Skipper Heap thrilled to see the ‘House still challenging for trophies

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Ben Heap has only known success at Lowerhouse.

Since making his debut against Bacup for the first XI in 2003, the club has gone on to win eight pieces of silverware.

But the 30-year-old, part of the side that secured the club’s first ever trophy 14 years ago, remains humbled by the journey that the West Enders have embarked on.

Lowerhouse, one of the founder members, endured a torrid past, their trophy cabinet stood empty for well over a century.

And Heap acknowledges that a couple of league titles, four Worsley Cup crowns, a Twenty20 triumph and success in the Lancashire Knockout Cup doesn’t give the club any sense of entitlement.

The skipper is just pleased to see his side challenging for honours. Lowerhouse are fourth in the table, well in contention to qualify from the group stages of the limited overs format, and find themselves in the latter stages of the Worsley Cup.

“It’s extremely important to us to be challenging for trophies,” he said. “It’s great for a club like Lowerhouse to be in this position.

“We’re absolutely still in with a chance in the league, and it’s been a while since we’ve had a run in the Worsley Cup. We’re feeling confident.

“Walsden are flying at the minute but they are beatable. They lost against Darwen in the early stages of the Worsley Cup.

“We’ll just have to see how they handle it when they do finally lose. Either way, they’ve been a great addition to the Lancashire League.

“There’s still a long way to go. I don’t remember anybody post-war going throughout a season without losing a game, certainly not when I’ve been playing anyway.”

Heaps says that the squad have taken a lot of confidence from recent results with victories over rivals Norden and defending champions Clitheroe.

They travel to Cliffe Park to take on Great Harwood in the JWL Bitter Group tonight, entertain East Lancs at the Brooks Foundation Ground tomorrow and then do battle with Norden for a place in the semi-final of the cup on Sunday.

“We’ve started to put a few wins together and we look like we’re clicking as a team,” said Heap.

“We’re learning each other’s roles in the side and we’re getting to know each other. We’ve generated a good environment in the dressing room.

“Beating last season’s champions has given us a lot of confidence. That showed what we’re capable of. We know that we can beat anybody on our day.

“We’ll be looking to progress in the Worsley Cup when we play Norden in the quarter-finals. That would set us up for a big semi-final tie at home.

“Beating your rivals gives you plenty of confidence. We’ve just got to keep winning games now to keep the pressure on.”

Elsewhere, in the Ribblesdale Cricket League, Padiham and Read go head-to-head in Group Two of the Twenty20 at the Arbories tonight.

Both sides have won just one of their three games in the competition but it’s Kevin Hitchon’s side that currently occupy one of the qualification places.

Padiham then travel to the Marshfield Ground to tackle unbeaten league leaders Settle while Read host Oswaldtwistle Immanuel at Whalley Road.

Both sides are then in action in the knockout stages of the Ramsbottom Cup on Sunday.

Padiham will look to get past Baxenden at Back Lane while Settle stand in the way of Read’s path to the semi-final.