Lowerhouse stay top of the Heap as Ben top-scores
Ben Heap helped Lowerhouse retain their spot at the top of the pile in the Lancashire League with a knock of 82 in a 111-run triumph over basement side Bacup.
The Liverpool Road amateur, who turns 28 in a week’s time, hit a dozen fours and a six in his innings as the table toppers culminated on 286-9, the highest score of the season to date.
Openers Joe Martin (46) and Joe Halstead (41) put on 71 for the opening wicket to put the visitors in the ascendency at the Brooks Foundation Ground, while professional Dieter Klein added 23 to the cause.
The South African survived an early scare when Adam Highley attempted a return catch, but that marked a premature end to the home side skipper’s afternoon as he suffered a shoulder injury and was taken to hospital.
Once play resumed, Paddy Martin posted another 18 runs to the total and Josh Lavin struck an unbeaten 30.
Klein (2-17) struck early to send back Matt Collinge (2) and Tim Farragher (9) as the West Enders looked to wrap up victory early on.
Paddy Martin continued his outstanding start to the season with the ball, taking 4-23 to help dismiss Bacup for 111.
Heap also took 2-14 with Bacup professional Haseeb Azam making 27, Aaron Fielding 25 and Matt Thompson 11.
Meanwhile, defending champions Burnley moved up to fourth with a battling three-wicket win over Rawtenstall at the Worswick Memorial Ground.
Matt Kershaw top-scored with 56 from 103 balls, which included seven boundaries, in the home side’s 203-9 finish.
Sub professional Travis Dean hit a 45-ball 54 at the top of the order with eight fours and a six included in that package. He added 73 with Danny Barlow (19).
Kershaw and Nick Payne (42) added 70 for the sixth wicket after a middle order collapse that saw Rawtenstall fall from 81-1 to 86-4 and 102-5.
Visiting captain Bharat Tripathi did the damage with the ball when taking 4-23 from 10 overs. The skipper was well supported by Jhangir Liaqat (2-48) as well as pro Chris Holt, elder sibling Vishal Tripathi and Cole Hayman, with the trio taking a wicket apiece.
In reply, openers Vishal Tripathi and Holt put on 62 before the latter fell to Keith Roscoe (3-41) for a 23-ball knock of 32.
Tripathi went on to make 80 from 115 balls, hitting eight fours and three sixes before falling to Roscoe.
Roscoe also dismissed David Brown (4) while skipper Joe McCluskie (3-60) removed Dan Pickup (11), Michael Kelly (30) and Chris Burton (11) but Liaqat (17 not out) steered Burnley home with eight balls remaining.