Burnley’s bid to reclaim the Worsley Cup from Darwen’s grasp got off to the perfect start when they avenged last season’s early exit from the competition against Accrington.
Dan Pickup’s side, who won the silverware a record-breaking four times in succession under the stewardship of Bharat Tripathi, were dumped out at the first stage when taking on their opponent’s last term, but enacted revenge at Thorneyholme Road this time round.
Former Read skipper Joey Marshall, who scored more than 5,000 runs during his time at Whalley Road, top-scored for the visitors, making 43 from 95 deliveries, which included three fours, as Burnley made 176-8.
The middle order batsman partnered professional Asif Zakir (21) and Matt Roberts (21) with the partnership for the fifth wicket 52 runs.
Joe McCluskie added 17 batting at number eight while captain Pickup rounded things off with an unbeaten 22.
Chris Holt may have shed his responsibilities as paid man at Turf Moor, following a successful spell in the role, but his influence doesn’t appear to have wained at all.
The 29-year-old, who is now closing in on 40 wickets for the club in this competition, stopped Accrington in their tracks with 4-32 from 10 overs, accounting for the tail end.
Holt’s first forced the departure of Sri Lankan professional Janith Liyanage (42), holding a return catch just before the hosts hit three figures.
And it was that breakthrough that caused the dominoe effect as the hosts lost wickets at regular intervals, finishing 64 runs short with 13 overs remaining.
Elsewhere, Lowerhouse hammered Haslingden at the Brooks Foundation Ground thanks to an inspired batting display from professional Ockert Erasmus.
The South African all-rounder made 121 from 123 balls, hitting 16 boundaries, as the home side cruised to victory by 190 runs.
Erasmus was responsible for 44% of the West Enders’ tally as they culminated the innings on 273-7.
Skipper Ben Heap made 26 of the first 30 runs on the board while Joey Hawke (37) helped his professional add 66 for the second wicket.
Chris Bleazard hit a late 32 from 27 balls and Charlie Cottam 29 from 33 balls to put ‘House in a commanding position at the break.
Toxy Hussain was the stand out performer with the ball for Lowerhouse as he took 4-26 to dismiss Haslingden for 83 with Paddy Martin chipping in with 2-9 and Erasmus adding 2-12.
Heap said: “We put on a really good performance in the Worsley Cup against a team that has put us out of the competition a few times recently.
“We played really well and it was nice to see Ocky in the runs. Toxy Hussain was exceptional with the ball and now we’re looking forward to seeing who we get in the next round.”