2007 Season Report by Stan Heaton

2006-2007 Saw the retirement from the Captaincy ranks of Joe Beneduce and the accession of Jonathan Finch.

Many thanks to Joe – the first ever Lowerhouse captain to lift the Lancashire League championship.

Outgoings and incomings saw the transfer of Bharat Tripathi to Burnley and Chris Astin to Read , and the acquisition of County under 14 Max Howells from Read. Full credit to Max who threw himself into all aspects of club life and training. Stephen Waite called time on his Lowerhouse career and moved to the Old Boys.

Bharat’s departure was not unexpected but was still disappointing. As I said at the time, irrespective of any other complications – it isn’t always easy to marry personal expectations with club needs and requirements. With regard to Chris – he probably needed a fresh challenge.

The club also acquired Hassan Khan who came well recommended from Stuart Grant and his home club Hale Barnes CC. Stuart played cricket and studied with Hassan at university

Hassan also had to wait for his debut. Like Max, the selectors felt that it would be unfair to drop anyone and selection took a natural course through unavailability and injury.

This was important for team selection strategy, loyalty and team morale but wasn’t ideal for either player, and I pay tribute to their patience and understanding.

Paul Stansfield was re-elected as captain to continue his good work with the 2 nd XI – likewise John Waite who was champing at the bit with the 3 rd XI to make up for missing the previous season through injury.

In the junior ranks the club stepped up yet anotherrung in its commitment to junior cricket.

The club entered a 3 rd under 13s team – the Cougars – in the Lancashire Junior league to accommodate the burgeoning numbers of able cricketers at that age group.,

We also undertook a partnership with Burnley Football club – well brokered by Gordon Howley. This gave us an additional venue on a Tuesday and Friday night, as well as our traditional Sunday mornings at Barden.

We took full advantage of this by using Tuesday evenings from January onwards for specialist coaching under Nigel Brown and Friday evenings for senior nets.

In trying to raise the bar, the club appointed Neil McGregor as first team manager with special responsibility for fitness and preparation. This commenced with indoor nets. I have to say that although the purpose was extremely serious, this was enormous fun too.

Pre season friendlies saw the club play Clitheroe and Farnworth Social Circle at home at 1 st XI, and Read in a mixed 1 st and 2 nd XI. The 2 nd XI played Clitheroe and Belvedere and the 3 rd XI played BGSOB 2XI. This was the best preparation we had seen for a while and I would like to thank ground gurus Pete and Phil for their efforts in achieving this.

The season 2007-

 

Commenced in earnest with the ground personnel – Phil Astin and Pete Tighe preparing a delight of a ground.

Despite all the preparation, the first XI will have to reflect on a disappointing season. There were bright spots in the bowling of Matt Hope and the debut and maiden performances of those listed later in this report but this club now expects better than mid table.

I know many spectators and indeed officials were bitterly disappointed, particularly at some of the low scores returned in home games.

It is however important not to become hysterical. We need to look at the reasons –

Although the bowling didn’t particularly struggle no side could afford to be without its main strike amateur bowler. We missed Johnny Russell. Hopefully his injury will have repaired in time for pre season training in 2008.

He wasn’t the only injury – Jack McGregor and Chris Bleazard missed large parts of the season. Chris Benbow took a sabbatical for work reasons.

Something less random was the incessant depletions for other activities – work, holidays, studies, and important social events. All of these of course are understandable depletions but the net result was that at no time was this club able to field its strongest team. Selection was very difficult – only in the last game of the season was the printed team the one that took the field. Much of this wasn’t helped by the incessant replaying of games. Many players had gambled on these being free dates when arranging work etc.

I don’t need to explain to any player that a run of form can’t be expected when matches are frequently missed. Not a single amateur experienced constant good batting form

Of equal significance, and one has to feel sorry for him, was the lack of batting form from the pro.

He has my sympathy. He arrived from Australia, six matches into the season and at the commencement of the wettest period we have ever encountered. Not only did he not have the benefit of starting the season on new and different but dry wickets, he had to start on near paddy fields. His bowling was outstanding, but with the exception of the Burnley game, our amateurs, and largely young amateurs, did not have the benefit of standing at the opposite end to either a pro in full flow – or Blez in full flow.

