-4, but visiting professional Daryn Smit (83) steered them to 229-7, with Hayman (2-39 off 10) and Tripathi (4-65 off 14).

In reply, the home side got off to the worst start as they were reduced to 21-2, but Whitehead (26) and Chris Burton (33) rebuilt the innings in a fine partnership, but when Burton was adjudged lbw, the innings collapsed with only Michael Brown (12) getting double figures as they were all out for a disappointing 94.

Lowerhouse, meanwhile, enjoyed a three-wicket win at Haslingden on Saturday, before an eight-wicket win at home to Bacup on Sunday.

On Sunday, Bacup’s Tim Farragherhit a century for the visitors, including a six andf 14 fours, but finished comfortably beaten.

Farragher and Anthony Taylor (21) shared 50 for the second wicket, and eded up making an unbeaten 101 of Bacup’s 184-7.

Joe Hawke (2-38) and Paddy Martin (2-43) were among the wickets.

Lowerhouse lost Jonny Whitehead without scoring at 4, but eased to an eight-wicket win, as Ben Heap smashed 96, and captain Charlie Cottam batted through for an unbeaten 71 - putting on 178 for the second wicket with Heap.

On Saturday, professional Cobus Pienaar (4-35) and Hawke (3-19) helped skittle Haslingden for just 104, as Lee Ingham top scored with 29.

In reply, Lowerhouse were 16-3, but Matt Walker (34) and Hawke (25 not out) put on 34 for the sixth wicket to put the leaders back in charge in a three-wicket win.

On Friday night, Lowerhouse maintained their hopes of qualifying from Group C after beating Todmorden - for whom Paul Senior topok a hat-trick.

Ben Gorton made 20 and Jon Finch 24 not out as the holders won by four wicketswith 27 balls to spare.

Finch took 3-4 as Todmorden were dismissed for 88, while Pienaar claimed four catches.