We start our T20 build up this weekend with our first home game v Darwen on the Horizon Friday 2nd June 2017
Visit the club’s dedicated T20 page on our website here
Our Social media competitions will go live next weekend please keep an eye out and win yourself a crate or multiple crate of beer over the T20 weeks ahead
Parents can bring kids for free by downloading and completing the on-line flyer and handing it in at the gate on the night it also enters you into a free prize draw
Remember our usual offer of “any catch in the crowd will win 6 pints of Competition Sponsors Moorhouses in the night” will again be available.
A new introduction this year for the players will be targets sited across the ground with and any player hitting the target with the ball “in play” will win himself a cash prize.
Derby Day 2017
Lowerhouse entertain Derby rivals Burnley on Bank Holiday on Sunday 28th May 2017 in Phase 1 of this year’s Lancashire League 1.00pm start, early indications are for a fine, warm sunny day.
Match Day Information
Gates open 12.15pm – Entry via Lowerhouse Members Card, else £4.00 adults £2.00 Concessions
Access for entry is by David Wren Way else Member’s can also use the newly re- opened Liverpool Road entry for this fixture.
A large crowd is expected and delays are possible at the entry points, please bear this in mind, arrive early, please try to bring correct change to ease congestion
If you want to park on the Lowerhouse Lane side of the ground, this will simply be as always on a first come first served basis from 12.15pm
Parking is limited and therefore at a premium again arrive early to avoid being disappointed.
Once the ground car parking is full we ask that you park with consideration to neighbours and in accordance with road traffic regulations.
Additional free parking for up to 200 car’s has been secured courtesy of Business First on Liverpool Road just few minutes’ walk to the ground see link
As is Lowerhouse CC’s normal match day policy:
No restrictions will be in place as to what alcohol you can bring into the ground however we ask that you bear in mind as always that we provide additional can bar facilities at competitive prices and of course please drink responsibly
We hope this information will help us to provide an enjoyable day for all supporters, your help and support will be much appreciated.
The weekends cricket started on Friday night with the first game for the Lowerhouse Wrenegades (19s) in the Natwest Twenty20 Blast versus Middleton. House, captained by Dom Stuart walked away with a great win after posting 129 off their 20 overs for 8 wickets. Dom top scored with 42. After wickets early on in quick succession, Middleton were restricted to 88 for 8 off their 20. Wickets were shared between the bowlers. Full scorecard here
Saturday saw both the First and Second Eleven fall foul to the elements, after managing to get a start, being rained off. Playing Enfield, in a match reduced to 20 overs the Second Team scored 162 with Owen and Joe Halstead both scoring 50s. In reply Enfield were 49/2 after 7.5 when the rain came – Full scorecard here.
The first team had the same outcome but didn’t manage to get to the second innings in a 22 over game House managed 122/7 with a 50 for Ocki and the teams didn’t return after tea. Full scorecard here
Sunday saw both the Firsts and the Thirds complete matches with two great wins. The first team played league counterparts Great Harwood in the first round of the Lancashire Cup – posting 239/9 off their alloted 45 overs with Ben scoring 53 and Ocki scoring another ton with 103 not out off 102 balls. Great Harwood were bowled out for 86 in reply with 3 wickets for Joe Hawke, Toxy and skipper Ben Heap. Charlie Cottam delighted fans with an over of express pace, much to their dissapointment when Ben took him off and he didn’t get another. House play Bolton Leagues Farnworth Social Circle in the next round away on 11th June Full scorecard here.
Game of the weekend was the 3rd Eleven Derby versus Burnley at home on Sunday. Burnley batted first making 123/9 off their 40 overs. Caleb took 3 wickets with the rest shared. In reply House were 96/9 with plenty of overs to spare. Some cool headed batting from number 10 Jimmy Wearden (28) and a last wicket stand of 32 saw House home, a great result and a great match between two young sides. Full scorecard here
And finally Libby Heap scored 71* on debut for Ribble Valley Vipers.
As we reach the end of Blez week – we asked fans, players and friends a like to let give us a few testimonials about Mr Bleazard himself. Enjoy!