Our youngsters were constantly in the firing line – some bright spots there too but it was a hard learning experience. We can only trust it stands them in good stead.

The CLA SPONSORED presentation night for the 2007 season took place at the clubhouse on November 30 th in front of over 200 players, members and parents – a magnificent attendance.

 

A big thank you to our sponsors CLA and Kevin Bailey for his facilitation.

 

Awards were presented by the Head Coach, Nigel Brown and were as follows.

 

 

  • Harry Green accepted the Division 4 Champions award for the under 11s Cubs

 

  • Corey Hope collected the Division 1 Runners Up Trophy for the under 13 Lions

 

  • Gus Whitehead collected the Division 4 Champions trophy for the Under 13 Tigers

 

  • Patrick Mortimer collected the Division 4 Runners Up trophy for the Under 13 Cougars

 

  • Josh Whitehead collected the Division 1 Runners up trophy for the under 15 Sharks

 

  • Michael Lee collected the Division 2 joint champions trophy for the under 17s

 

  • Michael Lee also collected the trophy for the Colne Floodlit Trophy – a competition that we have won in each of its 3 year history.

 

  • Paul Stansfield collected the 2XI Runner up trophy

 

There were a number of individual milestones commemorated by trophies, certificates and plinths.

 Maiden 100s for the club

Phil Edmondson 137* v Church 2X1

Phil Haggerty 128 v Enfield 2XI

Gavin Shields 107 v Todmorden 3XI

Joe Martin ( 13) 106* v Haslingden 3XI

 

Maiden 50s for the club

  • Scott Hope ( 18) 50 v Rishton 1st XI
  • Max Howells (14) 73* v Rishton 3XI
  • Matt Walker ( 14 ) 69 v Rawtenstall 3XI
  • Tauqeer Razzaq ( 15) 58 v Haslingden 3XI
  • Paddy Howley (16)52* v Rawtenstall under 17s.
  • Patrick Martin ( 15) 51* under 15 Sharks v Accrington, 52* v Colne, 54* v Rawtenstall ( including 26 off one over )
  • Joe Martin – at 13 years old made his 3 rd XI debut – made a maiden 62 in his first game v Haslingden , a 50 not out in his second and topped those with an unbeaten 106 v Bacup in the last game of the season
  • Joe Martin 53* Lowerhouse u 15 Dolphins v Colne

Maiden 5 wickets

  • Patrick Martin – 5- 33 v Church 2XI with a best of 7- 27 v Haslingden 2XI
  • Ryan Clegg (16)5-26 v Accrington 2XI
  • Ryan Clegg ( 16) had 3 x five wicket performances in his first season as a regular second team bowler
  • Ryan Clegg 6 for 6 v Todmorden u 17
  • Michael Lee (17)– 5-17 v Rishton 3XI
  • Colin Quinn ( 16) , 5 for 23 v Bacup 3XI
  • Ben Webster ( 16) 5 for 25 in the Colne Floodlit Trophy v Earby
  • Tauqeer Razzaq(14) performed his now annual bowling feat – 6 for 7 under 15 Sharks v Accrington
  • Declan Bailey (12) hat trick v Ingleton in the Trimpell Competition

Commemorative trophies were awarded to

  • Max Howells became the youngest player to represent Lowerhouse 1 st XI aged 14 years and ten months
  • Committee player of the year – Paul Stansfield – commemorating the 2XI runners up position
  • Players’ Player of the year – Matt Hope
  • Jim Ives Trophy – 12 to 17 year olds – Ryan Clegg from occasional bowler to 2XI leading wicket taker.
  • Jim Ives Trophy – 12 to 17 year olds – Patrick Howley for his rise from junior keeper to 2XI and Lancashire under 16 Festival keeper during the season
  • Jonathan Finch ( 123) and professional Ryan Harris (144) League record opening partnership of 257 v Rawtenstall
  • Hannah Till – first Lowerhouse Girl to represent the County ( under 10 playing under 13)

District Cricket Town Team Awards

Under 11 Batting

Jack Herbert and Ben Gorton

Bowling
Owen Davies

 

Under 13 Batting
Joe Martin – 200+ runs including a 70 and 80
Bowling

Declan Bailey

 Under 15
Aidan Tate ( Burnley)

Matt Walker (Lowerhouse)

