12:30pm Monday 25th June 2012
By Matt Donlan
LOWERHOUSE’S volunteer army put in the earliest of early morning shifts to clear flood water from the Liverpool Road pitch – and then Charlie Cottam’s Foster’s Lancashire League leaders repaid all the hard work with another crushing win to go 20 points clear at the top.
Chances of play seemed bleak on Friday after the heavy rain left half the ground under deep water.
But a major mopping up operation began at 5.30am to remove the floods and astonishingly the game with Todmorden started on time.
The reigning champions were put in and openers Ben Heap (44) and Jonny Whitehead (36) made light of the tough conditions to share a 57-run opening stand before pro Francois Haasbroek made a classy 63.
When rain ended the Lowerhouse innings three balls early, Cottam (13) and Matt Walker (11) had helped them up to 190-7 with Todmorden pro Qaiser Abbas claiming 5-59.
Rain delayed Tod’s and when play restarted they needed 152 in 36 overs – but their chances were destroyed by Joey Hawke.
After a wayward start, Hawke went through the Tod top order as they collapsed to 44-7. He claimed the first six wickets to fall on his way to 6-34 and Tod were eventually 82 all out with only Elliott Gilford (30) and Simon Newbitt (15) managing double figures.
Second-placed Church were inactive due to floods at Ramsbottom and Accrington missed the chance to overtake them as Colne roared to their third win of the season.
Nathan Whitehead made 42 and Matt Wilson hit 41 as the Horsfielders posted 161-8 with David Ormerod claiming 6-65 from an unbroken 21-over stint.
Accrington’s reply was wrecked by Colne pro Shadley van Schalkwyk as he ripped through their batting line-up to return 7-34 and bowl Jimmy Hayhurst’s men out for 101.
Fourth-placed Enfield were also on the receiving end of a shock as bottom club Rawtenstall claimed their second win of the campaign on a special day for skipper Vinny Hanson.
Wicketkeeper Hanson claimed four victims to pass Brian Manning’s club league record of 447 as Enfield failed to chase down Rawtenstall’s 199-7.
Andrew Payne hit a half century and Matt Kershaw made 41 to help Rocky to that total – and then Keith Roscoe claimed 7-61 and Hanson held two catches and took two stumpings to seal the victory.
Haslingden claimed an excellent victory at Nelson as they turned in a solid display at Seedhill.
Harry Boam claimed 4-48, Jack Sudworth picked up 3-29 and Gary Sudworth 2-46 as Nelson were 127-9 from 40 overs with David Crotty’s 32 the top score. Skipper Neil Thompson claimed three wickets as Haslingden replied but Lewis McIntosh hit 44 not out to take his side home.
Garth Wyse recorded his best bowling figures as Rishton beat Bacup. Like Liverpool Road, Lanehead was under water on Friday but the teams started on time with Rishton batting first.
Luke McVarish top scored with 44 as Rishton were 138 all out with Jo Sipocz claiming 5-51.
Bacup, playing without a pro after being unable to find a sub-pro at short notice, rarely got to grips with Wyse and slipped from 53-2 to 89 all out as Jimmy Bibby’s men moved up to joint eighth place.
The game between East Lancs and Burnley was called off due to a flooded Alexandra Meadows.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group