I first came across Chris in an open 5-a- side at Holy Trinity School probably around 1978, the game ended itself ended in a draw Chris saved my penalty to win through to the final, that day he broke my heart. Over the following 39 years he has repaired that broken heart many times over and more. I was very fortunate to spend all lunch & break times in the yard watching him bat, and bat and bat (much of the time with my brand new Slazenger Fred Boycott plays bat) Fortunate that he carried our school side (he will never admit it but that’s my memory single handed) to the Harold Bailey Final which allowed us mere school boys in an era where the players were cricket god’s to play on the hallowed turf of Old Trafford. I was also fortunate to witness his debut (from the tally window’s) and latter fortunate to get the chance to play and even bat with him, against some fabulous amateur and professional cricketers of the 1980’s and 1990’s. I feel privileged to have witnessed most of his 100’s including his finest (IMO) the semi and final centuries of 2004 and more recently saw him score his 15,000 run In the many, many years before the Cinderella Tag was removed I hope and think Chris was happy just to be playing with his mates. I am sure he had offers to play elsewhere, but preferred the craic and a few beers with his mates. Many a bowler’s nightmares have included Chris Blez, one nearly cried when he came in at 11 the other year. Club Talisman, Club Legend, Club Record Holder, Good Guy & Friend
Enjoy Blez week
Privileged to call Chris a friend #UTH
I remember when I wasn’t too far past my best and Blez came down to the first team indoor nets at around 14 years of age. I started bowling steady away at him and quickly realised this lad could play. I ended up bowling as fast as I possibly could and didn’t beat the bat once. That was when I realised what a special talent we had. A year later he was in the first team and as they say the rest is history. Happy 50th birthday to a great lad and congratulations on your magnificent achievements over the years.
One of the best, the father figure in the team with a world of knowledge at his disposal, (especially in the middle calming me down) absolute honour to play alongside him, true legend of a man.
My first season I got to Lowerhouse I was told about Blez and wondered how well could a 40 year old really be. How little did I know? Probably one of the best lofted drivers I’ve played with and against but not just that. He is an example for younger players, with his dedication in training, calm head on the field and being the ultimate team player. It’s been a privilege to share a changing room and field with him”
Chris Bleazard is without any doubt one of the finest batsmen to grace the famous fields of the Lancashire League in its 125-year history. In that 125 years there have been some great names from near and afar showing their prowess in the most famous cricket league in the world and Blez, even though as a modest man he would distance himself from such statements, belongs right up there among the select band of true legends.
Classy and destructive, Blez has been dominating beleaguered bowlers for decades and I struggle to think of a more ‘celebrated’ wicket around the league.
That shows the esteem teams hold Blez in. They know how much his wicket matters. They did 30 years ago, they still do now.
And to make his achievements and career tally of 16,000 league runs even more remarkable is that many of those boundaries and swashbuckling 50s came in what was a struggling side, down at the wrong end of the table for so long.
He stayed loyal to the House when it would have been so easy to chase silverware elsewhere.
So when the Lowerhouse fortunes turned, no-one could begrudge Blez. A home club hero, his moments of glory.
And hopefully there will be a few more great days to come before the great man finally puts his bat away for the final time and gives the bowlers a break.
Whenever I talk to someone about Lowerhouse Cricket Club, the first person they seem to ask about is Chris Bleazard and whether he’s still active in the team. He has made an incredible impact during his time at the club while remaining one of the most humble and decent people I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with. Here’s to you Blez, hope you still have a couple of years left in you!!!
Blez is simply the best batter the Lancs league has seen and is my favourite player. You do not realise how good a player he is until you play with him. He has been consistent for so many years and adapted his game to fit the team, something I do not think other players have managed to do. To score the quantity of runs he has regardless of the game situation, batting position or opposition has been incredible to watch from the side-lines.
Since I have been involved in the 1st team, Blez has maintained a professional outlook to his game and has expected the same from everyone else, he is still the first to arrive and last to leave training; something that the juniors at the club look up to. I watched him score two consecutive centuries in the semi-final and final in 2004; two innings which were incredible to watch. I did not envisage at the time that I would have been able to play in the same team as him for as long as I have. In that time, the most important thing I have learned from him is not a technical or tactical thing, but simply to love the game; I have not met anyone who enjoys playing as much as he does. His love of the game, makes him the heartbeat of the team – something which is infectious to the rest of us. Blez is my cricketing hero and I hope he enjoys his birthday. It is a privilege to play in the same team as him.
