RUTHLESS Foster’s Lancashire League leaders Lowerhouse made it a sensational 13 wins on the spin as they crushed Rishton in double quick time.
The House could easily have wobbled after they lost in the semi-final of the Worsley Cup and then the final of the Twenty20 – but those dreadful six days in the middle of last month seem to have seem to have spurred them on even more.
And yesterday hapless Rishton became the latest side to be brushed aside with the game over by 4.38pm.
They simply had no answer to the power of the Lowerhouse bowling attack and after professional Matt Hulett had gone for 14 they were in all manner of trouble.
In the end they were 81 all out with four wickets for Jon Finch, three for Cobus Pienaar and a couple for Matt Walker.
Jonny Whitehead had a lucky escape as they replied when he was bowled off a no-ball and while he did fall with the score on 56, Finch ensured there would be no panic as he made an unbeaten 35 not out in a nine-wicket win.
Ramsbottom are pushing Lowerhouse hard and they were facing a Rawtenstall side missing injured skipper Vinny Hanson a week before the Worsley Cup final.
And when Rocky slipped to 146-8 it seemed as though it would be routine for Rammy.
But Nicky Payne batted quite superbly to make an excellent 52 not out, while Imran Abid hit 30 to help their side up to a decent 217-7.
Tom Parton made a breezy 27 at the top of the Ramsbottom order but there was a mini wobble and with 10 overs left the title chasers needed 42 with five wickets in hand.
Abid seemed to have turned the game in Rawtenstall’s favour when he claimed two quick wickets to leave Rammy on 188-7, still 30 short of the win but Darryn Smit was still there – and he was the difference.
The stylish South African, who is returning to Acre Bottom next season was faultless as he made 70 not out.
Bacup suffered a nightmare start to their Rossendale Valley derby at Haslingden as skipper Matt Thompson returned to lead the side for the first time in a month thanks to tendonitis in his elbow.
Thompson won the toss and chose to bat at Bentgate – but saw his men lose Adam Highley and Tim Farragher to first over ducks as Jack Sudworth struck twice.
It was soon 0-3 as Matt Griffin, who claimed 4-25, bowled Henry Butcher – and Bacup’s beleaguered batsmen couldn’t pad up quickly enough.
The first runs to come were wides and with the score on seven, Bacup’s day got even worse as Aaron Fielding went and professional Haseeb Azam was then run out after being called for a third run by Thompson and it was 16-5.
That became 18-7 after Thompson and Jack Bradford both fell as the carnage continued.
However, any thoughts of taking tea at was still effectively lunchtime were held up by Sam Sanderson and Matt Collinge.
The pair shared a glorious 88-run stand for the eighth wicket with Sanderson making a marvellous 50 and they were all out for 117 with Brenton Parchment claiming the final two wickets, including that of Collinge for 26.
Despite the gutsy comeback, that was never likely to be enough to trouble Haslingden – and Bacup didn’t help their cause when they dropped Parchment second ball.
How the big Jamaican made them pay for that error as his 66 not out eased his side to a seven-wicket win.
Nelson professional Ryan Canning made a fine 61 not out and Russell Bradley was 42 not out as the Seedhillites managed to post 212-4 from a reduced 47 overs after showers punctuated their innings.
Earlier the league’s young player of the month for July Tyler McGladdery had further enhanced his reputation with a classy 56 before being stumped by Matt Wilson off Ockert Erasmus.
Their efforts meant that it was very much game on and disciplined bowling from Nelson saw them home as Accrington closed on 205-8 with Erasmus finishing unbeaten on 73.
Todmorden began life without Michael Neser with a defeat as Church claimed a fine win at West End.
Neser has gone back Down Under after being called into the Australia A side – but replacement JP de Villiers hardly let his temporary club down.
Fleetwood’s South African batted well and made 73 on his Lancashire League debut.
However, Tod were bowled out for just 127 as Jack Gaskill claimed 4-20 and there were three wickets each for Andrew Bentley and Usman Tariq and that was never likely to be enough, especially as Church pro Tariq then hit 76 not out as they strolled home by six wickets with some 15 overs left.
Matt Walker made 28 and Ali Azmat 22 as Colne had a decent day with the bat against Enfield as they made 185 before being bowled out.
Greg Jones made a half-century as Enfield replied and Werner Coetsee made 65 not out to ease them to a resounding seven-wicket win as they stayed in the pack of teams chasing the silverware.
Burnley’s good form continued as they beat East Lancashire at Alexandra Meadows, but it was far from a straightforward win on a difficult track.
East Lancashire were bowled out for 114 with John Turner making 40 before Burnley get over the line with seven wickets down.