When I volunteered to do another match report after the Clitheroe match, I chose Burnley away, little did I know it would clash with a World Cup Quarter Final. So apologies in advance if the actual cricket content is a little thin on the ground as I missed 3 hours of the game either in the clubhouse or nipping to the offy for more cans!
I got down to Burnleys ground nice and early and I watched the lads go through their usual warm up routines in what was blistering sunshine. I soon found out that Burnley had won the toss and unsurprisingly decided to bat. Making the Lowerhouse lads run around in the sunshine for hours seemed to me to be a good tactic and as the innings started both openers seemed to use that tactic to good effect, making our fielders chase the ball to the boundary on numerous occasions. However they themselves soon headed to the boundary as Toxy got them both with the score on 30. A decent 3rd wicket stand was beginning to develop between Burnleys pro Asif Zakir and Joe Marshall but it was the pro who was next to go off the bowling of Franky for 19 a second catch of the game for Joey Martin. Two more wickets fell soon after with the score on 77 as both Marshall and Chris Burton fell to franky and Paddy Martin. These wickets brought Joe McCluskie to the crease and it was his arrival that saw the wickets dry up for a while.
It was also around this point that I decided to watch a rather important football match as did quite a few others. Opportunites to win a football match for a place in the semi finals of the World Cup don’t come around often especially for England and we had a real chance against a team like Sweden. I tried to keep an eye on the cricket as much as I could through the window as I was watching the match. That was until a rather stern tea lady closed the blinds. Im sure the lads on the field heard the roar when England deservedly took the lead with Harry Maguire slamming home a fantastic header with that huge noggin of his. Footballs coming home we all started chanting. It was during this first half that I missed our sub pro Akbar Ur Rehman get 4 further Burnley wickets sandwiched around a further wicket for franky to bowl Burnley out for 196, McCluskie being the top scorer with 66.
The players then joined us in the team room as they took a well deserved break and watched the start of the second half some of them looking absolutely shattered after being in the field for 3 hours in that heat. They left to get ready to bat just as England scored a second goal through Dele Alli who planted an header into the goal from a lovely Jesse Lingard cross. Footballs coming home we all started chanting again. Even though Jordan Pickford made a couple of outstanding saves I wasn’t worried in the slightest as Sweden were, quite frankly poor. England comfortably saw out the rest of the game to ease into the semi finals of the World Cup. Time for more cans of liquid refreshment I thought so off we popped to the local offy for more supplies.
We got back to the ground and saw that Ben and Charlie had got us off to a good start with the score on 45-0. Charlie was first to go at 60 caught and bowled by McCluskie who, in rather bizarre fashion celebrated so wildly that I thought Sachin Tendulkar had just opened for Lowerhouse! He wasnt celebrating as wildly for his second wicket that of the skipper Ben Heap for a fantastic 51 because by then the game was almost up for Burnley with the score on 154. Ben had put on a brilliant 2nd wicket stand of 92 with our sub pro Akbar ur Rehman who by now was guiding us home to an easy win. I was particularly impressed with Akbars batting and would love to see him sub pro’ing again for us in the future.
The game was petering out to an easy win with Franky joining Akbar and they continued to score runs easily. It was around this point that panic ensued in the crowd as Bish Bash Bosh lost his hearing aid after a cuddle from one of Burnleys vociferous supporters. People spent what seemed like an age searching for it. ”I can hear it whistling, I can hear it whistling, but I cant bloody see it” he shouted. He took his top off for it to fall to the floor. It had been under his shirt all the time!
Shortly after the winning runs were scored and we eased to an eight wicket win. This pushed us up to second above Ramsbottom and Darwen who both lost, but still behind Walsden who simply keep on winning week after week. Theres still a long way to go yet though so we just have to keep winning and hope the leaders have a slip up or 2.
Whatever the season brings its been a fantastic summer so far and remember folks Footballs coming home.