Blez is far more than just the best batter the league has ever seen. He is someone who encompasses the ethos of the cricket club, he only ever wants the best for his club. Blez has obviously been in the team since I began playing, providing a constant source of advice over technique and tactics, as well as a sounding board for help with the more difficult times you endure playing the game.
I cannot thank Blez enough for everything he has done, not just the ways in which he has helped me, but also helped the club. The fact that I have yet to hear a bad word spoken about him speaks volumes of his character, he is always there for the young players to look up to and admire and see how it should be done. Myself and Mark Whitehead have often discussed his dedication, and how shocked we have been on the odd occasion that he has missed, just showing his dedication to the cricket club. Although living 1 minute away may also help.
It’s been a real privilege playing with Blez, but getting to know him and see his dedication has been even better.
Blez is the perfect balance of talent and modesty. He was an honour to play alongside and I know for certain I personally wouldn’t have achieved what I have without him
Blez, where do you start….Lowerhouse Cricket Club absolute legend, Lancashire league legend, true gentleman, ferocious competitor, exemplary example of how to conduct yourself on and off the cricket field, by far the most talented amateur batter in the league throughout my era and it’s an absolute honour to have played my 20 years of first team cricket with you at the one and only cricket club #UTH
I’d like to wish you a very happy 50th birthday Blez. I still struggle to believe that you’re soon to be 50 years old, your fitness is a credit to how you continue to train but it’s the way that you can still communicate and have ‘banter’ with both young and old, your patience with the younger players breaking through into the first team truly amazes me and I am one of so many lucky players that have benefited hugely from your continued coaching and support win, lose or draw at Lowerhouse Cricket Club.
Blez and I have become very close friends over the years, I always know that you are at the end of the phone (if it’s turned on!) even at times when we have been in different parts of the world or you will be waiting at the bar with a pint for me when I need your advice, whether it be about cricket or life in general and for that I’d like to thank you.
Blez has been a huge influence in the success of the club over recent years, we share the same passion for cricket and also the same passion for Lowerhouse Cricket Club; something that seems to be a dying trend. Hopefully we still have a few years left playing together.
Happy birthday mate.
Congratulations to Chris on his 16,000 runs (and rising) and in his 50th year on this earth.
A double tribute to Chris’s undoubted ability and his longevity. Chris is the finest amateur batting talent I have ever seen and indeed in the unassuming way in which he has conducted himself. Whilst Chris is single minded and fully focused in his approach, he is the ultimate team player.
Not many will know that Chris could have been a genuine all-rounder but allowed others the opportunity to bowl before him. Similarly we can all see how he stands aside now to give younger batsmen a chance to blossom. What say 20,000 runs had Chris been more selfish?
I had the privilege of playing alongside Chris from his debut to my retirement. It wasn’t a smooth start for Chris, as he was run out in 3 near successive games whilst batting with me. Chris was of course quick on the uptake, and soon learnt to modify his calling for quick singles and he has rarely been run out since
I knew Chris would be a great talent after the church game when in his early days, he knocked a quick twenty not out off 2 overs to win the game … as I stood and admired at the other end… 80 plus not out … 10 plus overs left …on the cusp of a maiden Lancs League century. Chris of course went on of course to record numerous centuries and who will ever forget his innings in the 2004 semi-final and final to bring us our first trophy. I can’t claim any influence on Chris’s career, although I do take some pride in how he too has become a great long leg and third man. I am also very pleased to see how he helps the younger players in the first team at training and on match days. As and when the 16,000 run mark is met and the 50th birthday ticks by, we will all raise a glass and salute a Lancashire league, Lowerhouse and cricketing legend …. And whilst having the privilege and honour to be his friend.
Nothing much more I can add to say about Blez but other than he’s a legend. Away from Lowerhouse obviously he’s my uncle and I was always worried as 13/14 year old that I might not ever get to play with him in in the same side so to have been alongside him now for the last 14 years or so has been fantastic. A true gent and I’ve never heard a bad word said about him. I’m just glad the club has had some success that he’s managed to be a part of.
