Match Report vs Todmorden (Home) 2015
Following the Lancashire League’s Charity Shield that is the Colne Trophy, that is exactly what Lowerhouse are. Not many people expected it and to be fair, why should they? After the disastrous start last season and the missing faces from 2014, not many people expected the Champions to recover quite like this. Following the usual shaky Lowerhouse performance for the first game of the season, there haven’t really been any scares, either. The big weekend against Rammy and Accy brought 22 points to the House and the rest were games we expected to win and did. With big boots to fill, special mention has to go to those making their mark on first team cricket, the likes of Lewis Marsden, Dominic Stuart and Joseph Halstead, all showing promise that they could be good first team cricketers in years to come and fitting into the dressing room magnificently. The influx of new life, coupled with a return to form of skipper Charlie Cottam, who looks better with every passing week and the steady performance of last year’s regulars, it has made the start to the 2015 season a perfect one.
When welcoming Todmorden to the Neville Gee (Recruitment) Ground we always know that they will put up a fight and armed with sub professional Simon Harmer, this Saturday outing was going to be no different. Lowerhouse won the toss and elected to bat on what appeared to be a good cricket wicket which would offer support for both bat and ball all day. Martin Harlow introduced himself to the current Lancashire League champions with a lively opening spell of left arm pace bowling which began with him being Chinese cut to the boundary by Whitehead, before having his revenge not long after when he sent his leg stump cartwheeling to have Lowerhouse 5-1. Cottam joined Martin and the pair seemed in no mood to hang around as they picked up early boundaries, before Joe also succumbed to the in-swing of Harlow and was trapped, rather unfortunately, leg before, after getting to 20. Cobus seemed to have the same mindset as Martin before him as Lowerhouse found themselves 70-2 after just 10 overs. Charlie had raced to 28 before Tod’s stand in paid man struck with his first ball and snuck one through the captain’s bat and pad that tickled the top of off stump. Walker never looked comfortable and was dismissed for just 5 as the Lowerhouse wickets began to fall. Paddy Martin looked to be negotiating the Tod spinners fairly well before his eyes lit up at a short wide one that he feathered to slip, to give Sutcliffe his first wicket of the game and have Lowerhouse reeling at 90-5. Fergus came and went without troubling the scorers as Harmer continued to look threatening on his way to picking up 5-29 from 13 overs. Another wicket for Sutcliffe as he had Pienaar caught behind after scoring 36, then Blez was also undone by a decent Harmer delivery that clipped the bails. Declan Bailey didn’t last much longer, as he was adjudged LBW to the Todmorden professional. At 130-9, the Todmorden batsmen will have had one eye on the changing rooms, but what they didn’t count on was the Lowerhouse final pairing of Marsden and Stuart having a bit of fun, before Lowerhouse were dismissed for 150. Although it was only a partnership of 20, in a low scoring game those contributions can prove to be vital.
The Todmorden innings started brightly as they raced to 26 off just 5 overs, which included some improvised shots from Todmorden opener Simon Newbitt, before Cobus made the breakthrough and had Sutcliffe trapped in front for 11. Eight runs later, Cobus picked up his second of 5 wickets for the day as Elliot Gilford tried his best to dig out a yorker to no avail. The visiting professional edged his first ball through to Joe Martin to leave Pienaar on a hat-trick and reducing Todmorden to 34-3 to give Lowerhouse hope of a sixth win of the season. There was no let up from Cobus as he picked up the wicket of Priestley without scoring and then removed the dangerous Newbitt to have Tod reeling at 58-5. Kristian Garland and captain Andrew Sutcliffe hung around before Garland became Walker’s first wicket when he was given his marching orders after reaching 12. Pearson followed 5 runs later after he was caught at gully by the ever safe Chris Bleazard and following a wide, Harlow chopped on a Walker delivery to reduce the visitors to 82-8. No more runs were added as Sutcliffe was caught behind from the bowling of Stuart, after being frustrated by the youngster’s consistent line and length. Doyle followed the ball after, as Dominic finished off a magnificent spell to have figures of 2 wickets for 3 runs from 4.5 overs and rounded off a terrific effort by the Champions to remain unbeaten so far this season.