LOWERHOUSE once again dug deep to stay at the summit of the Foster’s Lancashire League as they got past Haslingden on a decidedly chilly Saturday.
And there was drama at Bacup as Rishton only just failed to get the win they wanted so badly for former chairman and club legend Eric Whalley, who died on Friday night.
The House bowled Haslingden out for 104 at Bentgate with Lee Ingham’s 29 the mainstay of the home innings as Cobus Pienaar picked up four wickets and Joey Hawke three.
Haslingden then reduced the leaders to 16-3 before Matt Walker (32) and Hawke 25 not out managed to turn the tide in their side’s favour as they got home by three wickets.
Rishton thought they were on course for a win that would have meant so much when they reduced Bacup to 40-4 but Haseeb Azam smashed a spectator scattering 119 and Peter Killelea, who had early run team-mate Tim Farragher out, made 29 on his return to the first team as they managed to post 231-9.
Chris Lambert (55) and Abdul Biswoodall (30) were in good nick for Rishton and Matt Hulett hit 30 with Garth Wyse 24 not out but with Sam Sanderson claiming four wickets and Farragher donning the wicketkeeping gloves and claiming three catches and a stumping, Rishton fell just eight runs short.
Rawtenstall skipper Vinny Hanson claimed an early entry for sportsman of the year but his side’s slump continued as they were beaten by East Lancashire.
Hanson called John Turner back to the crease after the batsman had holed out to Andy Riley when it emerged the fielder had just brushed the boundary line while taking the catch at long on.
But by that stage East Lancashire were flying and they piled up 228-5 with Matthew Kleinveldt batting for all but two balls of the innings before being caught trying to smash his way to a century.
Mini Bhada made 57 in an excellent knock while Turner, who was on 29 when Hanson brought him back, made 40.
The Rawtenstall innings turned into a Rocky horror show as they collapsed from 40-2 to 79-8 and with Keith Roscoe unable to bat after taking a blow to his bowling hand earlier in the day they were all out for 112 when Brett Pelser was trapped lbw for 40.
Church had a battle against lowly Colne, who posted 167 all out at West End.
Professional Usman Tariq stepped up to the plate to hit 98 not out as they got over the line with two wickets in hand.
Marley Ali made a fine half-century as Accrington beat Todmorden. Bryn Hargreaves (37) also helped Accy to 222 and despite 74 from Tod pro Michael Neser they were well short.
Nelson upset Enfield at Seedhill with Toxy Hussain picking up two collections – 75 runs and 5-26 – in a 19-run win.
Ramsbottom thrashed Burnley as Daryn Smit's 83 and 50 from Dale Gabriel saw them post 229-7.
That was way too many for the league's basement boys, who slumped to 94 all out with Mike Haslam and Smit both claiming four wickets.