Bowling
Patrick Martin

Lancashire Junior League

Under 9s – 7th – Captain – Adam Stubbs

 P 8 W 1 NR 1 L6 – 5 points

Top score Kane Smith 21

Best bowling Ismaeel Mehdi 3 for 16

CLA sponsored Batting Prize –Ismaeel Mehdi and Kane Smith

CLA sponsored Bowling Prize –Adam Smith

This was a difficult season for the under 9s. There were a number of 7 year olds in the squad and at this tender age we had a lot of first time match cricketers. The lads played some very good cricket but were often outdone by the big lad from the opposition who could slog. We have tried to steer clear of this type of cricket and were the only side in the league who played with full kit – helmets and pads. Whilst this may make it difficult for the under 9s we believe it is the right thing to do. Our success at under 11b team (next stage up) and further up the chain would seem to evidence that this is the right thing to do

Many thanks to co manager Andy Holden

Under 11s Bears (Division 1) – 5th – Captain Jack Herbert

Played 10 W 3 L 7

Top score – Jack Herbert 24 *

Best bowling – Matt Wharfe 4 for 11

CLA sponsored Bowling Prize – Jack Herbert and Ben Gorton – 80 runs

CLA sponsored Batting Prize – Matt Wharfe 9 wickets

This was a largely under 10 team until July when our schools programme resulted in an increase in older lads. The schools players learnt very quickly and had the season started then we would have been much more successful. Twelve months makes a big difference at this age and in early matches the opposition were often more switched on and could beat the field more easily. Nevertheless we were very pleased with the technical ability from the team and their willingness to stick at it.

Many thanks to co manager Jim Heaton

Under 11 Cubs (Division 4) – champions – captain Harry Green

Played 8 won 7 lost 1

Top score – Joe Gray 17*

Best bowling – Matt Brammer 4 for 9

CLA sponsored Bowling – Adam Monk – 8 wickets
CLA sponsored Batting – Lewis Nuttall -53 runs

Champions for the 4th year running. . Most of the players were under 10 and as a result of the numbers of players at this age group we will have 3 under 11s teams in 2008. We need a name for the new team – something along the Bear theme. Koalas and Pandas seem to be favourite at the moment – I welcome any suggestions please.

At the end of the season the under 11s for 2007 were invited to play in an outdoor competition at Trimpell, Morecambe against Northern and Westmoreland League sides. Having won it in 2007, the team fared less well this season going out at the league stage. Support from parents was superb

Under 13 Lions –– Runners up Division 1 – Captain – Corey Hope

P 10 W 7 L 3

Top score –Declan Bailey 26*

Best bowling – Declan Bailey 3 for 6

CLA sponsored Bowling – Josh Lavin – 11 wickets

CLA sponsored Batting – Jonny Whitehead – 169 runs

The team began the season with a mixed side in terms of ages but as we progressed it became possible to select all under 13s sides on the basis of age and ability combinations. The Lions were held to be the lead side and were mostly under 13s. With one championship team (Tigers) and two runners up (Lions and Cougars) this appeared to work. This is our strongest ability age group with many players of considerable potential. In truth the Lions were very disappointed not to win the league – losing a couple of games in a silly fashion being the main reason why.

The team progressed to the League final of the National Cup

Josh Lavin selected as school captain of QUEGS under 12s

The side again competed in the Trimpell Cup at Morecambe and were beaten finalists

In late 2006, the under 13s played in an indoor competition at Blackburn. Unfortunately due to a misunderstanding they played the under 14 district squads from Blackburn, Wigan and the Ribble Valley. They acquitted themselves extremely well considering they were from the one club and a year under age.

Many thanks to co manager Nicky Hope

Under 13 Tigers – (Division 4) Champions – Captain – Angus Whitehead

P 8 W 7 NR 1

Top score – Gus Whitehead 22 not out

Best Bowling – Ben Batley 3 for 5

CLA sponsored Batting – Gus Whitehead 138 runs

CLA sponsored Bowling- Ben Batley – 12 wickets

Two years ago this side was bottom of the same league, and was runner up last year. I see this as a mark of the progress of the club as well as individual ability.

