Lowerhouse chairman Stan Heaton hailed Jon Finch after his match-winning performance against Colne on Sunday.
The former Nelson man was in inspirational form, opening the batting and top-scoring with 82 in the West Enders’ total of 230-6 at the Horsfield, before taking 4-65 as Colne were dismissed for 190.
If he is returning to that sort of form, that’s great for usStan Heaton
And Heaton said: “It was a great performance.
“He’s been with us since he was 19, and I’m really pleased for him.
“He hasn’t played much in the last couple of seasons through work, and sometimes if you have a long time away, you can’t always get back to the level you were at, but his bowling has certainly come back, and Sunday was a sign his batting is getting there as well.
“He’s firing on all cylinders.
“He is of a professional standard – in fact we had him as a sub pro for the least few games a few years ago.
“So if he is returning to that sort of form, that’s great for us.”
Victory in the mini-derby kept Lowerhouse among the pacesetters, eight points behind leaders Ramsbottom and four behind derby rivals Burnley.
Lowerhouse have lost to both sides this season, by three wickets to Ramsbottom and seven to Burnley a fortnight ago, and Heaton feels the return fixtures will be crucial in the title race.
The West Enders lost a number of key players in the winter, with Jonny Whitehead (Woodbank), Matt Walker (Bradford and Bingley), Fergus and Declan Bailey (Whalley) departing.
But with Joe Hawke and Ben Heap back at the club, they have responded to those setbacks well, and Heaton is pleased with how the season is panning out so far: “I’m very happy. We’re making steady progress as opposed to perfection!
“You are always faced with a new set of challenges, sometimes there is a spanner thrown in the works, but you rebuild and start again.
“Burnley have clicked into gear, and you can’t see Ramsbottom faltering much, especially as long as they have (Daryn) Smit.
“We just have to make sure we win the 24-pointers when we play them.
“Anyone can beat anyone, so you can’t relax, but if we could beat Burnley and Ramsbottom, you have a tremendous chance.”
Lowerhouse will look to maintain their impressive start when they entertain sixth-place Enfield at the Brooks Foundation Ground tomorrow.