Lancashire League

A MAGNIFICENT unbeaten century from West Indian Keith Arthurton helped Rawtenstall pile up the runs against Church at Blackburn Road.

Arthurton scored a stylish 103 as the visitors made 214-4 from 55 overs after winning the toss and deciding to bat.

In reply, Church got off to a disastrous start losing openers Alex Holt (4) and Phil Sykes (0) early on and soon decided to settle for a draw.

Only Mark Aspin (38) and professional Neil McGarrell (21) made any real headway as the home side crawled to 86-5 with Keith Roscoe snapping up 3-18.

Substitute professional Peter Sleep took six wickets and finished unbeaten on 56 but it was not enough to earn Ramsbottom more than a share of the points in their rain-affected game at Lowerhouse.

Sleep returned figures of 6-46 as Lowerhouse were restricted to 130-9 on a difficult batting surface with only former Enfield player Mark Whelan able to dictate.

Whelan hit three sixes before becoming one of Sleep's victims one short of a half-century.

Ramsbottom found scoring equally difficult against the accurate attack of Jez Hope and Matthew Mott and when rain ended the game with just four overs to go they were still 29 runs short of victory.

The win may have been beyond them but the visitors were frustrated at not getting the bonus point available to them at 117.

Brad Young had Colne in a spin on Saturday, but poor batting prevented East Lancs from making it count.

The South Australian took six wickets after an opening stand of 74 had got Colne off to a cracking start.

Young was ably assisted by the brilliance of wicket-keeper David Pearson who picked up a hat-trick of catches and threw in a couple of expert stumpings for good measure. Colne's all-out score of 161 was never within reach as East Lancs stumbled to 68-7 from 40 overs.

Joe Scuderi bowled 20 miserly overs for 28 runs and claimed four wickets into the bargain showing his experience of slow, soggy early-season Lancashire wickets.

Todmorden had only themselves to blame for not winning at Rishton, where they bowled the home side out for 150, professional Vaspart Drakes (4-36) looking a useful performer.

Skipper Russell Whalley (46) led the way for Rishton, with good support from Stuart Roberts (31) and Neil Wells (30), but the innings folded disappointingly from a good position of 114-3.

Brian Heywood, who earlier picked up three wickets, took an age to reach 41 and when both he and Drakes (28) were suicidally run out, Todmorden's victory cruise was under threat.

Sure enough, the rain bucketed down with Todmorden still six short of victory and nine balls left.

To add insult to injury, Todmorden were docked a point for their slow over rate.

Roger Harper made an emotional return to Bacup - only to fall foul of his former manager's son!

David Ormerod got the prize wicket of the legendary West Indian all-rounder who was applauded out onto the pitch by the home side at the start of play.

Harper bowled tightly to help Nelson restrict his old side to 125-6 from 55 overs, but the visitors were unable to sustain a run chase as rain brought 78 minutes of lost time. After a steady start from Accrington's opening batsmen, only professional Ryan Campbell could halt the slide as Haslingden's bowlers took the upper hand at Bent Gate. The Western Australian seemed to be torn between batting out the overs or getting quick runs before falling foul to an intelligent delivery from Mick Tracey.

Haslingden professional Hamish Anthony proved the most threatening of all the bowlers as Accrington never really looked strong enough to get runs on a tricky surface.

Haslingden's innings started disastrously, with Jack Simpson notching up his third consecutive golden duck against the visiting side thanks to a superb catch by Stefan Heins at short leg.

Despite wickets falling steadily, a gritty knock from Mike Ingham provided a platform for the lower middle order to secure victory as the rain closed in.

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