Weather is the winner

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

RAIN wrecked the weekend cricket programme as the Houldsworth Solicitors Ramsbottom Cup and the Foster’s Lancashire League suffered badly at the hands of the elements.

Rain that started on Friday continued into Saturday morning and returned mid-afternoon to wipe out all of the cup first round ties.

And yesterday’s fixtures in the Lancashire League also suffered with the entire programme washed out.

There was brief action at West End where Church were hosting Hyndburn rivals and reigning champions Accrington – but even they had to concede defeat as more rain fell.

The game started shortly before 3pm with Church batting first after Accrington skipper Stuart Crabtree won the toss and put them in.

And they lost the in-form Levi Wolfenden for two as he was stumped by Matt Wilson off the bowling of Accrington professional Ockert Erasmus.

Lloyd Aspin joined professional Usman Tariq in the middle but in the fifth over the heaven’s opened and Crabtree and Church skipper Craig Fergusson shook hands at 3.30pm.

League leaders Rawtenstall also tried their best to get a game in as they faced Rossendale Valley rivals Bacup at the Worswick Memorial Ground.

A major mopping-up operation took place and the game as set to start at 2pm.

But with the players on their way out to the middle, more rain came down leaving skippers Vinny Hanson and Matt Thompson to call the game off.

Burnley’s hopes of a first league win of the season were dashed when their Turf Moor showdown with Nelson was abandoned before the scheduled start time with Enfield and Todmorden also an early casualty.

Sections of Acre Bottom were waterlogged meaning the Ramsbottom v Haslingden match was off and East Lancashire v Rishton was also a non-starter.

Colne were hopeful of getting their game with Lowerhouse on at The Horsfield but they too were foiled by a storm shortly before their rearranged start time of 2pm.

All matches will be replayed on Saturday, May 31.

The first round of the Ribblesdale League’s flagship Ramsbottom Cup was also wrecked on Saturday.

All eight ties were washed out and Euxton and Padiham went straight to a bowl out after consulting league chiefs with little chance of Balshaw Park being fit ahead of yesterday’s reserve date.

And it was Padiham who were celebrating as they went through 2-1 and they will play league champions Clitheroe in the second round.

Paul Gaskell’s men beat local rivals Whalley on a bowl out yesterday afternoon.

Cup holders Ribblesdale Wanderers are also through as they beat Great Harwood 2-1 in a bowl out at The Cliffe and that was also the score as Edenfield beat Oswaldtwistle Immanual in their shoot out.

League new boys Brinscall are also through as they edged past Baxenden 1-0 in a bowl out at Back Lane, while Kyle O’Connor’s Read also beat Barnoldswick 1-0.

And last year’s runners up Brooksbottom ended Salesbury’s hopes as they won a bowl out at Ribchester Road.

There was just one game played as Cherry Tree, who proudly boast that games always take place at Preston Old Road, took on Settle in a 25-over game.

The game didn’t go ahead on Saturday as showers continuously swept across the ground but they managed to take to the field yesterday on the reserve date.

Settle batted first and posted 144-7 from their 25 overs.

That was a testing target but Cherry Tree set about it with a purpose and they got home with ease, knocking off the runs with just three wickets down and 17 balls to spare.

Cherry Tree will now play Adam Barnes’ Edenfield in the next round.

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