Big weekend for Lowerhouse

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Lowerhouse open the defence of their Worsley Cup title on Saturday at Redbrook against Rochdale.

And that clash serves as a warm-up for Sunday’s big league derby against Burnley at Turf Moor.

The West Enders go into the weekend in good spirits after a 25-run victory at home to Church on Saturday, in which professional Ockert Erasmus hit 80, and Joe Martin 65, before Joe Hawke and Toxy Hussain both took three wickets apiece.

Heap looked forward to a mouth-watering weekend: “We’re looking to defend the cup, starting at Rochdale, in what will be a tough game.

“But we’ve been on a great run in the cups over the last couple of years and we’ll be looking to carry that on.

“Then it’s the derby – I’m gutted looking at the forecast for heavy rain early on, but hopefully we’ll get some sort of game on.

“They have started well, but you can throw the formbook out of the window in the derby, it’s just who performs on the day.

“We’ve beaten them when we’ve been right down the table, and vice versa.”

But he is wary of a returning star at Turf Moor, in old foe Bharat Tripathi: “They have Bharat back, and he is a vital cog in how they play.

“He has that presence on the field, and if they’re brutally honest, that was probably something they lacked a couple of times against us last year.

“He knows how to play in these big games.”

Lowerhouse are fifth, four points behind Burnley in third, with both sides having lost two of their five games to date, but Heap said: “I think this year, the way the league has been split, the winners will probably lose a fair amount of games, and it’s how you respond to defeats.”

* Lowerhouse play a special friendly Twenty20 game on Friday night at the Brooks Foundation Ground from 6-15 p.m.

The West Enders take on a side representing the Opening Up charity. The Liverpool-based charity is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers, who aim to promote the themes of mental well-being and suicide prevention across the UK and rest of the cricketing world.

The Opening Up XI will include Will Purser, Bilal Abbas, Fergus Bailey, Kheiro Chir, Jacob Clarke, Martin Cropper, Kieron Grimshaw, Mike Harling, George Linde, Ben Pearson, Sam Kershaw and Beau Webster.