The team were largely under 12s from the previous years under 11 Bears. On many occasions all the team had at some stage to step up to the Lions team and indeed on some occasions the under 15s dolphins . This team will move out of the reserve division in 2008 and compete in Division 3

Many thanks to co managers Chris Whitehead and Colin Humberstone

Under 13s Cougars – Division 4 runners up – captain Patrick Mortimer  

P 8 W 4 L 4

First season in existence for the team and necessary because of the numbers at the club. The team comprised of mostly under 12s from last years under 11 Cubs and newcomers to the club. This was a very successful experiment and this team is here to stay.

Best Bowling – Jack Herbert 4 for 4

Best Batting – Junaid Ahmed 20*

CLA sponsored Batting Prize – Alistair Smalley 105 runs

CLA sponsored Bowling Prize – Patrick Mortimer and Jack Herbert

Under 15s Sharks – (Division 2) Runners up Captain – Josh Whitehead

P 10 won 8 lost 2

Top score – Patrick Martin 54*

Best bowling – Tauqeer Razzaq 6 for 7

CLA sponsored Bowling Prize – Tauqeer Razzaq 11 wickets at an average of 5.5 runs per wicket

CLA sponsored Batting Prize– Patrick Martin 269 runs at an average of 53.75

Despite losing twice to Bacup the team managed to secure runners up position and will be once again back in the top flight. Almost the whole side were under 14 so there is a great deal of expectation for 2008

Many thanks to co manager Chris Whitehead

Under 15s Dolphins – (Division 2) – 7/7 – Captain – Ricky Cunningham

Top score –Joe Martin 52*

Best Bowling – Alex Whitehead 3 -14

CLA sponsored Bowling – Alex Whitehead

CLA sponsored Batting- Nathan Mottram, Afraz Ali and Josh Heron

We are the only club to have a second under 15s side so effectively this is our reserve team, competing against other first teams. Having surpassed the standard last season and getting promoted, the side was unable to maintain what was a huge ask and have slipped down to the 3 rd division. This is nevertheless a vital side and dear to our hearts. Most of the team were under 14 so it is a good grounding for them. We are also having a rethink on selection policy. Rather than have a strong Sharks and a less strong Dolphins we are looking to select on age in future years. This will have the effect of balancing the two teams out and preventing the Dolphins from struggling. It also has the added advantage of keeping lads together (the under 13s is picked largely on age basis)

Many thanks to co managers Gordon Howley and John Waite

Under 17s (joint champions Division 2) – Captain Michael Lee

Top score – Paddy Howley 52*

Best Bowling – Ryan Clegg –6 for 6

CLA sponsored Batting – Lewis Marsden, Patrick Howley, Colin Quinn and Michael Donovan – 175 runs

CLA sponsored Bowling – Ben Webster and Ryan Clegg 18 wickets

At last – the under 17s have got promoted and this now means that all our A teams are in their respective top flight divisions. Because of the strength of numbers at the club we tried to avoid picking regular first and second team players for this team. Although Kieran Tighe played a couple in recovering from a long injury we felt that this team should be preserved for those who were either in the 3 rd team, or yet to get in the 3 rd team. We didn’t want to be in a position where some lads were playing weekend and Mondays, yet others were deprived of a game. The side contained quite a number of the older 2006 under 15s team that suffered relegation last season. So to get promotion with the under 17s was some achievement. It is a reminder of course that players develop at different rates.

Many thanks to co managers Gordon Howley and Eric Haworth

Lowerhouse Juniors at Belvedere  

Batting – Matthew Walker

Bowling – Ben Webster and Dean Mottram

Lowerhouse Juniors at BGSOB

Batting –Johnny Whitehead – 230 runs

Fergus Bailey – 31 wickets

Those juniors who have not become 3 rd XI regulars are encouraged to play for Belvedere and BGSOB.

We are extremely grateful for this mutually beneficial arrangement which of course is good for the individuals, the clubs and cricket in general.

Many thanks to the two clubs particularly Eric Haworth and John Waite and to the Ribblesdale League

3rd XI (4th– Captain John Waite and Michael Lee)

P 13 W 7 L 4 NR 2 BP8 P 40

Highest score 298 all out v Haslingden

Opponents lowest score 87-10 – Church

Highest score Gav Shields 107 and Joe Martin 106*

Best Bowling Kieran Tighe 4-17 v Church

CLA sponsored Batting Prize – Paddy Howley 213 and Joe Martin 218 runs

CLA sponsored Bowling prize – Ben Webster 17 wickets

An improved season for the 3XI who were entirely under 13 to under 17 apart from the odd adult.