Only one word to describe Blez…..Old! He is also a Top Bloke! A proper legend! Cricketing achievements to one side, I have a lot to thank the great man for….stopping me following a £5 note on a string one Monday night down Yorke House, bailing me out when I bid for a horse at a race night, generally funding my youth, a gazillion collections…never a chore to go round with the collection box for Blez & I particularly remember collecting for a 50 (which went on to be a 100+ not out) & his 10000th run at Accy.
A great mate!! Cheers Blez!
Blez is what I hope to be if not better when im his age, a league legend, a record holder, a humble man, successful and still class at the game, never gives up, and after all these years he has just as much love if not more for the game, his team mates and the club more importantly, pleasure playing with him throughout my upbringing at LHCC, UTH
Well where do I start on this bloke, easily the nicest bloke I’ve had the pleasure of taking the field with. To score 16000 runs in league cricket is some accomplishment but when you see the uncomplicated manner at which he goes about his business it’s certainly no surprise. The knock he played in the Worsley Cup final vs Haslingden I still rate as one of the best I seen. You’re an absolute diamond Blez, it’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you over the years and watching you score many of those 16000 runs.
All my best wishes pal
Tif (Chris Benbow)
Many happy returns Blez, not just a Lowerhouse legend but a league cricket legend. A ridiculous amount of runs scored, all for one club and against some of the best pro’s to ever grace league cricket. Honoured to have shared a cricket field with you, all the best.
Playing football and cricket with blez has been an absolute pleasure. His desire to win is unmistakable and his loyalty outstanding.
I wouldn’t like to count the amount of games we have played together but I’ve enjoyed everyone.
In training, before a game and after he is the sort of chap you would want by your side.
If we had to ‘go over the top’ I’d want blez besides me.
Top man, great friend and proper houser!
Brilliant effort on scoring so many runs over the years and still having the motivation to keep playing.
Always a pleasure to watch you play some of the best bowlers in the world and make scoring runs so
You have never really changed since our schoolboy football days when I pipped you to the Lancashire
Schools U15 goalkeeping spot!
Always modest and putting the team first
One of the best players to ever play in the Lancashire League and more importantly one who has never
shouted about his fantastic achievements.
All the best
Blez, The Legend, at LHCC in my eyes is probably the best amateur batsman I played with and a true gentleman. I vividly remember how Charlie, Tiff, Joe and others used to tease him on one thing or the other but Blez would deflect everything with a big smile on his face. He was always an inspiration for me and a role-model for youngsters at the club.
Last year during a friendly cricket match, while running between the wickets, my calf gave out as I felt a very sharp pain. Two things came to my mind, a) felt bad for making fun of Blez after his ‘regular calf episodes’ in the two and a half seasons I was at the House lol and b) I am getting old (not implying that Blez is old ;)).
I wish Blez best of luck for the season and heartiest congratulations on passing 16,000. Keep up and please do not retire any time soon as my sabbatical is due in a few years time 🙂
Chris is undoubtedly the best batter Lowerhouse has ever seen and many including me, the best the league has ever seen. The fact he played in some average sides during his time is testament to his ability. In his day an outstanding fielder and half decent bowler apart from his fingers weren’t warm enough to bowl against Michael Bevan one game. An all round top man who I class as a good friend and a true Lowerhouse legend, given the amount of opportunities he must have had to move to another club as pro or amateur in his time. He always stayed loyal to the club that served him as a junior wish more would follow his lead. Have a great birthday Blez
As a youngster, working the tins, Blez was among my true sporting hero’s. He shared this mantle with Clarets star John Deary and Lancs and England cricketer Michael Atherton! Not many adults can say that they have one of their childhood hero’s as a true friend and somebody that they enjoy spending time with both at home and abroad. Chris is undoubtedly the best cricketer to have played as an amateur for Lowerhouse and among the very best in the history of the Lancashire League. His record speaks for itself. A classy batsmen who is great to watch and fielder who can catch anything. Chris stuck with Lowerhouse through the darkest of days and it was fitting that he was the man that score heroic centuries in both the semi final and final as the club secured their first Worsley Cup triumph in 2004. The memory of him being chaired from the field after that final will stay with everybody present forever. In recent times some of Chris’ cameo innings have been a joy to watch with trademark flicks off his legs and drives over long off into the park! All the best on your 50th birthday and here’s to many more years and many more trophies as a Lowerhouse player!
