Record-breakers Lowerhouse revel in title glory

FEELING CHAMPION: Charlie Cottam proudly shows off the trophy
FEELING CHAMPION: Charlie Cottam proudly shows off the trophy

LOWERHOUSE have become the pride of the town after scooping the Lancashire Cricket League title for only the second time in their long history.

The achievement and success of the West End troops has been magnanimous and, according to club chairman Stan Heaton, record-breaking.

The number 13 has a specifically recognised phobia, Triskaidekaphobia, a word coined a century ago, but there are clearly no superstitious sufferers at Lowerhouse CC as a perfect round of 13 victories at Liverpool Road contributed to their championship triumph.

“In the past someone has either lost a game or had one postponed,” said Heaton.

“It’s a Lancashire League record.

“We created a bit of history last time in the fact that we were the only side that hadn’t won it.

“It’s always nice to create a bit of history in winning but we just want to play good cricket.”

In 2005 Lowerhouse won the title for the first time since the league’s inception in 1892. And after being bowled out for 47 by Bacup at Lanehead on the opening day of the 2011 season, it certainly didn’t seem as though the West Enders would go on to claim a second championship trophy

“We were bowled out for 47 on the opening day of the season and at 7 p.m. that Sunday we could never have imagined that we would go on to win the league,” Heaton said. It feels very nice.

“Having won it for the first time in six years you do start to wonder whether you’re about to embark on another 113 year run without winning the league.”

Heaton added: “It’s very satisfying because it wasn’t expected and we handled the pressure after leading the table from just shy of the half way stage. We were up there to be shot down and when you’re top it’s yours to lose.”

In all Lowerhouse have accumulated 3,405 runs throughout the campaign, taking 199 wickets in the process. And what’s more impressive is that in 26 encounters the opposition failed to post 200 runs on a single occasion against a resolute Lowerhouse outfit.

Heaton said: “The fact that we’ve won the Lancashire League shows the players have performed well. It does bode well for the future and we need to focus on continuing that progression. Going from ninth to first is rapid progress in terms of league status. All the individual player statistics indicate that it’s been a real team contribution.”

He added: “I was looking at the end of season statistics for the league and Lowerhouse averaged 22 runs per wicket while the opposition averaged 15 runs. That is quite a gap and normally those figures aren’t too far apart.

“It shows just how well we’ve performed in all departments this season. We’ve had players come good for us at the right time or step up to the plate at the right time. Everyone has played a part.”