Once again we continued to buck the trend by not playing established second eleven players or even first team juniors. In almost every set of fixtures we turned out an entirely separate 3 XI from 2XI. As the season wore on we racked up some massive scores and bowled well. We will continue to adopt this stance.

There were a number of individual highlights. Big centuries – Joe Martin’s fantastic introduction to the team, Matt Walkers blistering maiden 50 at Rawtenstall. For me, John Waite and Gordon Howley, the collectiveness of the team was a sight to behold. Great cricket, consistent bowling, spectacular batting and above all else a great team spirit.

An unforgettable day was when the usual 3 rd team lads at under 17 age played in the Colne Floodlit trophy and so we chose to bring in under 13s to replace them. The under 13 to under 16 side scored 262 and bowled Haslingden out for 120

Many thanks to Captain John Waite and umpire Gordon Howley for their assistance

nd XI (2 nd) – Captain Paul Stansfield – RUNNERS UP

P26 W11 L4 NR11 BP 27 PTS 168

Highest score – 227-8 v Todmorden.

Opponents lowest – 55-10 – Haslingden

CLA sponsored Batting Prize – Patrick Martin –431 runs

CLA sponsored Bowling prize – Ryan Clegg and Patrick Martin 35 / 36 wickets

Highest Score – Phil Edmondson – 137*

Best Bowling – Patrick Martin 7-27

The first piece of second eleven silverware in 25 years and thoroughly deserved for the long serving members of the team and the youngsters who did so well.

This was achieved despite the weather which seemed to rob us of playing the lower end of the league and the numerous selection changes caused by first team depletions.

Joe Hawke (17), Patrick Martin (15), Scott Hope (18), Max Howells (14), all played several first team games.

Ryan Clegg established himself as a very dangerous second team bowler despite having nor started the season in the team. Paddy Howley progressed in rapid time from under 17s to 2 nd team keeper in Frank’s absence.

1st XI (9th) – Captain Jon Finch

Best Batting – Ryan Harris 144

Best Bowling – Arran O’Brien 8 for 35

CLA sponsored Batting prize – Jonathan Finch 484 runs

CLA sponsored Bowling prize – Matt Hope 34 wickets

We had high hopes for the first team in 2007. The Chairman had once again done us proud by securing the services of Ryan Harris for the first 6 games of the season and Johnathon Moss for the remainder of the season. These were ideal signings for the balance of the team and Ryan was his formidable self in those opening games.

Unfortunately Johnathon Moss gave backword and we were high and dry at the last minute. We lost to Rishton with a sub pro who threw his wicket away and despite the signing of Aaron O’ Brien, batting continued to be a problem through out the season

We have a great deal to be optimistic about for 2007. The signing of Will Driver and Matt Doughty allied to the talent already at the club gives us much to be confident about. The younger players will be one year older and wiser and we hope that our long term injuries have cleared up and Chris Bleazard and Johnny Russell can return.

Representative Cricket

Lancashire U16 County Squad

Patrick Martin (amazingly as an under 15)

Lancashire U16 Festival representation

Patrick Martin and Paddy Howley

Lancashire u 15 County Squad

Patrick Martin

Lancashire under 14 County Squad 

Max Howells – National County Cup winners

Lancashire under 13s Girls County team

Hannah Till (aged 10)

Lancashire u 12 County Team

Declan Bailey and Josh Lavin

Lancashire League under 15 representation

Patrick Martin

District Town Team cricket

Once again Lowerhouse Cricket club provided the entire under 11 team for Burnley CDG- 13 players in all

We provided 12 out of the 14 under 13 team-

We provided 9 of the 14 players used in the under 15 team –

All told we provided 34 of the 41 Town Team district players used.

