ACCRINGTON lost out in a thriller at Rochdale on the opening day of Division One of the Lancashire League season.

The hosts won by one wicket with two balls to spare as a great game of cricket went down to the wire on Sunday.

Former Lancashire batsman Karl Brown made an impressive start as Accy’s professional, top scoring with 60 in a score of 211-5 from their 50 overs.

Fellow paid man, Leicestershire’s Neil Dexter, led the way for Rochdale in their reply with 58 but was one of four victims for Raheem Kasser who finished with a Lancashire League best of 4-33.

His bowling appeared to have swung the game in his side’s favour but the home side held their nerve, wicket-keeper Jamie Clarke hitting the winning boundary with two balls to spare, finishing on 16 not out as Rochdale reached 215-9.

Captain Ross Brown also took 3-68 for Accrington who also saw Keiren Grimshaw, 52, and Tom Pettini, 45, impress with the bat. Professional Brown’s 60 included six fours and a six.

Elsewhere, Burnley were five-wicket winners at 2018 champions Walsden. The title-holders won the toss and batted first but were bowled out for 109, sub professional Tyron Koen taking 5-34.

Paid man Umesh Karunaratne made 34 to at least give the Walsden bowlers something to defend.

It was game on when Burnley collapsed to 37-5 but the rescue act came when captain Dan Pickup came in to support Joey Marshall.

The latter finished unbeaten on 44 while the skipper was not out on 26 as they saw out victory.

Worsley Cup winners Lowerhouse will be looking to go one better than last year’s runners-up spot in the league and started with a 21-run win over Todmorden.

Jonny Whitehead led the way for Ben Heap’s men with a knock of 74, including 11 fours, helping House to 204-6 from their 50 overs.

Having made 30 with the bat, Ockert Erasmus then did the damage with the ball by taking 4-53.

Tom Stansfield top scored with 34 as no Todmorden batsman made a decisive contribution, their innings closing on 183-9.

Ramsbottom picked up an opening day win over Darwen, posting 185-7 before bowling out the visitors to Acre Bottom for just 92.

Sub professional Daryn Smit, attached to Derbyshire, top scored with 58 for the home side as he passed 3,500 Lancashire League runs.

John Cordingley took 3-65 for the visitors and was then the pick of the Darwen batsmen, making 27 as only two players reached double figures.

Jon Fielding took 3-25 for Rammy as they won by 93 runs.

Church lost by just 15 runs at Crompton in a game that included two centuries.

Wicketkeeper Denis Louis smashed 140 for the hosts in their total of the 243. His innings came from 127 balls and included 12 fours and seven sixes.

Sub professional Usman Tariq was the pick of the Church bowlers with 4-68 but that was just the start of his day. He then opened the batting and made 106, hitting 16 fours.

Tariq put on 173 for the first wicket with Stuart Crabtree, 56, and at that point Church looked well set.

But when the professional departed they collapsed from 187-2 to 228 all out.

Clitheroe kicked off with a 35-run win at home to Norden.

Captain Peter Dibb top scored with 56 as the hosts were bowled out for 213. The visitors were then dismissed for 178.