‘Game to remember’ Rawtenstall versus Lowerhouse Sept. 16th, 1990
Most games to remember are characterised by either exciting finishes or extraordinary feats of batting or bowling. Although this finale to the 1990 Lancashire League season produced 3 fine innings, it will be remembered largely by the statisticians for the records set that September day. Rawtenstall were in a solid third place whereas Lowerhouse were in eleventh and interest surrounded whether the Rawtenstall pro’ Colin Miller and the Lowerhouse amateur batsman Chris Bleazard could reach personal milestones.
Aussie pro’ Miller had already achieved 1000 runs that summer and needed just 3 wickets to become only the third player in League history to do the ‘double’. In first class terms he wasn’t much better than a journeyman player until in the twilight of his career he changed his bowling style from fast medium to off-spin. He then played 18 Tests and took 69 wickets. The 2 other players to do the 1000 runs-100 wickets double were Cec Pepper (Burnley) and Vijay Hazare (Rawtenstall) both achieving the great feat in 1949. Pepper was a great character of whom many stories still abound in Lancashire League and Central Lancashire League territory. He was easily a Test standard player but his outspokenness had seen him burn his bridges with the Australian authorities. Hazare was a star all-rounder in the Indian Test team. He only pro’d for 2 seasons but in an era of no replays, achieved fifties on every Lancashire League ground. A remarkable accomplishment! I would strongly recommend “Rawtenstall C.C. – Cricketers all 1949” on YouTube where Hazare is in action against Bacup and Everton Weekes. It is a real eye opener on the golden age of local cricket.
Lowerhouse fans had their own record to look out for. Playing in his first full season after leaving University, young amateur Chris Bleazard had quickly established himself as a top batsman. Going into this game at Rawtenstall he needed 31 runs to erase Steve Gee’s 1977 record of 804 runs from the record books.
I remember the day itself as a bright, fine day with no possible weather problems foreseen. I hadn’t long passed my driving test and this may have been my first away game as I pointed my Ford Fiesta Ghia in the direction of the Worswick Memorial Ground. Definitely no sat nav in those days! Mind you thinking about it I still haven’t got that.
Rawtenstall won the toss and inserted Lowerhouse no doubt wanting Miller to get his wickets early for celebrations to begin. Indeed the spectators would know by tea whether both players had achieved their goals. The ‘House made an awful start and were soon 31-5 but the only consolation was that Blez wasn’t one of those victims. Pro’ Morgan, Heaton and Moorhouse hadn’t troubled the scorers. Meanwhile, though, only Phil Astin (1) had been taken by Colin Miller. Bleazard was playing cautiously trying to hold the innings together and had a slice of luck when a sharp chance was spilled at slip. He gradually counted the runs down and was able to raise his bat after a stylish boundary brought up the record. Crowds in Rossendale generally know their stuff and home fans joined ‘House fans in generously saluting Chris’s feat. Jez Hope (17) and David Whalley (19 not out) were able to give Blez support but in truth he proceeded to dominate the innings, as his confidence visibly grew. I particularly enjoyed him putting that thorn in Lowerhouse’s side, namely Keith Roscoe, into the car park at the town end. Eventually with Blez on 83 the wily Kes had his revenge as Chris holed out on the long on boundary. He’d set the new record at 857. Meanwhile Lowerhouse had made Miller really sweat but by clean bowling Hope and Brian Higgin he got the 3 wickets he’d needed but no more than that. There was rightly a great ovation for Miller. As well as it being a great accomplishment the man himself was a very popular personality with the home fans. Lowerhouse finished on 172-9 which marked a fine recovery from the mire of 31-5.
Lowerhouse fans hoped the score would be competitive but that soon proved wishful thinking. That fine amateur Peter Wood (65), and later Miller (58) played highly destructive knocks to make the chase seem simple. A bad day for the Gee family saw Steve’s son Marcus go for 29 runs in just 2 overs. It would be his last game for Lowerhouse. Rocky made the game seem one-sided when passing their target with just 3 wickets down and 20 overs to spare.
