Martin finishes with remarkable haul as the West Enders win a thriller

Paddy Martin, right
Paddy Martin, right
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Lowerhouse and Burnley continue to apply the pressure at the top end of the Lancashire League table after extending their winning runs.

The West Enders, fifth in the division and a couple of points shy of their rivals, sealed a dramatic win over Norden at The Brooks Foundation Ground to stay within striking distance of the front runners.

Paddy Martin took a career best 7-3 to finish the job off as the visitors subsided from 80-3 to 97 all out in the 33rd over in chasing 131.

The damage inflicted by Jake Sandham, who claimed figures of 4-42, and Chris Humphreys, who added 4-30, had seemingly put Norden in pole position.

Former Liverpool Road skipper Charlie Cottam top-scored for the hosts with a knock of 42, Jon Finch chipped in with 30 while veteran batsman Chris Bleazard posted 18.

The away side looked to be cruising to victory at 80-3 but Martin made the game-changing breakthrough with the dismissal of danger man Josh Tolley.

Tolley went in to the match averaging 156 but when he was stumped by Joe Martin for 50 the pendulum swung in the home side’s favour.

Paddy Martin then ran through the rest of the batting order with four players falling without scoring, with his figures now the best on offer this term.

Elsewhere, Chris Holt and Joe McCluskie were the stars of Burnley’s 26 run win at Middleton to keep the 2015 champions within a win of unbeaten Walsden.

McCluskie hit 52 and took 3-45 and Holt made 49 and then took 3-37, including his 300th Lancashire League wicket, to help dismiss the hosts for 140.

Chris Burton also made 29 and skipper Dan Pickup an unbeaten 18 with Middleton professional Chris Williams taking a league best 5-34 in Burnley’s 166-8.

Williams top scored with 47 and James Tierney made 29 but no other player made double figures in the Middleton innings.

In the Twenty20 competition, Lowerhouse opened their campaign in the JWL Bitter Group with defeat to Darwen at Birch Hall.

Ben Heap’s side lost out on run rate when the rain ended the match in the eighth over of their reply.

After the hosts made 132-6 from 15 overs, ‘House were behind on 54-2 when the weather brought a stop to the action with skipper Heap posting 21.

Finally, a 56-run partnership between McCluskie and Qasim Shah for the fourth wicket inspired Burnley to victory over East Lancashire in the JWL Founders Group.

McCluskie made 48 from 36 balls, while Shah added 43 as Burnley posted 158-6 when their innings closed after 17.5 overs at Alexandra Meadows in Blackburn.

The home side’s reply ended in the 11th over when they were three wickets down with just 47 runs on the scoreboard.