Best performances

Under 15s

Matt Walker 53 v South Ribble

Under 13s

Joe Martin 70* v Bury and 88 v Blackburn

Under 11s

Jack Herbert 46 and Ben Gorton (an under 10) 34* = 92 partnership v South Ribble

Junior Development

WE ARE ONCE AGAIN INDEBTED TO ‘AWARDS FOR ALL’ FOR THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT THAT THEY HAVE GIVEN US. WITHOUT THIS FUNDING WE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO FULFIL OUR OBLIGATIONS TO THE JUNIOR CRICKETERS AT THE CLUB, AND INDEED IN THE TOWN.

WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK ALL OUR CLUB SPONSORS CLA FOR THEIR FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BOTH THE SENIORS AND JUNIORS.

Coaching

Cricket coaching for all age groups ran as usual from January to Easter at Barden on Sunday mornings and was supplemented by coaching on Tuesdays at Turf Moor for more specialist disciplines.

Junior practice on Wednesday’s continued to hit the 80 mark on a regular basis.

Nigel Brown and our coaches again put on a cricket school during August. Braving showery weather 50 of our juniors attended the 4 day course

The club has continued to expand its links with the LCB Old Trafford.

On 3 occasions during the summer we took 20 boys and girls to Old Trafford to assist with the examinations for the coaching exams. Our juniors were given free coaching, a trip round the ground and complimentary pro 40 tickets. Thanks very much Nigel.

We were also asked to provide a guard of honour at a pro 40 match and 20 boys and girls again attended. Unfortunately the weather prevented any play

We now have 140 registered juniors and this does take some organisation.

Thanks once again to all our coaches and team managers and assistants. We have 8 people going through level 1 and 2 coaching courses at the moment and including outside, hired help we now have 40 coaches, managers and assistants working with the juniors

  • under 13s coaching has started at QEGS on Tuesday evenings,
  • we are leading the District Girls Coaching on Sundays,
  • under 9s and newcomer coaching will take place in the Christmas holidays,
  • under 9 to 12 will commence Sunday mornings in January,
  • under 13 to 17 Sunday mornings in February
  • alternative midweek nights for those unable to attend on Sundays will start in February
  • senior nets will start late February

All players will be invited by text.

Development
All selection clouds have silver linings – non more so than the earlier than expected introduction of Paddy Howley to the second team wicket keeping slot, vacated by Frank stepping up to cover for Jack. He debuted at Rawtenstall, took a flying catch and never looked back. So much so within a matter of weeks he was selected for the Lancashire u 16 Festival team.

Patrick Martin and Max Howells made debuts for the first XI. Matt Walker (14) for the 2XI. A number of under 13s for the 3XI and under 12s for the under 15 dolphins. Jack Herbert (under 11) and Ben Gorton (under 10) played under 13 cricket regularly.

In winter 2006 we set our stall out to try and break more youngsters into the county set up. In 2007 we increased the number with 2 under 12s, an under 13 girl and an under 15.

In 2008 we will have 5 players in the county squads already and will send 3 under 11s, 1 under 12, 2 under 13s, 3 under 14s and 2 under 15s to the trials. The standard is enormously high and we have tried to be as selective as possible.

We are currently in the final stages of a £90k project for outdoor practice facilities at the rear of the club house. A big thanks to Gordon Howley for all the hard work he has done. Fingers crossed that we are successful.

Schools

As part of our commitment with the Cricket Development Group we entered into a formal schools coaching project. The Borough Coach (Qasim Ali) and I went into various schools in our catchment area.

The Council Sports Development Department again ran Kwik Cricket festivals at Burnley and Lowerhouse. The schools coaching and these Festivals proved very useful in accessing untapped talent. 7 players were good enough to go into the under 11s and 4 more were accepted into the club coaching programme with a view to team accession. In addition 3 more girls were added to the coaching squads.

Girls’ cricket will be very important in 2008 and we are determined to give the borough all our assistance and indeed to lead on girls’ cricket.

We are always looking to expand our coaches and assistants. Any person who would like to get involved – please contact me. No qualifications are necessary so if there is anyone out there who can assist on Wednesday’s please contact me. The work is not onerous. It is within a team framework and very enjoyable and will suit anyone with two hours to spare

In closing

Could I thank all those who have contributed to this progress and for the mass of time and effort that they devote? I particular include those who undertake the off field endeavours that allow cricket to take place.

To the rest could I ask you for your continued support and encouragement and remind you, as always that this is YOUR club.

Stan Heaton – Cricket Manager

On behalf of the Chairman and Committee