DEADLY double act Ryan Canning and Neil Thompson led Nelson to a magnificent win over East Lancashire as the rain failed to wreck an enthralling Foster’s Lancashire League programme yesterday.
Canning and Thompson were the main men as Nelson got over the line between the showers at Alexandra Meadows, while Ramsbottom hit the top of the table as they proved too good for reigning champions Accrington at Acre Bottom.
Former leaders Rawtenstall also got back on track thanks to a win over Rishton and Church beat Lowerhouse for the second time this season in a thriller at West End on a day when the other three games were abandoned without a ball being bowled thanks to the deluges of rain that poured down on East Lancashire.
Colne’s clash with Todmorden and Burnley’s Turf Moor date with Haslingden – as well as second-placed Enfield’s Dill Hall Lane game with Bacup – were the ones that fell victim to weather that was unpredictable.
But the four that survived all produced quality cricket.
And none more so than at Alexandra Meadows as Nelson maintained their new found form.
Neil Thompson claimed five wickets and Toxy Hussain picked up four as Nelson bowled East Lancashire out for 145.
Skipper Thompson (5-46) was on an hat-trick after removing Dan Lord (30) and Matthew Kleiveldt in successive balls – but that bid was interrupted by the rain.
Chris Riley top scored with 38 and Mo Bhada hit 30 and after Nelson slipped to 14-2 it looked like East Lancashire’s scores was a big one.
And the pressure was on at 59-3 but Thompson joined Canning and the pair got the Seedhillites home with an unbroken stand of 70.
Thompson was 32 not out as Canning showed all his class. Needing a reduced total of 129, Nelson needed nine off the final over.
Canning dispatched Mini Bhada for six from the first delivery and a two and a one took him to 61 not out and victory.
Rawtenstall beat Rishton in a spicy game at the Worswick Memorial Ground.
Batting first in a 28-over game Rishton posted 174-7 with stand-in skipper Paul Clifford leading the way.
Clifford was a breath of fresh air with his enterprising innings as he made 51 not out from 49 balls with three fours and three sixes.
Mo Patel, who was involved in heated exchange with Vinny Hanson, also batted well for 35 as Keith Roscoe reeled in another four wicket haul.
It seemed a tall order but Hanson followed up last weekend’s brilliant 125 against Rishton in the Worsley Cup with 45 and Brett Pelser’s half-century took Rawtenstall to victory by six wickets.
Accrington‘s place at the top of the table was taken by Ramsbottom at Acre Bottom.
The rivals went into the game in first and third spot respectively and Accy looked good when they reached 45-0 in a 39 over game.
But they slipped to 71-5 and then 129 all out as Ramsbottom looked to seize the initiative.
And thanks to Tom Parton’s 60 they got over the line with relative ease to hit the summit.
Church’s win over Lowerhouse was another that belonged in the ’thriller’ category.
Levi Wolfenden led Church to victory over the House on the opening day as they chased down a huge total but this time it was the tail enders who did the damage to claim a one-wicket win.
In a 32-over game the House got off to a flying start and batted their way up to 193-8 with Chris Bleazard making 49.
The Church target was reduced to 171 after more rain and they needed 85 from 12 overs with six wickets left.
That got down to 38 from seven and 28 from five with four wickets in hand but at 159-9 it looked like it was game up.
Church then needed nine off the final over but got home by that one wicket in the gathering gloom.