Both Lowerhouse and Burnley enjoyed a win double at the weekend, with the West Enders keeping the heat on leaders Accrington at the top.
While on Friday night, after their Worsley Cup heartbreak at the hands of their neighbours, Lowerhouse visited Enfield with the consolation prize of a home fixture in the Twenty20 Cup Final at stake.
Batting first, the ‘House posted 150-9, with Charlie Cottam(38) and Francois Haasbroek(35) the main contributors.
At 55-0 off eight overs in reply, it looked like Enfield were up for the fight, but the introduction of part-time bowler Ben Heap(3-10) saw them raise the white flag and they finished 44 runs short.
Lowerhouse will play Twenty20 kings Ramsbottom on Friday evening.
A busy week-end continued Saturday with lowly Bacup visiting the Neville Gee (Recruitment) Ground.
The ‘House batted first on a over-dry wicket.They raced to 39, but after Jonny Whitehead(21) was out hooking, the whole innings became a struggle.From 49-4, Haasbroek(27) led a mini-revival, but at 107-7 the side looked doomed. Chris Bleazard(38) and Joe Hawke(26) helped ‘House to a respectable 178 all out.
Bacup’s reply wasn’t flashy but at 76-1 at the halfway stage, they appeared favourites. There was at this point a surreal cameo from pro Aubrey Swanepoel, who hit his first three balls for 14 before holing-out off the fourth. It was a credit to Lowerhouse that on a day that they were below par, they chipped away at the Bacup batsmen to have them 159 all out for a 19-run victory, Haasbroek’s 4-41 being a particularly gutsy effort.
Lowerhouse then earned an excellent six-wicket victory away at Nelson on Sunday..
‘House restricted Nelson to 163-9, with a superb spell from Paddy Martin, taking a career-best 6-32.
In reply, Heap announced his return to form with a patient unbeaten 63 after Whitehead (41) had treated the crowd to a masterclass in stroke play earlier. Martin (23 not out) steered the ‘House home.
For Burnley, meanwhile, Saturday saw the dress rehearsal for the Worsley Cup Final with the visit of Haslingden.
The home side won the toss and batted first on a good batting track, and started well in an opening partnership of 26 until Chris Burton fell for 16.
Qasim Ali joined opener Dan Pickup (26) and took a the score to 77 until a cluster of wickets fell which left the home side on a precarious 107-4 with Ali out for 41. It was left to sub professional Ashraf and David Brown, on his return to the club, to stabilise the innings in a fine 62-run partnership. Ashraf top scored with a hard-hitting 58 and Brown (20) to give a competitive score of 204-8.
In response, Cole Hayman struck with two early wickets and Graham Lalor had in-form professional Brenton Parchment out for a duck to set the visitors reeling at 35-3.
A partnership of 44 between skipper Graham Knowles (38) and Lee Ingham (25) gave them hope but Ingham was soon run out and 79-3 became 97 all out and 12 points with Bharat Tripathi taking 3-34 and James Capstick 2-8.
Sunday saw Burnley travel to winless bottom side Colne, and they won the toss again and decided to bat,
Despite the early loss of Pickup (10), keeper Burton continued his fine form with a fluent 58 and was backed by good knocks from Ali (44), sub professional Vishal Tripathi (43). At 190-4, Aidan Tate and skipper Bharat Tripathi put on 57 to score an imposing 247-4.
The visitors started well, reducing Colne to 20-2 and then 60-3, with Hayman bowling quickly to take two wickets and Capstick one. Kurram Nazir (77) and Colne professional Shadley Van Schalkwyk (34) put on 65 until the pro was adcaught behind off Vishal Tripathi. This started a collapse as Colne were dismissed for 155, Vishal taking Lancashire League best figures of 5-36 off eight overs and his brother 1-18 to leave Burnley with 24 points for the weekend.