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House aim for perfection against Haslingden
RECORD breaking reigning champions Lowerhouse aim to make it 19 home league wins on the spin tomorrow and extend their perfect home record at the same time.
But despite that amazing run, the mantra coming out of the House camp is there is no room for complacency if the title is to be retained.
Charlie Cottam’s men – eight points clear of Church in second – welcome Haslingden to Liverpool Road in a repeat of the thrilling game at Bentgate a fortnight ago when the House managed to get home despite being on the back foot for much of an enthralling encounter.
Lowerhouse became the first side in Foster’s Lancashire League history to win all 13 home games as they stormed to the title last term and they have won their three league matches at Liverpool Road last term.
They have not been beaten at home since Church claimed a 10-point win on August 21, 2010 - but they survived an amazing wobble to beat cross-town rivals Burnley on Monday to maintain that record.
Forty eight hours after Burnley beat the House in the Twenty20 it appeared as though an upset was on the cards when they slipped to 26-6 before the tail wagged to get them up to 143-9.
Fergus Bailey then claimed 4-14 and pro Francois Haasbroek 5-20 as Burnley were 67 all out - and all-rounder Joe Hawke admitted that derby day was nervy.
“I thought we were down and out at 26-6,” said Hawke. “But how things change.
“It helps when you bat down to number 11 but it shows that we can’t get complacent. We have to keep going.”
The House ranks have been boosted by the availability of Lancashire Women’s coach Jonathan Finch for the game, while Haslingden, who are down in eighth after three wins and four losses to date, have Mohsin Imtiaz available for the game.
Church face a test at Neil Thompson’s Nelson, who have impressed at times this season despite being down in 10th with three wins and four losses.
The Seedhill meeting sees a collision of explosive Pakistani professionals as Church’s experienced old hand Saeed Anwar does battle with 2009 ICC World Twenty20 winner Shahzaib Hasan.
Bacup have borrowed impressive Darwen professional Shaun De Kock for their Lanehead meeting with Accrington after Udara Peiris was forced to return home with a shoulder injury.
De Kock is impressing with both bat and ball for Darwen and made back-to-back Northern League half centuries last weekend.
He faces an Accrington side minus Graham Lloyd, who is away on umpiring duties, and Matt Wilson.
East Lancashire beat Ramsbottom in the Worsley Cup and then stunned them in the league a fortnight ago and look to complete a treble at Alexandra Meadows.
That game sees Jonathan Fielding looking to add to his 35 wickets in seven games as he bids to become the first man in league history to claim 100 wickets in three successive seasons.
The spinner always relishes trips to Alexandra Meadows and was East Lancs sub pro the last time they lifted silverware, the 2007 Twenty20.
Skipper Jimmy Bibby returns to the Rishton side as they go to stumbling Todmorden, while Burnley head to Enfield and Colne welcome Rawtenstall to The Horsfield.
Vinny Hanson’s men head to Pendle in search of their first win of the season – but must make do without the batting of Andrew Clough, who has moved out of the area.
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