WALSDEN have been crowned Lancashire League champions thanks to a five-wicket victory at Rawtenstall yesterday.

Lowerhouse and Ramsbottom both had chances to pip them for the title on the last day of the season had the long-standing leaders fallen at the final hurdle.

But despite both teams winning and Rawtenstall putting up a brave fight, it was Walsden in their debut season in the league who deservedly clinched the title - losing just one game throughout the entire campaign.

Walsden won the toss at the Worswick Memorial Ground and decided to put their hosts in to bat.

They made an early breakthrough when Tabassum Aziz was dismissed for just four, caught by Josh Gale off Jamie Shackleton.

While wickets fell at regular intervals, Rawtenstall sub professional Kaustubh Pawar put up stubborn resistance, going on to score 106 that included 12 fours and four sixes.

But when he became one of Umesh Kurunaratne’s six victims, caught by Joe Gale, Rawtenstall fell from 172-7 to 182 all out.

Walsden’s reply was steady enough with Josh Gale first to go for 13, bowled by Imran Abid but fellow opener Jake Hooson (37) and Nick Parker - unbeaten on 59 - eased Walsden towards victory.

When Hooson departed, caught by Matthew Kershaw off Ishaq Hussain, Walsden lost two quick wickets but Joe Gale (39) took his team to the brink of victory but it was left to Barker and Matthew Dawson (11 not out) to guide Walsden to the title.

Lowerhouse finished as runners-up after beating Church by three wickets.

Church was dismissed for 103 - losing their final five wickets for just one run - with Levi Wolfenden top scoring with 51 while Craig Ferguson weighed in with 21.

Paddy Martin was the pick of the Lowerhouse bowlers, claiming 4-33 while Francois Haasbroek (3-14) also played his part.

In reply, Lowerhouse did just enough to seal victory thanks largely to an unbeaten 36 from Haasbroek as the finished on 104-7. Ben Heap (10), Charlie Cottam (18) and Chris Bleazard (14no) the other House players to hit double figures.

Wolfenden followed up his half century with bowling figures of 5-31.

Lowerhouse’s win meant they pipped Ramsbottom to the runners-up spot despite their win at Accrington.

Batting first, Rammy posted 235-4 - with Tom Parton scoring 103 - then dismissed their hosts for 170.

Chris Walton (3-55) and John Lambert (3-23) were the pick of the bowlers for Colne as they beat Great Harwood by seven wickets.

Batting first, Harwood were dismissed for 149 which Colne reached for the loss of three wickets - Chris Walton (64no) and Kenton Rhodes (45) the main contributors.

In a low scoring affair at Bentgate, Haslingden (90-7) beat Enfield who were bowled out for 87 with sub pro Zahir Khan taking 4-35.

Jack Dewhurst scored 82 as champions Clitheroe were beaten at Littleborough by nine runs.

The hosts posted 156-8 with Matthew Hernon top scoring with 79. In reply, Dewhurst was the only player to score big as Clitheroe fell just short.

Elsewhere, Nelson lost by six wickets to Rochdale, Todmorden beat Bacup, Crompton beat Norden by four wickets and Middleton defeated Milnrow by 108 runs.