I dread to think the mood of Lowerhouse players and fans going into the winter months if Chris Bleazard had have been caught out before achieving his new record because it gave us a good consolation despite the comprehensive defeat. We also knew that we had an elite player who would go up against the likes of Roscoe for years to come. With hindsight I’m not sure we realised just how many years! It is also notable that Bleazards record set that day still stands with the man himself coming closest to bettering it, a year later in 1991 and in 2001 and 2003. Five years later Ramsbottom’s Chris Harris became the fourth and last player to do the ‘double’. With the changes to the bowling rules he’ll probably be the last. So in conclusion it’s the importance of the records that were set that day which will make the 1990 curtain call between Rawtenstall versus Lowerhouse a ‘game to remember’.
- I’ve stated that because of their lack of patience and attention, millennials and then the children of millennials will turn local cricket into a 20-20 competition in the fullness of time. You’re a teacher and better placed than me, am I too pessimistic as a 50 over fuddy duddy?
I think the cricket day is too long now. If a game plays its full 50 overs, it will mean a player is at the cricket from 11:30 til 20:00 (with shower) which is fine for the cricket obsessive with little other pressure from home or friends. (At this point I must fully acknowledge Lindsay’s patience and understanding and our privileged position as teachers with long summer holidays).
With at least 10 double header weekends with cup competitions and 5 being triple headers with T20, the time commitment for players, spouses and families during the summer months is extraordinary. It is little wonder that some teams find it difficult to put the same team on the field during double headed weekends and that some good league cricketers walk away from the game. Playing less (league restructure) and more competitive games (two divisions) is essential in the modern era. Would the games be much different if they were 45 or 40 overs per side? I tend to think not and you would possibly save at least an hour of match time.
As for T20 itself, it is quicker and given the weather a good spectacle. But it tends to be able to be dominated by pros or the star amateurs without allowing younger players to contribute or develop their skills. It has its place but I wouldn’t like to see it as the main part of the fixture list for that reason alone.
- Right Chris just a couple of questions left. You’ve scored 7 League hundreds and 99 fifties. Is there one of those centuries and one of those fifties that really stand out above the others?
I think the hundred in the 2004 WC final would have to be the standout innings for so many reasons is the most memorable but winning that first piece of silverware after nearly 150 years was an incredible feeling and hitting the winning runs to bring up the hundred, unreal…..
As for memorable 50’s (quite appropriate) the two in a season against Alan Donald are a special memory but you can’t really beat home half centuries against Burnley that contribute to winning games. I have already previously mentioned one in 2005, but 2010 and 2012 are also special. I remember the 2010 innings because Joe has a photo of him and I walking off the ground after sealing a victory with an over to spare when we needed about 35 off three overs. But perhaps the most memorable was the 50 in the first innings in 2012 when we were around 30 for 6, we were batting against their pro Adnan Rasool on a turning track and I managed to survive for 30 or so overs before being able to push our score up to 140 with Ferg and Joe. I think we then managed to bowl them out for 80 with Frankie demolishing their top order.
- Lastly I’ll get you out of here on this. I think it would be unfair to rate and judge your fellow Lowerhouse amateurs and friends but I’d like you to name , in no particular order, the 5 best Lowerhouse pros you’ve played with, the 5 toughest pros you’ve played against and the 5 best amateurs from opposition Clubs.
LHCC Pros – In chronological order
- Kirti Azad
- Martin Van Jaarsveld
- Ryan Harris
- Andrew Macdonald
- Francois Haasbroek
Opposition Pros – In no particular order
- Roger Harper
- Chris Harris
- Sean Young
- Shane Warne
- Alan Donald
The last two international star names being the criteria.
Didn’t play against Viv Richards or Steve Waugh.
Opposition Amateurs – all-rounders and bowlers in no order
- Jack Simpson WK/batsmen
- Dave Pearson WK/batsmen
- Steve Dearden
- Jon Fielding
- Dibber and Kes – Bowlers
I found it difficult to judge batsmen objectively (as I didn’t bowl enough to find them tough) and there were too many choices.
So I took the easy route and limited my selection to all-rounders & bowlers.