Lowerhouse edge out rivals Burnley to land Holland Cup in season finale

FAREWELL FOUR: Lowerhouse professional Francois Haasbroek, pictured bowling to Colne's Lewis Rimmer, took four wickets on his final appearance for the club on Sunday
FAREWELL FOUR: Lowerhouse professional Francois Haasbroek, pictured bowling to Colne's Lewis Rimmer, took four wickets on his final appearance for the club on Sunday
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Burnley’s Fosters Lancashire Cricket League representatives did the town proud, though it was Lowerhouse who came out on top in an exhilarating race for the Holland Cup.

On the final day of the 2013 campaign, the West Enders entertained Todmorden at the Neville Gee (Recruitment) Ground while Burnley travelled to Alexandra Meadows to take on East Lancs.

With a seven-point swing needed to usurp their rivals in second spot, Bharat Tripathi’s side achieved their part of the bargain by hammering their opponents by 5 p.m. having bowled the home side out for just 76 off only 33 overs. Graham Lalor proved the pick of the bowlers and claimed his first collection of the season with figures of 5-31 from a 16-over spell.

The hosts surprisingly chose to bat on a very green and spongy wicket and were soon in trouble as Cole Hayman took full advantage with both Bhada brothers falling victim to Hayman (2-21 off 7) while Lalor forced professional Ocktart Erasmus to be caught at slip by Qasim Ali for a solitary run. That saw East Lancs sink to 18-4.

Wickets continued to fall and professional Adnan Rasool got in on the act with three late wickets, severely restricting the home side who only had three batsmen make double figures.

In reply Burnley started positively with Chris Burton (12) and the promoted Michael Kelly taking the attack to the visitors but a couple of quick wickets stunted the momentum. Though Ali only made two, with the visitors on 25-2, he finished with 791 runs for the term and scooped the accolade of Burnley’s top amateur batsman.

Kelly was eventually out for an aggressive 20 until he top edged one and it was left to skipper Tripathi to finish the job with 24 not out and the maximum 12 points.

However, the news eventually filtered through that Lowerhouse had convincingly won against Todmorden to preserve their position in second. But it’s been a successful season for the Turf Moor side who were crowned Worsley Cup champions in addition to their third place finish.

Lowerhouse wrapped the silverware up in comprehensive fashion, with outgoing professional Francois Haasbroek rounding off the 82-run triumph as he cleaned bowled Freddie Priestley at Liverpool Road.

Jonny Whitehead top scored for the hosts as he smashed nine fours on his way to a 69 total in Lowerhouse’s 217-9. The 19-year-old combined with Jack Edgar (19) in a partnership of 43 before going on to make a 90-run stand alongside Ben Heap (32). Visiting professional Geeth Alwis did his best to limit the hosts with 4-47 but Matt Walker hit 45 and Jo Hawke contributed with a knock of 18 to effectively take the game away from their opponents.

The Sri Lankan went again in the reverse in a desperate bid to salvage something from the fixture as he struck 55, but Haasbroek rounded off a glittering and memorable spell with the West Enders with four wickets at the expense of 27 runs to seal maximum points. Hawke (3-30) and Paddy Martin (3-63) also made a huge impression as ‘House rounded off the season in style.

It also provided the perfect send off for Haasbroek who leaves the club after a three-year spell with two league titles on his CV, a Worsley Cup triumph, a Twenty20 trophy and the Holland Cup in addition to more than 2,000 runs in all competitions and over 200 wickets.