Lowerhouse lift the cup!

MAN OF THE MATCH: Ben Heap in action in Sunday's Worsley Cup Final
MAN OF THE MATCH: Ben Heap in action in Sunday's Worsley Cup Final

LOWERHOUSE won the Fosters Worsley Cup for the second time in their history on Sunday, beating Church by 15 runs.

Ben Heap was named Man of the Match for his innings of 77 which laid the foundations for the Lowerhouse innings of 192-9.

Jonathan Finch in action against Church.

Jonathan Finch in action against Church.

Lowerhouse won the toss and batted on a green wicket that was responsive to the seam bowlers throughout the game.

Johnny Whitehead and Heap, who have been two of the key factors in the Lowerhouse success this season to date, added 58 runs for the first wicket, before Whitehead was lbw playing back to a ball that kept low from Bentley.

Jonathan Finch and Joe Hawke looked good but departed early before Francois Haasbroek and Heap added 54 runs to set up an achievable 220-run finish.

The run outs of Haasbroek and Matty Walker on 162 knocked Lowerhouse off course, but it was important that the full 50 overs were batted.

Joe Martin ensured this happened to close on 192-9.

Lloyd Aspin was the pick of the Church bowlers with 3-20 from his allotted 10 overs.

Church began their reply cautiously as Hawke and Walker bowled good lines and lengths before danger man Woolfenden was bowled by Hawke.

Lowerhouse began to take control as Church were reduced to 77-5 with all five bowlers playing their part, supported by the usual quality fielding.

Church professional Saeed Anwar was still there, and if he was supported could still snatch the game from the grasp of Lowerhouse.

Greenwood and Anwar added 56 as Church were slowly becoming the likely winners, and at 170-6 they achieved firm favourite status.

Enter Finch to bowl Anwar and the game was favouring Lowerhouse again.

Dropped catches by the normally reliable Chris Bleazard and Charlie Cottam gave the Lowerhouse supporters near heart failure, before Lowerhouse finally took their chances to win by 15 runs with six balls to spare.

The previous day, Lowerhouse thrashed Rawtenstall by 107 runs in the league - a statement that seemed inconceivable a couple of hours earlier when Lowerhouse found themselves 65-5, having won the toss and decided to bat.

Johnny Whitehead and Ben Heap opened confidently, especially Whitehead, who played some excellent pulls and straight drives before edging a lifting delivery.

Four wickets fell for 21 runs before Jonathan Finch and Chris Bleazard added 57 for the sixth wicket.

Coetzee continued to cause problems on a wicket that occasionally seemed to give the bowler hope, but Paddy Martin and Matty Walker dug in, and with superb running between the wickets and the occasional more aggressive stroke added 31 runs.

The feeling at the tea interval was that Lowerhouse were maybe 30 runs short of a total that should have been attained, but if they bowled well and the fielding supported, they were still the favourites.

Lowerhouse did bowl and field well, especially Joe Hawke who bowled at pace to dismiss the better of the Rawtenstall batsmen to have the home side reeling at 19 for 7. Martin and Fergus Bailey finished off the tail for a job well done and good preparation for the Worsley Cup Final.

Lowerhouse face Rawtenstall again on Sunday, this time at Liverpool Road.