Insult is added to injury in Twenty20 exit for ‘House

Ockert Erasmus
Ockert Erasmus
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Ben Heap was proud of his side’s display despite Lowerhouse exiting the Twenty20 competition in difficult circumstances.

The West Enders beat Church by 24 runs at The Brooks Foundation Ground but insult was added to injury as they failed to progress to the knockout phase.

Lowerhouse finished third in the JWL Bitter Group, losing out to Enfield on run rate in the table, having already watched professional Ockert Erasmus carried off with a suspected ruptured Achilles.

The South African all-rounder had posted 47 in the home side’s 152-3, sharing a 52 run stand with his captain (33) for the second wicket before combining with Charlie Cottam (44 not out) to add 61 for the third.

Erasmus sustained the injury when claiming the wicket of Josh Scully, turning to the umpire to claim as Joe Martin caught behind. Cottam went on to take 3-14 in less than two overs after joining the attack once the paid man had hobbled off.

“We put in a real performance on Friday, especially after what had gone on beforehand,” said Heap.

“Ockert Erasmus snapped his achilles during the game but we stuck together and got the win. It was a bizarre incident.

“He was appealing for a caught behind, which got given, and it went as he was turning towards the umpire. It was all very innocuous. He knew straight away.”

The ‘House then overcame the handicap of playing without a professional to beat Great Harwood by five wickets at Liverpool Road.

Matthew Oddie top scored with 55 from 119 balls in Great Harwood’s 168-8. Allan Armer hit 28 in an opening stand of 69 with Oddie, Patrick Swanney an unbeaten 23 and Stuart Maher 17.

Jon Finch took 4-45 for Lowerhouse before Francois Haasbroek hit an unbeaten 80 from 91 balls, the promoted Joe Martin 31 and skipper Heap 27 to see the hosts home with four overs to spare.

With the league leaders winning again, Heap said: “All credit to Walsden.

“They’ve still got to play Burnley and Darwen but if they go through the season unbeaten then they deserve to win it outright.

“It’s all very tight at the top. There’s only a win-and-a-half separating the top four.”

Burnley will more than likely be sharing their eggs between two baskets now having lost further ground to leaders Walsden in the Lancashire League.

Despite beating Rishton in the Worsley Cup and Twenty20, the two competitions of which they remain in contention to win silverware, Scott Greaves’s side showed that revenge is a dish best served cold when all but ending their opponents’ title challenge.

On Friday, at The MyProtein Turf Moor, Burnley beat their rivals by 23 runs to top the JWL Founders Group and progress to the knockout phase, with Rishton missing out.

Joey Marshall hit 44, Joe McCluskie 31 and Chris Holt 19 in Burnley’s 155-8 while Matt Lambert took 3-23 for the visitors.

Professional Mansoor Amjad made 52 from 38 balls and skipper Brad Boddie 24 with Holt taking 4-19 to restrict Rishton to 132-8.

However, the tables were turned when Rishton claimed a two-wicket win at Blackburn Road the following day.

Liam Bedford made an unbeaten 100 from 146 balls with a dozen fours in Burnley’s 216-8. Bedford put on 119 with Holt who made 70 from 60 balls.

But Rishton pro Mansoor Amjad hit 14 boundaries in making 113 from 140 deliveries to inspire the away side to victory with five balls to spare.