Burnley top as Lowerhouse blow title race open

LEEDS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Jack Leaning of Yorkshire Vikings bats with Daryn Smit of Derbyshire Falcons fielding during the Vitality Blast match between Yorkshire Vikings and Derbyshire Falcons at Emerald Headingley Stadium on August 11, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Jack Leaning of Yorkshire Vikings bats with Daryn Smit of Derbyshire Falcons fielding during the Vitality Blast match between Yorkshire Vikings and Derbyshire Falcons at Emerald Headingley Stadium on August 11, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Burnley returned to the top of the Lancashire League after beating Darwen – taking advantage of defending champions Walsden’s defeat at home to Lowerhouse.

That result in particular has blown the title race wide open, with seven points separating the top four, with the West Enders third, three points adrift of their derby rivals.

Burnley saw off Darwen – who won the Worsley Cup the day before – by eight wickets at boohoo.com Turf Moor.

Dan Pickup’s men dismissed the visitors for 102 in 23.2 overs, as sub professional Daryn Smit claimed 5-29 – the first of which was his 300th Lancashire League wicket.

Joe McCluskie took 2-23 and Chris Holt 2-30.

Darwen professional Marques Ackerman top-scored with 37, while Andy Brown hit 24 not out.

Burnley openers Liam Bedford (44) and Matt Roberts (34) shared 72 to take them to the brink of victory, as Joe Marshall (9 not out) and Qasim Shah (5 not out) completed the job in the 28th over.

Lowerhouse, meanwhile, gave their title hopes a huge lift, winning by 23 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method, at Scott Street.

Ben Heap’s side were all out for 124, as home professional Umesh Karunaratne took 6-24. Heap and Jonny Whitehead put on 40 before Whitehead fell lbw for 24.

Paid man Ockert Erasmus followed suit for 5 at 56, and when Dean Barlow was superbly caught behind, Lowerhouse were 56-3.

Heap fell seven runs later for 28, and Francois Haasbroek added 23.

Rain saw Walsden’s target reduced to 109 off 30 overs, and then 84, when play was stopped after 23.5 overs, with the hosts 23 short.

Toxy Hussain took 5-33 for Lowerhouse, and wicketkeeper Joe Martin claimed three victims.