Lowerhouse skipper Heap hoping to kick on after tough time

Ben Heap
Ben Heap
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Lowerhouse skipper Ben Heap hopes the club can get back to a bit of normality after a testing few weeks on and off the pitch.

The West Enders have lost two of their opening four Lancashire League games, at a time where the death of former player, captain, coach and groundsman David Bleazard, after a short illness, has hit everyone connected with the club.

David was Heap’s grandfather, and father of Lowerhouse legend Chris, and the captain admits cricket hasn’t been the first thing on his mind of late.

Lowerhouse lost by seven wickets at Accrington on Sunday and now sit eighth in the table, and Heap said: “It was a very disappointing performance, we weren’t at the races.

“We haven’t quite clicked yet as a team, but, being brutally honest, we’ve had a lot of off-field distractions – my grandad passed away, my uncle Chris’ dad, and we’ve had games where we’ve had minutes’ silences, the week of the funeral, so we’ve had a lot going on.

“No excuses, we have to go out and do better, but it has hit us all hard.”

Heap added: “I’ve not been quite right myself, but I’ve had a bit of clarity over the last week, I’ve felt better.

“I’m the opening batsman and captain, and I have to go out and set the tone. So it’s one game at a time, and we’ll try and string a few wins together and see where it takes us.

“But if you look at the league table, everyone has lost at least once, and, given how competitive it is, it might be a season where the champions lose six or seven.”

Heap hopes to use the memory of his grandad as an inspiration moving forward: “Everything is down to my grandad, he was a massive part of Lowerhouse Cricket Club, and the whole club has felt it.

“But he wouldn’t want everyone feeling down or sorry for themselves, we have to go and play cricket.

“He moved from Billington when he was 20/21, and ended up playing here, and took my uncle Chris to the club as a junior.

“He was a real role model for me growing up, and he wouldn’t want us waiting all winter for the season to not enjoy it.

“A little sunshine has come at the right time as well!”