Lowerhouse captain Heap looking for improvements

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Lowerhouse skipper Ben Heap believes Sunday’s opening day Lancashire League win over Todmorden will give his side confidence moving forward.

But he feels there is room for improvement, particularly in the field, ahead of Sunday’s trip down the M65 to Darwen.

The West Enders claimed a 21-run win at the Brooks Foundation Ground, having lost by 92 runs at home to champions Walsden in the traditional seasonal curtain-raiser, the Ron Singleton Colne Trophy, the previous day.

Jonny Whitehead, back in the fold after three seasons away with Woodbank and Bradford and Bingley, top-scored on his return against Tod with 74, hitting 11 fours, in a 102-ball innings, as he passed 3,000 league runs.

Professional Ockert Erasmus also hit 30, Heap (picctured) 31, and former skipper Charlie Cottam finished on 35 not out as Lowerhouse made 204-6.

Erasmus then took 4-53, while Joe Hawke and Jon Finch chipped in with two wickets apiece as the visitors finished on 183-9.

Finch’s second wicket marked a milestone for the former Nelson man, as he hit 400 league wickets.

Heap, who played his part in an opening stand of 97 with Whitehead, said: “It was a good, solid performance on a pitch that offered something for the bowlers all day and slowed up as the ball got soft.

“Getting that first win was the main thing for team morale after Saturday’s disappointment against Walsden.

“But we’ve a long way to go until we feel we will outperform the league’s bests teams, as our catching was hugely disappointing, and on another day could have cost us.

“I was pleased with the way we bowled, and it was good for most of our top order to spend some time out in the middle.

“But moving forward we will look for a huge improvement in the field.”