Lowerhouse v Rishton
Lowerhouse tightened their grip on the Lancashire League title with a bruising victory over Rishton on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts put their opponents into bat and achieved almost immediate success when Joe Hawke forced Kelly Mall into an error in the 2nd over as he attempted a cut shot but didn’t connect cleanly and Joe Martin took a very impressive catch low to his right. Ben Juliff and professional Matthew Hulett began putting together a solid partnership at about 3 runs an over (although there were numerous catching catches during this time). From the 14th over onwards, the story of the innings completely changed thanks to some imposing bowling combined with some dubious shot selections. Hulett was first to go as Jon Finch got him out LBW for 14. Then in the space of five balls Ali Sartaj (0) could only glove it to Jonny Whitehead who ran in from gully, Juliff (14) hooked it to Paddy Martin at square leg off the bowling of Matt Walker and Irfan Muhammad (0) played a ghastly pull shot straight to Lewis Marsden at short extra cover. Kegan Dobson (0) and Mark Leathert (1) both fell victim to Finch as the experienced talisman was enjoying his best bowling spell of the season to leave Rishton on 62 for 7. He would end up with figures of 4/19 off 9 overs. Paul Clifford and Darrel Thomas did their best to show some resistance but Cobus Piennar wrapped things up with 3 dismissals in one over: Thomas caught behind for 9, Josh Brown bowled out for 1 and Steve Juliff LBW for 0 as the visitors were blown away for 81 all out after only 32 overs.
Lowerhouse set about the task of chasing down the target in a speedy but professional manner with a rate of 4 runs an over in the first ten overs, Finch and Jonny Whitehead saw off any threat that the bowlers could muster. A change of bowling finally brought a wicket but also the two best shots of the day as Whitehead hit Clifford for two sixes in a row straight over the wall before giving Ben Juliff a regulation caught behind when he reached 29. Ben Heap and, in particular, Finch made sure there wouldn’t be any further any nasty surprises as the hosts sauntered to a thumping 9 wicket in just 17.4 overs, the quickest victory of the season to date.
MOM was Jon Finch for his 4/19 and 35 not out. A much sterner challenge awaits Lowerhouse this weekend as Haslingden are the opponents at the Neville Gee (Recruitment) Arena on Saturday.