1898: The 1898 season

By Paul Hargreaves

On the back of this photo sent in earlier in the week, Paul has summarised our 1898 season.

Lowerhouse were generally in the doldrums in the late-1890’s and 1898 wasn’t an untypical season. The club finished bottom of the Lancashire League with just 18 points. ‘House got 8pts. for 4 wins, 10 pts. for 10 draws but lost the other 12 games.

It was an era dominated by bowlers probably played on rather poor wickets. We were coming to the end of the two professionals per team rule. (It ended after the 1899 season) Gregory and Wardle were the paid men for Lowerhouse and they took 84 and 55 wickets respectively. The former is a Hall of Famer taking a total of 352 wickets in his four year stint at Liverpool Rd. No Lowerhouse amateur played a significant role and Elliot’s 6 wickets was enough for third place on the list!

On the batting side only two players(both amateurs) topped the 200 run mark. These were Henry Cudworth and J.J.Elliot. The former played his only season at Lowerhouse this year; playing the rest of his career across at Turf Moor. He was still a player when he died prematurely on the eve of the 1914 season aged 40. He played one first class game for Lancashire in 1900. Elliot , on the other hand, was a ‘House stalwart and his 3,200 plus runs sees him on the Hall of Fame list. All the club’s four victories were gained at home. They came against Ramsbottom, Church, Nelson and Burnley.

The latter was an obvious highlight. Lowerhouse were 75 all out and with Burnley on the brink of winning at 74 for 9, ‘pro’ Wardle bowled Burnley’s No. 11 Powers for a duck to gain a famous and no doubt well celebrated victory.

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