Lowerhouse take title battle to final game with record innings

Daryn Smit for Morecambe in their game against Fleetwood
Daryn Smit for Morecambe in their game against Fleetwood
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Lowerhouse have taken the Lancashire League title race to the final weekend of the campaign after capitalising on leaders Walsden’s first slip up.

Having something to play for on the final day of term was the least the West Enders deserved following an impressive season that has seen them go unbeaten since May.

Ben Heap’s side have refused to relent in their bid to land their first championship trophy in four years, and only the fifth in the club’s history, and now they’re only six points adrift of their rivals.

Walsden, though, remain the heavy favourites to land the spoils as they travel to lowly Rawtenstall on Sunday while ‘House take on Church at Blackburn Road.

The 2014 champions kept up the pressure at the top by beating Rishton by 160 runs at The Brooks Foundation Ground courtesy of a club record league score.

After LCB Knockout Cup kings Darwen ended Walsden’s run 24 hours earlier, Lowerhouse scored 340-3 to run away with their contest.

Former captain Charlie Cottam, who recently passed 5,000 Lancashire League runs, slipped five runs short ofr a half-century when putting on 91 for the second wicket with sub professional Daryn Smit.

The South African all-rounder hit a league best 138 from 137 balls, which included 22 fours, adding 189 for the third wicket with Francois Haasbroek, who finished unbeaten on 113.

Haasbroek found the boundary 17 times, including three sixes, as he made his tally from just 88 balls, passing 500 runs for the term in the process. Joey Hawke rounded things off with an unbeaten knock of 15.

Paddy Martin took 5-45 and Smit 4-32 to dismiss Rishton for 180, with Jack Hilton posting 69 from 76 deliveries while sub professional Wasim Jaffer added 42.

l Darwen ended Walsden’s 20-match unbeaten run in the Lancashire League with a 63 run win at Scott Street.

Sub professional Dane Vilas scored 48 in the away side’s 256 run finish. Sam Chatburn-Jones also hit a career best 41 from 40 balls batting at number nine.

James Rawlinson hit his maiden Lancashire League half century in Walsden’s reply but, chasing their first ever Lancashire League trophy, they were restricted to 193 all out.