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Lancashire League Sunday round-up: Lowerhouse get that champion feeling
8:36am Monday 10th September 2012 in Sport
FRANCOIS Haasbroek hailed Lowerhouse’s double winners as ‘the perfect team’ after they retained their Foster’s Lancashire League title in the most dramatic of circumstances last night.
The House were on the rocks and staring heartbreak in the face after their only challengers Accrington beat Burnley and they were losing wickets in their chase against Ramsbottom.
At one stage the House seemed to be heading to a shock defeat – but young brothers Paddy and Joe Martin took them over the line in sensational style in front of a huge crowd at Liverpool Road.
“That’s why we play sport; that’s why people watch sport; that’s why sport is brilliant – and this is an amazing feeling,” smiled the giant South African.
“We are a great team, we won the title last year and the double this year and we deserve everything we have got.”
To complete the perfect treble, Haasbroek has signed a contract for next season, his third year at the club and he added: “I had no hesitation.
“This club is wonderful and the people will enjoy the party and there is no way that I wouldn’t have come back here.
“It’s a magnificent achievement to win a double – and to win it in that way was just astonishing.”
It was tense, it was nervous and with wickets tumbling it was worked out that the House could ensure a play-off if they got within 20 runs of Ramsbottom’s 163-8 by virtue of claiming four bonus points. At one stage that looked unlikely – but five wides from Jonathan Fielding took them over that line and then they got the extra bonus point required to take the crown and spark a joyous pitch invasion from fans and players.
The Martin brothers then regained their calm to complete the victory to spark even wilder celebrations that threatened to lift the roof off the old pavilion.
Accrington finished as runners up – and for a while it seemed as though the glory could have belonged to them.
They demolished Burnley for 103 in their must-win game at Thorneyholme Road – and had a few wobbles themselves before squeezing over the line with three wickets in hand.
A large group from Accrington travelled to Liverpool Road, while others gathered around Twitter to follow events from Lowerhouse.
There was a sense of expectation around the ground – but when Ramsbottom posted 163-8 on a testing track they were threatening to spoil the party.
Haasbroek claimed four wickets and Joey Hawke three – but Ramsbottom sub-pro Asif Zakir made 56 and had he not perished when he did the champions would have been chasing a bigger target.
There were no worries early in their reply as Jonny Whitehead and Ben Heap put on 48 for the first wicket.
But with the clouds gathering the House were aware they had to up the run rate and Heap skied a Fielding delivery to the safe hands of Zakir.
Matt Walker was sent in to hurry things along but he went for 12 and then Jonathan Finch departed cheaply before Haasbroek was given out leg before while trying to play his second reverse sweep of his brief innings of just two.
Lowerhouse were 96-4 and in trouble and when the brilliant Whitehead departed for 58 there was panic. The youngster cut a dejected figure as he left the field – be he had done his bit.
Skipper Charlie Cottam looked to be taking the House home but when he went for 19 and Hawke for one they still needed seven runs to force the play off.
But enter the Martin boys, they reached 143 to ensure they wouldn’t be league losers and then passed the magical 153 to earn the five bonus points needed to be champions before then seeing their team home past the victory target of 163 with five balls to spare.
It was an amazing finish.
Rishton pro Daniel Salpietro wrote his name into the history books as he claimed all 10 wickets as his men hammered Rawtenstall.
The Australian became the first man since Nelson’s Anton Ferreira in 1988 to achieve the feat as he claimed 10-34 to bowl out Rawtenstall for 72.
Rishton then got home by seven wickets.
Nelson finished the season on a high and above East Lancashire after beating the Blackburn side by six runs at Seedhill.
Russell Bradley made 48 and sub-pro Joe Scuderi 24 out of Nelson’s 192-6 as he stood in as sub pro before East Lancashire were bowled out for 186.
Tim Farragher made 80 for Bacup but he couldn’t help his side to a win over Enfield.
Farragher’s efforts saw Bacup post 169 but Enfield dashed past that target with 21 overs to spare.
Colne stunned Todmorden at Centre Vale, while Church went down to Haslingden at Bentgate.
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