1974: New-Boy Alan Is West End Hero

Article sent in by Anne Cochrane, a feature on BCTHIC

Lowerhouse top scorer Duncan Hall drives a ball from Birtwistle into the covers for a single during the home match again Accrington on Saturday.

From a report by Peter Higgs:
A remarkable spell of bowling by new-boy Alan Holden led Lowerhouse to their first Lancashire League victory of the season on Saturday, 18th May 1974. Paceman Holden stole the limelight with six wickets to send opponents Accrington tumbling out for 46. It was a heartening performance not only for Holden but for Lowerhouse too, who look to have found an excellent prospect. Last season 24-year-old Holden was playing for Brunshaw Old Boys in the Burnley Sunday School League. He was persuaded to try his luck at Lowerhouse and began this season in the second team but was thrust into the Lancashire League after an injury to stock bowler Trevor Jones, to share the new ball duties with professional Tony Benneworth.

On Saturday Holden persistently had the Accrington batsmen in trouble with his left-arm seamers, which drifted the ball away from the right handed batsmen. He was well supported by skipper Brian Higgin behind the stumps. Higgin took four catches including a spectacular leg-side effort to clinch the victory and Tony Benneworth weighed in with the other four wickets in a lively spell. When Lowerhouse batted at the start of the match there was little indication of the succes to come as the total crept up to 75 with several of the experienced batsmen getting themselves out with rash strokes.

With 87 minutes lost for rain Accrington were left with 85 minutes to knock off the runs. Accrington were looking desperate at 45 for seven and with 33 minutes to go, down came the rain again but after seven minutes, play resumed and despite Accrington skipper Peter West and tail-ender Ian Birtwistle defending stubbornly they only scored one more run.

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