Lowerhouse handed a bye in first round of Lancs Knockout

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The draw has been made for the first round of the 2019 Lancashire Cricket Foundation Knockout Cup.

Lowerhouse, joint-holders in 2017, have been handed a bye into the last 32 of the competition.

But derby rivals Burnley have been drawn at Woodhouses of the Greater Manchester League in the first round, which will be played on May 19th.

Ribblesdale League Padiham are also on the road for their first round tie, as they travel to Bolton League side Bradshaw.

And neighbours Read were drawn at GMCL Premier League side Roe Green.

The 2019 Lancashire League fixtures have been unveiled.

JW Lees Lancashire League champions Walsden will open the defence of their title at home to Burnley on Sunday, April 21st.

And runners up Lowerhouse will entertain Todmorden.

The league is split into Senior Division 1 and 2 for the first time.

Senior Division 1 will play on Saturdays on the weekends of the first two rounds of the Lancashire Cricket Foundation Knockout.

Any clubs still in the competition from the third round stage onwards will switch their fixtures to the Saturday of that weekend.

The 22 Lancashire League fixtures will be played over 21 weekends, which means that the only league double header is in the weekend of August 24th and 25th, while the season ends on Sunday, September 8th.

It has been confirmed that it will be two up and two down in the Senior League.

The Worsley Cup Final will be a week later than usual on Sunday, August 11th.

Ockert Erasmus will be returning as Lowerhouse professional for 2019 after seeing his 2018 campaign cut short by a ruptured Achilles, having hit 717 Lancashire League runs and claimed 25 wickets.

Burnley have engaged South African all-rounder Shadley Van Schalkwyk as professional.

The former Colne paid man plays for the Knights franchise in South Africa and has extensive experience of Lancashire League and UK league cricket.

Burnley’s Head of Senior Cricket David Brown said: “We believe with Shadley’s signing that we have secured a top quality player who will not only significantly strengthen the 1st XI but also help to develop many of the talented younger players. We look forward to welcoming him to the club.”